We had a very peaceful night anchored at Aves Sotavento, a group of small uninhabited islands east of Bonaire belonging to Venezuela, and the following morning we had a visit from the Costaguarda who wanted to check our paperwork. Four men in a pirogue-looking open boat with two large outboards, only one officially dressed, came alongside and tied on. Luckily we had seen them coming so had time to get fenders out, as they had visited the only other boat in sight first. Francis, the ‘main man’, spoke very good English, and after checking our papers and passports and completing a form, he advised us that we must continue on to check in at Los Roques, as we officially should have checked in there before stopping at Aves. Los Roques is a group of islands 65 miles further east, so not a plausible option for us to have checked in before visiting Aves as it would be a hard beat against wind and current. He allowed us to stay one more night before heading off once we had told him that for us this trip would take around 30 hours tacking back and forth, his motor boat could do it in 3 hours which he found amusing. His colleague also wanted to do a quick inspection, looking in cupboards and under floor boards before they were happy to leave, this man didn’t speak English and carried around a very strange object in a black bin liner which he kept close to his chest. At one point we saw the end of what looked like a black gun barrel poke out of the bag before he stubbed it against our deck and folded the bin bag back over it. Strange! We had caught a Barracuda the previous day, we have always thrown them back in before, but had been told they are quite tasty so decided to give him a try. He was a little messy to prepare, very scaly and fishy smelling unlike the bonito we had caught the day before! We pan-fried Barry, and complimented him with chips & salad, and he was delicious. Sorry no photos of Barry, we were heeled over on our ear screaming in towards land at the time so no chance to grab the camera!
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