Thursday, 9/14/00 0746
Goooooood Mooooooorrrniiiing Eeeevryboooodyyyy!
stuff doesn't suck at all!
Thursday 8/31 around midnight I set out for a Windjammer
Barefoot Cruise to Grenada and Venezuela. It was a singles
cruise, set up by Ed Rudd of travelpackage,com.
There were about 60 of us on a 180 foot 1927 sailboat, and boy was it great!
My camera broke (probably because I dropped it) on Monday 9/4,
but I was having such a good time I didn't care! I got some good shots
before that, though, and Bob Fife got some all through the trip with his Nikon
800. On the left are my photos, and Bob's. as well.
Here's a summary of my itinerary:
Fly all day, starting at 12:30 AM. I flew from San Francisco to Dallas, then
Dallas to Puerto Rico, then Puerto Rico to Grenada, which is way the hell down
there near South America. Got in about 7:30 PM local, and started partying
in the Coyaba hotel pool right away. Swam in the pool, drank in the pool
bar, swam in the Caribbean, and stayed up 'til 5am drinking rum with a friendly
Brit on the porch outside my room.
Sleep in 'til noon. Miss the Seven Falls hike. It's raining.
Stops in an hour. Rains once later. Drives the lizards up the
wall in the outside dining room. Beach, pool, 20-course dinner at
Patrick's, beach party, skinny dipping,
Up in time to catch Mandoo's Island Tour, which is great. Crazy,
left-handed island drivers. We move from the hotel to the boat (which is
the Yankee Clipper, not the Mandalay, since Fox snagged it to
shoot some survivor-type program). Live band on the boat, open bar.
Much dancing and drinking.
In the morning the captain has the first "story time", tells us what's
in store for the day, and introduces the crew. We walk to beautiful
downtown Grenada (two blocks), sightsee, and go back to the boat for
lunch. My camera breaks. In the afternoon we set sail!
Volunteers help the crew raise sail to the strains of "Amazing Grace"
on bagpipes! We sail the afternoon and into the night. Pajama (silk
and lace) party on deck.
Los Testigos is the perfect desert isle. Sand, palm trees, warm clear
water. We anchor, take launches to shore, and spend the day there. I
snorkel, read, fly a kite and give it to the island kids (the place isn't quite
deserted. About eight people live there to fish) A perfect
day. We set sail.
Margarita Island, in Mochima National Park.
Good sized island with an airport. A group of us get into two small planes
and go to Angel Falls in Canaimo National Park in southern Venezuela.
Truly one of the seven wonders of the world. We see the falls after some
tricky flying, and land at a bush resort downstream. There, we take a
truck, a canoe, and a hike through the jungle to get to a waterfall about 100
yards wide that you can actually go under! Very wet.
Fabulous. Amazing. Wonderful. Wow.
Other people back at Margarita Island did boring things like
ultralight flying or horseback riding.
PPP party on the boat. Dress up as a Pimp, Prostitute, or
Pirate - or anything else beginning with P. Really amazing. Did I
mention there was an open bar for the whole trip?
New, more "beachy" part of Margarita island. Decided to bail on
the rafting trip and do the beach. Really great, not deserted beach.
Beach chairs, gorgeous Venezuelan tourists, Island bar/restaurants on the beach,
really great. Snorkeled, swam, rode a giant banana behind crazy Venezuelan
boat drivers Barbequeue on the beach, more skinny-dipping. Venezuelan
Half day at a small island with iguanas. Snorkeling, beach boys who shuck
oysters. Ate some, bought some pearls, Then (sigh) back to civilization
at the industrial- looking town of Puerto La Cruz. Dirty place, but masses
of happy people celebrating the "Festival of the Virgin of the
Valley" Ate great food at the flaming (yes really) sea bass
place. Back to the boat.
Our last breakfast on board, our last Story Time. Packed. Left. Sad..
Moved to the hotel "Hesperian" which was really nice 24 years
ago. Still pretty good. Hung out at the pool. Ate a fabulous
Sirloin Steak dinner at the Brasos Grill in towm. Bought a fabulous mask.
Traipsed trough the back streets looking for a particular brand of rum.
Goodbyes and a couple drinks at the hotel bar and it's time for bed.
Up at 5:30 when my roommate leaves for his flight. Shower, dress, pack
slowly. 7:00 van to the airport in Caracas. Long slow process at
each airport. Caracas to Aruba. Aruba to Miami. Miami to San
Francisco. In at 10:30 PM local with trinkets, pearls, a mask, and five
bottles of rum. Sam picks me up. Thanks, Sam. Here's some rum.