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Venezuela

 GPS tracks, January 29

 

Caraballeda (Venezuela) - February 6th, 2005

Tomorrow, early in the morning, I leave Venezuela.

I want to thank here Ricardo Bisdikian, Venezuelan Spearfishing Champion, for his kindness and for all his support. His was the boat used for all this trip:

rbisdikian@cantv.net

My next destination is Tonga, with a complicated trip. First Caracas to Toronto (Canada). Then, after some hours, Toronto - Los Angeles. I already booked the hotel there. The morning a little shopping for (I hope) the connection cable between my GPS and the laptop I forgot at home. So I SHOULD be able to show the trips I've made here in the Caribbean Sea and, hopefully, those I'll make in the Pacific Islands. Then, a fly from Los Angeles to Tonga, the longest of all (on the paper). Start evening of the 8th, arrival very early of the 10th of February! You know, the date changing line stuff.

See you, hopefully, from Tonga!

Caraballeda (Venezuela) - February 5th, 2005

Near the end of the stay here in North Venezuela. Not a wonderful time, to say all the truth. Virtually every day we searched the depths of the Ocean searching for the elusive BIG CATCH but it was, as said, elusive. We tried the Banks with a bottom of "only" 50 fathoms but with every probability is was too deep for the flashers to work properly. We tried the currents, where two waters of different temperature and consequent density meets. We tried every floating object bigger than a tree branch. TO NO AVAIL.

So I changed technique and tried instead the lures, trolled behind the boat. Hours under the Caribbean sun, with a full wetsuit on (probably, really, a mistake), with the big tuna gun loaded, the fins at my feet, ready to dive. Looking with a hawk eye the lures. The only respite was the mask, not directly on. Loads of water poured down the wetsuit, studying the best next moves when (if) the Big Fish struck. Hoping, always hoping. TO NO AVAIL.

But the worst was at the end of a weary day, when we rolled up the lures line and... there it was! The deep scratches on the new nylon line, undoubtedly the mark of a billfish trying to catch his "prey". And nobody onboard, three persons looking, we believed, with avid eyes every twitch of the lures, saw ANYTHING! Oh, we saw interesting things. Curious dolphins, both Tursiops and Stenella, some little dorados, a curious, single, Hammerhead. Some unknown, BIG, shapes jumping and splashing on the Ocean surface...

Yesterday we went even, for the second time, to the Centinel, a rock 45 nautical miles from Caraballeda. It should have been, on the paper, one of the most exclusive places to dive but in reality it was the most heavily fished place I've seen here in my stay in Venezuela. It's reletively near another harbor so it's not difficult for a dedicated spearfisher, try the Ocean and reach this place. The Blue water fish "expected" there should have been wahoos (petos, here in Venezuela) and, sometimes, sailfish.

And,TOTALLY INEXPECTED was the fact the the flashers here are NOT working. With them I've seen a scant and disinterested fish in a couple of hours. When I dropped them, on the sharp suggestion of our host, Ricardo Bisdikian, and started using the sardines, both to throw away on the surface and looking them dropping to the bottom or to crush in your fist, THEN, the wahoos started to appear! I'm happy to say that my cousin Michele so took his very first blue water fish and his very first Peto.

 

Caraballeda (Venezuela) - February 1th, 2005

First days in the Caribbean Sea. Not much fish till now. I have the distinct impression that the ocean floor is too deep, that, using the flashers, I only scratch the ceiling of a huge ballroom, almost totally ignored from the inhabitants, roaming at their leisure all around it. And the big fish is here! I've seen a giant swordfish of more that the hundredth kilo mark taken by the boat fishing near us, a couple of tunas for two hundred kilo taken by that other boat mored at our left. A beautiful Marlin jumping around our boat. BUT, the moment I dive all seems to evaporate. I tried also the lures, trolled behind the boat, but all I gained from this is a fun tan with the shadows of the hood and the mask. The only big fish I've seen is a big yellowfin tuna but only because, I'm convinced of it, it was under, and associated with, the school of dolphins all caroling around us at that moment. I hope to tell more happy stories in the (near) future.

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