Farallón Centinela 2ØØØ

10º 48' 51.7" N         66º 5'  21.4" W

We came back ! !

After our first attempt in November 1999 we had no doubt, one day we will have a successful expedition to Farallón Centinela.

On September 22, 2000 we started our second DXpedition to the rock. This time we were assisted by air by the Venezuelan National Guard. So we started very highly motivated to make it.

Here a GOOGLE EARTH placemark of the rock.

We (5 operators) left Caracas at 3 AM by car to Carenero, our port of departure. With a boat, previously chartered, we left shortly after sunrise.

Leaving Carenero

The route to the rock was the same as on our previous trip, so the graphics and more info can be seen here.

About 2 hours later we arrived at our destiny. The sea was calm but the water-level was quite low.

You see the relatively low sea-level. (btw, this is the picture of our QSL-card...)
Our boat could not go directly to the rock. So we jumped (with protective shoes and gloves) from the boat into the warm and crystal-clear water and swam to the rock. The water-current was quite strong. The rocks have some sharp edges, but our hands and feet were well protected.
Victor (YV5IQJ) and Greg (YV5OHW) climbing the rock with some supplies.

We carried with us part of our food- and water-supplies, gasoline, computers and camera-equipment. One of the boat's crew helped us to transfer the goods from the boat to the rock. Then we were in charge to get all material up to the tiny lighthouse on top. (80 feet above sea-level)

This was a VERY HARD JOB due to the extreme high temperatures, the terrible smell of guano and the difficult ground. Sometimes we had to jump from stone to stone, some parts were very slippery due to loose rocks.
The place is almost white colored by the bird's excrements.
It was really a HARD work and everybody was exhausted when all the material was stored near to the light-tower !!!!

Farallón Centinela has a population of hundreds of boobies, which produce a tremendous amount of noise. Every 2 feet you see an egg or a young bird protected (or not) by the parents. The birds don't built nests, because ABSOLUTELY no building-material is available on the rock; NO vegetation at all. So the young birds and eggs are laying the bare stone.
The parents are not aggressive until you come to near. The danger-zone begins about 1 foot away. Later I got a hurting souvenir on my left leg when I was carrying a piece of tube and didn't pay too much attention into ALL directions.
Every pair of boobies has it's own territory and they never let another bird to cross the limit.
Of course we had to accept the situation which generated later very funny experiences for us. You can observe some of them in the following pictures.

The "heavy equipment" we left the day before at an airbase in Caracas was supposed to be carried by a helicopter to the island.

Once we carried all our stuff to the top, we called our colleagues (YV5MHX and YV5NCZ) in Caracas. They were in charge of our logistics on an air-base and already had loaded the chopper and prepared to start the airlift-operation.

A few moments later the machine started and after about 30 minutes flight-time it arrived at Farallón Centinela.

The rock seen from the helicopter (All pix from aboard the chopper shot by YV5NCZ.)

The chopper arrives.
(Below you see the rock Faralloncito, not far away.)