Christmas in Guanta, Venezuela
Christmas at Guanta Venezuela
Must have been around 1968/9 I was on the "Viajero" on the New York run, we were carrying a lot of Plywood back to San Juan Puerto Rico in those days. We left Port of Spain on Christmas Eve bound to load Cement at Guanta…..so to arrive early on Christmas day and have our dinner at anchor I decided to go via the little channel between Isla Margarita and Isla Coche..made the channel during the night and good job the old Mark 4 was behaving and we anchored just after breakfast so Crew and Passengers had a nice day.
We berthed on Boxing day but did not start loading as the cement was not ready. Just before lunch the Factory Manager, his wife and a friend who could only speak Spanish came onboard and we all had a few drinks and a chat…bought some cigarettes and booze all going well…next thing this Army Sergeant is at the door hurling abuse at the couple..(Must say at this time that the whole port was under military jurisdiction )….Anyway, the lady who could not speak English got quite irritated and as far as I could make out wanted to go ashore to see someone, so I was invited along for a ride. We must have stopped at half a dozen military checkpoints before we reached the town…and stopping outside a cinema. Eventually, this guy comes out dripping with gold braid must have been a General or something and this girl goes up to his arms around him "Mi Amor"….oh bloody hell I think that poor sergeant. Trip back to the ship every checkpoint we never stopped and they were all standing the attention. Back at the dock, we said our cheerio's and back I go onboard…with the poor sergeant on his knees begging forgiveness .
So that was my Christmas at Guanta