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Sailing Letter, July 2016

August 10, 2016

Resebrev / Sailing Letter, July 2016, Bonaire

After 10 weeks at Bonaire, same mooring, we still enjoy our stay and have decided to stay here for the maximum 3 months that we are allowed without paying extra for extended visa. Since we have to stay out of the hurricane season for 6 months we will divide the time between Bonaire (3 months) and Curacao (3 months). The last month has been spent with a lot of snorkeling and we have also done a diving refreshment course at the closest diving club. We also did a dive together with a dive master, on the nearest reef close to our boat. It was lovely to be able to dive again and Peter seems to like it as much as I do. We will try to do a couple more before leaving Bonaire since we expect the water quality to be lower in the Spanish Water, where we will anchor at Curacao. The water surrounding Bonaire is pristine with very easy access! We will also buy a torch to be able to do night snorkeling before we move on. Hu! We now find our way to find a bar with a cold beer and have a nice dinner.

Except for the huge salt industry on the south side of Bonaire the island is very dependent on tourism with majority of visitors spending time and money on snorkeling and diving. Dive centers, tank filling stations everywhere!
As in many other Caribbean countries Chinese own and manage many supermarkets, retail stores and restaurants. A paradox is the apparent lack of fresh fish for sale. The waters around ABC are famous for plenty of fish like Tuna, Mahimahi, King Fish, Barracuda. Only place to get fresh fish is to buy it from a restaurant. On all other Caribbean islands fishing boats are eager to sell directly to yachties. Maybe there are some strict policies about B2C?

The last 2 weeks have been spent installing the water maker (see Peter’s facebook update). It was easy to get the parts sent to here, with no problems with customs and the installation was fairly easy, but not quick. Just to remove the old stuff took half a week. Now we have perfect water and are able to take more showers and use our washing machine without too rigid calculation of the water consumption. A major reason for time spent on installation is the temperature. With a day time temp of 33-34 C and night time of 29 it is almost impossible to work between 12-16 daytime. The temp in the boat during this time is at least 32 C and even minimal physical work mean dripping sweat and requires a daily intake of at least 4-5 liters of water (some can be replaced with beer).

On the social side we have met with our fellow sailors for a swimming contest to Klein Bonaire (1nM), Boule/Petanque game with Martin and Ellen, Sundowners and happy hour at some suitable bars. These meetings have given us valuable information for the next sailing season. The plans now are to go to Cuba via Jamaica late November and from there sail down to the Panama San Blas islands and pass the Panama Canal in March. It will be one year earlier than what we thought originally, but it also means that we do the Pacific crossing when we are still “young”. We will pass the Caribbean Islands on our way back eventually and will then be able to stay here again.
The rainy season has now started. For Bonaire, being a desert island, it means an hour of rain once a week compared to Trinidad and Martinique where it rains more or less daily. Even the humidity here is lower than average which is a bless.

The rainy season is also the mating season for the birds so we see more parakeets, parrots etc., flying around.  On the island there are 19.000 people, 1000 wild donkeys and another 500 in a sanctuary, 1.200 turtles whereof most are passersby thanks to the good food on the east coast, numerous Flamingos, Pelicans not to mention all the colorful fishes, Iguanas and Lizards.

A true paradise!

Until next time,

BR, Eva & Peter

From → Sailing Letters

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