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Anthem Adrift
Easy Does It
11/25/2009, Spanish Water, Curacao

Goodbye Bonaire

November 25

Departed Kralendijk mooring before sunrise for a better than expected sail to Curacao. Yankee carried the boat at 4.5, then, as true wind increased to lower 20s, up to 6.3 knots in 3 foot seas on the port quarter. A few sprinkles en route was just enough to cause a layer of deposited wind-borne dust from Bonaire to clump into untidy little piles. Looking for a good gully washer.

Crew arrives Tuesday. Boom arrives Wednesday. Boat fixed Thursday. Wow! That was easy. Meantime, will continue messing with arrangement of particulars to accommodate three souls, two of whom may care about being comfortable(ish).

Spanish (Spaanse) Water, a large, nearly landlocked, irregular bay, located five miles and 20 minutes by bus southeast of the capitol, Willemstad, is the cruising center. Was sceptical of claim for no mosquitos, but discovered that air whips through anchorage like a wind tunnel. No insects; amps out the wazoo; bar close by where Night Hawk and Going South crews set bad example for me to emulate. Doesn't suck so far.

Agenda tomorrow: bus ride to clear in, get lay of the land and find various friends in area. Can't think of a reason to get up before cruisers net at 0745. Unlikely to overheat ganglia trying.

Jack

Round and Round We Go
11/24/2009, Kralendijk, Bonaire

Jibe City

November 24

Chase VISA is off friends and family list due putting temporary hold on payments for boom and items ordered on-line to be carried to Curacao next week by crew. Spent delightful morning confirming all bits in transit after Liz, last night, pummeled card fraud lackeys into submission. This is third time for these donkey orifices and possibly last.

Balance of day spent on rented scooter with barely enough power to get out of its own way and bad shocks. Discovered that outback of Bonaire is filled mostly with cactus and seven species of lizard, some quite fleet. Saw one big, amorous guy, looking to knock off a little iguana, if you get my drift, getting the cold shoulder from a lady (gave her benefit of doubt) at about 20 miles an hour. Also noted many donkeys (passed up chance to visit Donkey Heaven) and goats plus, incongruously, since most of the place is desert, a sizeable population of flamingos, some of which, being almost orange, must eat a lot of whatever does that.

Two useless facts: Eight kinds of bat are the only native mammals and bats, world-wide, make up 1/6th of all mammal species. Awe and amaze your friends at the next polo match with this fascinating data care of Washington Slagbaai National Park Museum where a time-line depiction references events on the island to, among other things, the deaths of Chairman Mao and Elvis. Unable to divine what must surely be a message.

Lac Bay, on south windward coast, is locale for wind surfing center at Jibe City. Didn't see the first kite. Most at beach bar (where frickandellen was found, unsurprisingly, to be chubby sausages) were a tad rotund to use the nearby 'pros only' storage area.

Jack

No Skunk on Menu
11/23/2009, Kralendijk, Bonaire

Jibe City, Windmills, Cactus Fences, Flamingo, KLM MD11 at Airport

November 23

Retrieved most of injured paraphernalia from various locales about the island, all in same woeful state as when parcelled out. Radio will wend its way back home manana as, possibly, the only better-made bit. Clearing out and subsequent return of assault weapon, flare gun should complete preparation for what promises to be a bumpy, downwind sail to Curacao Wednesday morning.

And now for the restaurant section. Should someone discover by chance, deviousness (perhaps your sig-o (abbreviation for significant other sounds suspiciously like sicko) has administered drugs from which you have just awoken (reference yesterday's query)) or conscious act, that your coordinates are consistent with Bonaire (you could check position on a cool new iPhone or just ask someone), find Mona Lisa Restaurant and stay for dinner. (I know the last sentence seems confusing, but diagram it like Mrs. McCaskel made you do in high school for perfect clarity) It's all been terrific: barracuda, wahoo, pork sate. Don't burn your tongue on the au gratin potatoes.

Flocks of flamingos will parade their plumage once I secure a scooter for investigating the island... tomorrow (reason, besides weather, for delaying until day after). Scheduled cruise ship necessitates early rental to preclude getting skunked, so ta ta.

Jack

Boat Projects
11/22/2009, Kralendijk, Bonaire

Cruise Boat

November 22

For anyone finding himself (despite what you may think, this word is generic and refers also to women) in Bonaire (while this implies surprise, the effort necessary to get here would normally preclude an unexpected arrival) and Jonesing for breakfast, City Cafe is a fine choice. This determination was reached after running its price, quality, quantity profile through the BARF (breakfast associated restaurant finder) algorithm. Crispy bacon (first since US); fast wifi; view of the sea. One caveat, ask for eggs over easy lest they be vulcanized (no relation to Spock). Two untried dinner specialties are bitterballen and frickandellen... those wacky Dutch!

Was stunned and amazed to see, on commercial dock this morning, cruise ship that, to all outward appearance, was a boat. Since new liners look like enormous, newly built, high rise housing projects, this one, also being rather small, must be of rather archaic vintage. Was easily able to stifle normal groan upon first sighting.

Apologies to anyone expecting immediate reply after leaving a comment on website. Editor and social secretary are quite lax. Unable to fire either due to close relationship to captain. Would threaten flogging, but believe it unlikely this would help.

Little open on shore, Sunday, so after purchasing gas at $4.58/gal. and settling with Harbour Village Marina on mooring fees, squandered day with movies, books, arranging boat for crew and unconsciousness.

Jack

Decampment? (A Real Word)
11/21/2009, Kralendijk, Bonaire

Kralendijk Waterfront

November 21

One might think cruisers an independent lot. Au contraire. More like a ragtag military. They tend to campaign in groups and bivouac together to pillage and plunder seaside villages with occasional raiding forays into the countryside. Rucksacks containing provisions, change of uniform and various weapons (flashlights, etc.) are commonly carried. Then, of course, there's the uniform, itself. Sandals (non-marking soles), shorts, with T-shirts and ball caps promoting some previous island or a bar thereon. Although periodic substitutes are lace-up boat shoes, bathing suits, collared shirts (formal events) and floppy wide-brimmed hats, you know, on sight, who they are. If not selling something, locals try to ignore the tramping feet.

Heavy cogitating on all facets of current situation has led, despite enjoyment of Bonaire, to alteration in strategy (a rather free-flow process, at best). Intend, if loose ends (including five bits of property abroad upon the land, six if boom counts twice) get properly tied, sail of 35 nautical miles, probably Wednesday next week, to Curacao. Receipt of new spar will occur a day earlier (ship goes there first), nephew and niece-in-law (Will & Richena), hereinafter referred to as the crew, will save cost of hotel plus shuttle from there to here and location adjustment will result in reunion with friends, conceivably referred to as the Eastern Caribbean Irregulars, presently wreaking havoc in Spanish Water.

Meanwhile, there exist fish, rum and eyelids to be, respectively, eaten, drunk and examined. Let the process begin.

"All human situations have their inconveniences. We feel those of the present but neither see nor feel those of the future; and hence we often make troublesome changes without amendment, and frequently for the worse." - Benjamin Franklin

Jack

Onus On Us All
11/20/2009, Kralendijk, Bonaire

Unsightly BUTT

November 20

Just another beautiful day in paradise. Planned no planning (oxymoron?). Ok, breakfast was a plan, but that was it, well, except for coordinating with Botterop Construction on old and new booms and having them weld a broken casting from Voyager wind vane. But, that was it, absolutely, except for... Never mind.

Rum has been sadly neglected since mishap, which has forced upon me a certain obligation to sugarcane growers everywhere. Incentive to imbibe was also reduced by attempt to drink truly awful Depaz rum from Martinique. Don't know what happened; tasted OK on the distillery tour. May use it, instead, to subdue fish after capture, should there be further such instances. Outrageously cheap gin previously used is actually drinkable with sufficient oliveage (not a real word).

A particularly obnoxious BUTT (Big Ugly Tourist Transporter - cruise ship) steamed in this morning to despoil view and clutter shops in Kralendijk. Had heard island would be spared the ignominy for a few days. At least lagging economy gets a boost.

Went in later to call for Mercy. She handles shipments to Bonaire for Amcar Freight (package, indicated to arrive at shipper today, didn't). Also, in chronological order, provided scruffy local color for polyester clad hoards, called better half (visiting loved ones in West St. Paul, MN) with iPod and lightened personal onus as indicated in paragraph two, before and after wahoo (no Cal, it's a fish) dinner at Mona Lisa Bar.

Jack

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