We left Grenada at 3:00PM on November 10 and arrived in Kralendijk, Bonaire 73 hours later. Averaged about 5.6 knots sailing for the first 380nm. As we rounded the island the the wind let up and was directly behind us so we had to turn on the engine and motor the last 35 miles to get in before sundown.
No anchoring is allowed so we are on a mooring right next to the reef which surrounds the whole island. So far, we have been unable to tear ourselves away! The snorkeling is grand and the diving is AMAZING. We have been doing at least one dive almost every day, always finding new, interesting, and exciting things. There is no such thing as a bad dive, the dives are either good dives, better dives, or great dives!
Kralendijk is a cute, a little Dutch resort community plopped down in the Caribbean. The Divers' Bar and Restaurant has frosty pint mugs of Heinekin for $3 during happy hour every night and we've become good friends with Luis, the bartender. There's a free taxi from Karol's Bar, where the the dinghy dock is located, to Van Den Teel Supermarket. I thought I died and went to grocery store heaven when I got there!
There are lots of European boats in the mooring field, divers from North America and Europe at the resorts, and a cruise ship belching passengers off to scurry about most days. Dutch is the official language, Spanish and Papiamento are commonly spoken and nearly everyone also knows English. US dollars are the currency used with prices are similar to US, some things a bit higher, some a bit lower.
We rented a car with friends for a tour of the island's desert landscape stopping along the barren windmill lined road to take a look at the ancient Marka Indjan Indian Inscriptions at the star watchers cave. For lunch we stopped at The Rose Inn in the little village of Rincon where Malfina cooked and served us the local specialties of iguana soup and goat stew.
After lunch it was on to Washington Slagbaai National Park. The ranger told us it was too late in the day to scrambled up through the cactus in the sweltering heat to the top of Brandaris Hill, the highest point on Bonaire at 784 feet, and get back down before the park closed. Oh, damn! As we drove along the rutted dirt road we got a few distant glimpses of pink flamingos feeding in the inland salinas and stopped at Wayaka, one of the dive sites on the northern end of the island, for our daily dose of snorkeling
We hope to rent a scooter before heading off so we can buzz around the southern side of the island. We would like to get a more up close and personal view of the pink flamingos and check out the slave huts on the beach that we saw from sea on our arrival.