11 May 2014 | San Diego, Cal.
I'm in the states visiting my kids, before going back to Panama and taking Mystic through the canal. Going to be interesting to see what the Pacific is like.
Time To Move
25 August 2013 | Curacao
I've spent the last few days getting Mystic ready to move, things tend to get scattered when I'm somewhere for a bit. I had to go up the mast this morning, a neighbor off of Free Spirit helped me. Went great, done in less than a hour all told. I had to fix where the 3 foil in my roller furling was separated.
I will catch the early bus to town in the morning to clear out. I hope to get back to the boat and underway by noon. I'll be going right along the coast, it is deep water almost to the beach. I have the option of spending tomorrow night 25 miles up the coast. I'll see when I get there, should be there in time to anchor if I decide to. I may just sail overnight to get to Aruba early in the morning, that's when I like to get somewhere new. Have all day to get settled and see some of the island if I want to. I've waited till I have a good weather window, not supposed to be wind over 20 knots for the next two days. Downwind sailing, the point of sail I have not done very much of. I make long tacks, it's better than struggling to sail straight down wind. My wind vane doesn't like to sail dead downwind. It will, but why make it hard, I'll make easy 1 or 2 hour tacks.
I'm pretty excited about going to Aruba, the first new island in over 3 years. It's similar to Curacao and Bonaire, but the anchorages are supposed to be more accessible than here. I have felt really isolated here, I spent 3 months here 2 years ago. I felt isolated when I was here before, but it seems more pronounced this time. Glad there are a lot of islands I've never seen.
Looking farther North
21 August 2013 | Curacao
Windy, hot, dry
I'm starting to look at the weather to make the 70 mile crossing to Aruba. Early next week is looking OK right now. This will be some fast down wind sailing. Trying to find a good window with less than 20 knts.
I meet friends, Debbie and Larry, downtown today for lunch. First meet them 4 years ago in Grenada. Small world. I will make at least one more trip downtown to log out. Nice area, lots of walking streets, no cars, what a concept. Don't think there was a cruise ship in, but there were lots of people out on the streets. I'll put up a picture of the vegetable market that is called the "Floating Market." The boats are behind the stalls now, most of the stuff is straight from Venezuela. The selection is much better than what I am used to. Good stuff.
Sand and Paint
17 August 2013
Man how I dislike sanding and painting. Good thing there is not a whole lot of that needing to be done on Mystic. I have very little "bright work" outside of the cabin. I've painted the bulkheads to lighten up the cabin, paint it at least once a year. I need to do locker lids and the hand rails outside. Then through with sanding and painting for a bit.
Went to the happy hour at Norman's, where we tie up our dingys. As a one language American it's easy to feel the "odd man out" around here. The most predominant language is Dutch, followed by French. I don't speak either. I can speak a little Spanish, I am hoping to get better while in Columbia. Wednesday is the full moon, thinking about going to Aruba wit it. The wind is predicted to be stiff, but not dangerous. Haven't decided yet. No particular schedule.
13 August 2013 | Curacao
Windy, hot, dry
Spent most of the day ashore going into Punda. Got a lot done, marked a few things off the never-ending list. Used the small taxi/buses, got to tour a different part on the island. One of the stores I wanted to go to wasn't there. At first I thought I must have the image flipped in my mind. Part of this store was still there, but the largest part was gone. Just flat ground. Big store like Home Depot. Asked across the street and yes the place burned to the ground. Ended the day in downtown Punda where the bus station is, caught the big, air conditioned bus back to Spanish Waters. Air conditioning, what a concept. Really down here on the water it's not needed. If you get out of the breeze it can get hot quickly during the day. So now I can paint the inside of the boat again, do this about once a year.
11 August 2013 | Curacao
I am at anchor in Spanish Waters, Curacao. Second time I have been here. The wind blows here almost all the time. Not sure how long I'll stay here, want to see Aruba, and Carntegna, Colombia and the San Blas islands before going through the canal. I find this anchorage a bit remote, it's hard to go anywhere without using the public buses. I like riding the local buses, but the schedule, especially on weekend is pretty constraining. There is a free bus to the grocery store at 10 am and 4 pm. I can use that service to get farther into a more populace area, then the public/private buses run much more frequently. To go into Punda, the big town, is a half day affair for me. There are not nearly as many boats here now as there were in 2011. Just a few American boats. Not too many English speaking people. I can always find someone who does speak English, but at the "happy hour" on Tuesday and Friday at the dingy dock it's almost all Dutch speaking, with a few French thrown in for smell. I hope to rent a car and tour the island this time, didn't get to the last time I was here.
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