Alan and Jean sharing our cruising news with friends, family.

20 July 2015 | Rabi Island Fiji
29 June 2015 | Suva Fiji
18 December 2013 | Auckland
05 December 2013 | Auckland
27 October 2013 | Vavau Tonga
12 September 2013 | Samoa
24 July 2013 | Moorea, Tahiti
19 July 2013 | Papeete
19 June 2013 | Nuka Hiva
02 June 2013 | Pacific Ocean
29 May 2013 | Pacific Ocean
24 May 2013 | Eastern Pacific Ocean
19 May 2013 | Western Pacific Ocean
16 May 2013 | Western Pacific Ocean
13 May 2013 | Isla Isabella
06 May 2013 | Isla Isabella
08 April 2013 | Shelter Bay marina, Colon.
28 March 2013 | Belize
27 March 2013 | Belize
03 March 2013 | Panamarina, Panama


20 January 2013 | Kranlendijke
Buenos Dias from Bonaire.

Now I know buenos dias is Spanish and the greeting from Bonaire should be in Dutch as the island is part of the Dutch Caribbean, but here there are several languages spoken to match the wide variety of people living and working on Bonaire. Being multi lingual seems to be a requirement for getting a job in Bonaire, from the supermarket checkout operator to the car hire person switching from Spanish to English to Papiamentu( the local language), with a smattering of Dutch and a little German, is just part of the job. My effort of trying to learn a few basics in Spanish seems quite inadequate.
We sailed into Bonaire five days ago, early Tuesday morning, after a very pleasant 3 day passage from Grenada. During the first 3hours after leaving Grenada we struggled with the lumpy swell and following wind, we couldn't get the sail combination right so that Tuatara and ourselves were comfortable. We eventually cleared the shallow lumpy seas off Grenada and eased ourselves slightly north of west to sail with the wind more on the beam. We became more comfortable and Tuatara got in the groove. The next day the seas had died so we turned west, set two headsails and for 2 days sailed comfortably downwind until we turned the corner of Bonaire Island for the reach up to Kralendijke. One of the best passages we have had except we didn't catch any fish.

The weather gurus had said we had only a weather window of about 4 days to get to Bonaire so we decided not to stop at the reputedly beautiful Venezuelan islands of Los Roques and Las Aves. We didn't want to get stuck there but as it has turned out, as we all should remember, the weather gurus are not always completely correct and 8 days after leaving Grenada the window is just beginning to slide shut. In a couple of days we will head over to Curacao, just a 35 mile day sail then we start to look at the weather again. The next leg around the hump of Columbia to Cartagena is always windy. The trick is to find an about 5 day gap with slightly less wind, this coming week seems to be one of those times but we are not ready, more things to do and see yet.
Bonaire is not a particularly pretty island, it's a flat hard lump of rock 50 miles off the coast of Venezuela covered in cactus and low leafy trees. There are however many aspects of Bonaire that make it a nice place to visit. The clear deep blue waters that surround the island are a divers paradise, from the shore to 60 metres deep is a marine reserve dotted with marked snorkel and dive spots.

Karlendijke is dotted with brightly painted old style Dutch buildings over shadowed by huge cruise ships most days during the season. Pink flamingos, pretty parrots, and pyramids of white salt standing sharp against the blue sky provide the required souvenir photo opportunities.

Yesterday we hired a little two seater Jiminy Jeep , slightly more bucket than rust, to drive around the islands mainly narrow and bumpy roads. The southern end of the island provides the most interest with the flamingos, the windy west coast beaches strewn with flotsam and jetsam as well as the vast salt lakes producing those huge pyramids of salt.

We also did a supermarket shop at Van den Tweel, the big Dutch supermarket here. We went in not really needing a lot of things but with a lovely well stocked European supermarket at our finger tips we left with more than we came for. Considering everything is imported prices were reasonable. Wedges of Brie and fresh meat priced about the same or less than at home.

While in Bonaire, yachts have to take a mooring as there is no anchoring in the marine park and because it is very deep. The first couple of nights we were on a mooring with only 1 metre under us and only 15 metres from the shore, we have now moved mooring and the bow is in 5 metres with the stern hanging over the drop off in about 40 metres. Being right on the town water front gives us a front row seat of the comings and goings on land and sea. Alan can also dive and snorkel right off the back of Tuatara. At $US10 a night it's a bargain especially as the only other option, the marina, would be $US100 a night for us.

As you can see I have found out how to put more than one photo on the blog, thanks to Sheila on Neverbored showing me the process while in Grenada.

Vessel Name: Tuatara
Vessel Make/Model: Alan Wright 51
Hailing Port: Opua NZ
Crew: Alan and Jean Ward

Sailing in the Pacific

Who: Alan and Jean Ward
Port: Opua NZ