Curacao to Aruba
04 September 2010
CURACAO TO ARUBA 23rd August 2010
We left at first light on Monday morning in good weather, winds not to strong. Made good time to Aruba ( 57 nm away ) even though the swell picked up considerably and George ( our autopilot ) tried very hard to keep us on course every time our stern was swept sideways in the 6-8 ft swells coming from the sides. As per normal no trip can be without incident. This one turning out to be a worrying one.
About 15 miles from our waypoint we decided to start the motor to try and stabilize the boat and charge the batteries. She started well and ran for about 15 minutes and then promptly died. It sounded like a fuel problem so Vossie went down and changed the filters thinking this might be connected to the bio diesel problem we had previously. However that did not work. Much talk between Passat and Talacam trying to resolve the problem and in the process flattening the start battery, but all to no avail. It was decided that Passat would wait for us close to the entrance of Oranjestad and tow us in, after obtaining special permission to do so as clearing in needs to be done at Barcadera which has no anchorage facility.
We were also boarded by the coast guard who were very friendly and efficient and who took our details and took swabs in various areas of Talacam for illicit substances. These were taken back to the Coast Guard cutter, which was standing by, for analysis. After the tests coming back clear, the guys left and returned to the Coast Guard cutter wishing us well.
Once we were in the lee of Aruba the seas flattened and we were sailing along at a good 6-7 knots and picked up our tow line from Passat and taken to anchor. We immediately had to report to Immigration at Barcadera, who were waiting for us. So a quick transfer to Passat who came alongside Talacam and Vossie and I had to hop over while Bob did a slow pass. Too many first times in this trip for me!
Anyway we were given 48 hours ( because of the visa requirement ) to fix our problem and to report back if more time was needed. When we went to checkout we found out that this situation was not true as we are a St Maarten registered boat with a St Maarten address and therefore would have been able to stay in Aruba longer if we wanted to.
Vossie got to work first thing this morning and managed to trace the problem . There was no fuel coming from the day tank as air had got into the line. Firstly got the generator working ( which also died this morning ) and then the main engine. All of us very relieved that it was not a major problem to solve so we can continue on our way.
Spent the rest of the day walking the beach area of Oranjestad and after some roties and beer for lunch went for a swim at the Renaissance hotel pool and then we made our way back to the boat.