7.6.14 – Saturday – I went for one shore dive with a club called "Friends of Bonaire" and it was 7 out of 10; I am clearly spoilt by the really impressive diving locations I’ve been to. Going out of the dive I slipped on some coral rubble and fell, finding it difficult to get back on my feet with the diving tank and weight belt still on me. The two guys whom I dived with rushed to me as one would come to the rescue of an old man falling in the street. Am I that old man? (I don’t think so…)
We took Two Oceans a bit to the north and tied to one of the yellow buoys designated for divers and snorkelers and finned around the area. Again, nothing to write home about.
8.6.14 – Sunday – We sublet Shay’s car and went to Washington Slagbaai park. Nice desert scenery and a lot of cacti greeted us, as well as some birds, including couples of green parrots. The fauna were mainly lizards and iguanas. I took pictures with my Samsung Galaxy and surprisingly my laptop did not want to communicate with it. No pictures of the trip until I fix it, sorry.
In the evening we had the Simon family for an Israeli dinner. A big salad, tehini, hummus and BBQ; a lovely evening.
9.6.14 – Monday – We set sail to Curacao. Easterly wind, 25-30 knots but no big seas. The entrance to Spanish Waters is very narrow, but once you are in, a huge bay opens up before you, with quite a few protected inlets.
We started looking for Kima Kalki marina, where I planned to leave the boat for about two months. The free Virgintino guide for the ABC has it in two different positions on the charts. Finding it, we anchored nearby and I went ashore looking for the manager. An elderly gentleman named Ronald showed me around the small, not so modern marina and gave me the price; 17.5$ a day plus sales tax. It is supposed to be the cheapest marina in the area.
I had the 2013 season pricelist of Seru Boca marina, which is a modern one and they were lower! We decided to check it up.
10.6.14 – Tuesday – In the morning we dinghied over to Seru Boca, on the southeast corner of Spanish Waters. This is how a marina should look like! Modern, wide docks with water and electricity and the all important 24 hours security. We spoke to Robert Van Den Heuvel, the marina’s manager, finding out that the prices were the same as advertised and on the spot clinched the deal.
Next we had to go to Willemstad to do the proper check in procedure. The town has that Dutch architecture and the following photo could have been taken in Amsterdam.
In contrast to Bonaire, where everything was done in the same office, quickly and efficiently, the situation in Curacao is not so simple. Customs are in Punda, the eastern part of the city; immigrations are in Otrabanda, the western part, to which you cross a pontoons bridge. Once you finish with those two, you have to go to the port authority, make a "Float-plan" indicating the exact itinerary and locations you want to visit. You pay 10$ for the privilege of anchoring in each of those bays good for three days, except for Spanish Waters, where the permit is good for three months.
Back at the boat, we upped the anchor and went over to Seru Boca for the night.
11.6.14 – Wednesday – Searching for the enchanted bay, we motored to Fuik Baai, less than 2 miles from Spanish Waters exit. Fuik is a narrow lagoon with some mangroves on shore; it is very well protected, which was a good thing considering the strong winds that keep blowing all the time. Fishing – Nil.
12.6.14 – Thursday – Fuik was not the real E-Bay we were looking for so we decided to go to Piscadera, about 10 miles further west. But first we had to do some provisioning. The Vreugdenhil supermarket has free shuttle service each week day at 1000 from the dinghy dock at the fishermen wharf in Spanish Waters.
At 1200, shopping done, we left the protection afforded by Spanish Waters and with wind of 25 knots, gusting to 32, we opened the jib to first reef and sailed to Piscadera. On the way we saw a big motor boat and a coast guard helicopter near it lowering a man and taking up two. Training? Real?
Just past 1330 we entered our destination; passing the big Hilton hotel on shore, a local restaurant boasting to be the best around. A decrepit yacht on shore had a "For Sale" sign. It seemed to have been there for ages. Anyone interested?
We found a quiet spot near the eastern bank and anchored.
13.6.14 – Friday – Walking in the direction of the Hilton we discovered Pirate Bay", a bar restaurant with a small beach and WIFI!