Dutch Antilles from B to C, leaving out A

We spend some more time in Bonaire swimming and snorkeling and I biked to the lake Gotomeer with our DSLR camera to shoot some better photos of the flamingos then at our first visit. This time one of the flamingos got very close to me, it was a joy to watch him eating flies in the evening sun. I also saw a cool caracara on a tree.

Flamingo at Gotomeer, Bonaire
Here is one that is less entangled
Pretty sure that’s a juvenile crested caracara
Don’t know what species the little yellow fellow is
Our favourite beer on Bonaire, originally from a Venezuelan company, brewed in the US
Just cleared out and ready to leave Bonaire

We loved Bonaire but were missing a little bit the nightlife. There was not much party and concerts going on. Most people seem to be diving all day and then go to bed early.

Hoping for some more nightlife on Curaçao and to meet other young sailors, we headed there.

The sail to Curaçao was very short, it only took us 6 hours, but then we needed about one hour to find a suitable anchoring spot in Spanish Waters. The anchorage was very crowded and due to a high mountain on the east side of the lagoon it was very windy and choppy. Lukas caught a big mahi mahi on the way with half of his tail bitten off. As I don’t eat fish it was good that we already had some friends in the anchorage, who could help Lukas to eat the fish. We met Bryan on Tarka for the first time in St. Maarten when he bought our old outboard, then in Grenada, in Bonaire and now again in Curaçao. Since Bonaire he is not single handed anymore. So we invited Bryan and Noustha over for dinner and enjoyed our first sunset of the island. Next day we went with the bus to the capital Willemstad to clear in, which was quite an ordeal. You have to go to three different offices spread over the city, two of them in a restricted area on the cruiseship dock. The last office we had to visit was Port Authorities and it was already closed. So I had to go there again the next day. The complicated clearing process, the fact there was only one very small dinghy dock in the fishermans harbor and that the water on the fuel dock was very expensive gave us the impression that Curaçao was not particularly cruiser friendly.

On the good side there was some more nightlife than on Bonaire and also we made some new sailing friends. Also it was easy to provision with a shopping bus going to the supermarket. We rented a car for two days and found a beach in the north west of the island with an abundancy of turtles (and tourists filming the turtles). Also we explored a fascinating underwater cave.

Choppy anchoring spot in Spanish Waters, Curaçao
The jack-up accomodation platform ‘Safe Concordia’ was looking like a spaceship in the night
Venezuelan vendors in Willemstad
Chilled out evening on Mila, checking if our life vests can hold the air over night
Turtle at Playa Grandi
Noustha jumping in to dive into the blue room
Enjoying unexpected free beers at the Curaçao Yacht Club with our new Swedish friends from the catamaran Pangea

When Tarka crew told us they were going to Klein Curaçao for the weekend we decided to join them.

After sailing upwind for some hours we tacked and found out it was impossible to reach the small neighbor island on the same day due to the strong countercurrent. So Tarka and Mila headed to Fuik bay on Curaçao instead. The water was a bit murky but much better then in Spanish Waters, is was nice to have a swim from the boat again. We were too lazy to put our dinghy in the water, so we used the paddle board as a dinghy, which turned out to be quite hard when I tried to transport all the gear for a barbeque plus Lukas to the the beach. After dinner we saw captain Rick’s boat Sophisticated Lady arriving and because he was friends with Bryan we got invited on his boat as well.

When we arrived there were only a couple of local motorboats. But on Sunday the bay filled up with more and more boats having a big party on the boats and in the water. Tarka stayed a little and then succeeded in making their way to Klein Curaçao. We had to go back to Spanish Waters because Lukas needed reliable Internet for a work call.

Mila en route from the perspective of Tarka
Tarka and Mila crews chilling on the beach in Fuik bay after a nice BBQ

We joined a meeting of boats that were preparing to go to Colombia and got the info that the easiest way to clear into the country is to go to the marina in Santa Marta. At this marina the agent is included in the docking fees and takes care of the immigration process. In Colombia it is required to use an agent. So we decided to go to Santa Marta instead of Cartagena.

That’s where we are since one month now, but more about that in the next post, which will follow in a couple of days.

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