Curacao Marine now has a space for us ashore and on Tuesday we will head the few miles north into the huge commercial harbour of the capital, Willemstad, to be hauled out by trailer for the first time rather than a lift. Should be interesting!
Jack, an engineer, is also available next week and has experience in all sorts of technical issues including our Volvo engine and he can help us sort out the intermittent vibration on the prop shaft which has been occurring since we had the bearing replaced in Trinidad last year. We bought a flexible coupling to install on the shaft as well, to help resolve any future movement. In addition, we want to remove the diesel generator completely to clean it up, replace several parts and service it. Should be a busy few days, so long as everything goes to plan – fingers crossed.
We finished off the final layer of sealant in our deck screen/skylight/fixed hatches and were happy with the result. Big improvement.
Meanwhile, we hired a car from the nearby Santa Barbara Resort as they have a Budget desk there and could pick us up from the marina. It cost 75 pounds for 2 days but we only used it for shopping in the end, a bit of a waste but a necessity. Given the huge price hike at Budget Marine chandlery, we sourced our new genoa sheets and boom preventer from Caribbean Nautical and Island Water World at half the price. Their antifouling paint is also far cheaper and they are opposite Budget Marine.
Naturally we called in at the supermarket in town, Albert Heijn, an upmarket Waitrose type shop with a great range of goods and very fresh fruit and vegetables. The car also enabled us to visit Curacao Marine and meet up with our friends on ‘Blue’ who splashed again last week and are just on the dock now finishing getting the boat ready for the season.
We also found the fuel station in Santa Marta about 6 kms away from Seru Boca. It is opposite the Subway and KFC on the main road in. They fill up the cooking gas tanks there while you wait, for 74 pence a pound and were open 1300-1600. We now have 2 american style lightweight aluminium 10 pound tanks (replacing our 3 blue european 7 pound tanks) and were glad to get the empty tank filled up as we were running low on the other. Gas is more expensive in Bonaire.
In the end the only ‘sight-seeing’ we did was to drive through the local villages. The difference between some of the houses and the modern, expensive resort is quite extreme but this is typical of many islands where tourism is a major income. Some local people find it all too commercial and fear losing their identity and we wondered if that was the reason behind the graffiti on the advert for new villas.
Having missed the Thursday night cruiser’s meal due to not wanting to get soaked on the return dinghy ride into the wind and waves back to the marina, we drove round to The Pier and found it quiet on a Tuesday but still great food and location over the water.
This weekend we will get the boat ready for moving for the first time in almost 4 months, securing the contents of the cupboards for the inevitably rough but short trip to Willemstad. The new genoa lines can go on as Rob descends from checking the top of the mast and we will fill up the water tanks and do the laundry as there isn’t one at the boatyard. Then we face a few days of hard work in the heat reflected off the concrete in the yard and once we see the hull we can decide if we need to change the anodes and top up the antifouling paint. Given some of the 3 coats we put on last October has worn off so much that we can see the bright yellow primer underneath, I guess I’m going to have my roller and tray out again.