Whilst we continue using up our dive tank refill cards with lovely early morning dives under the boat, we are checking the weather daily to establish if the forecasts are accurate and we have a good pattern emerging.
Last Friday everyone here went into a spin as Chris Parker mentioned a low developing in the south west Caribbean which looked likely to become a tropical storm and worse. As Lenny did, it would go against the usual path of moving from the east and curling north then back east but instead come from the west and move east. This is especially dangerous in the Caribbean as all the lee shores where the yachts shelter become windward and suffer big swells which cause havoc to the bays and shorelines. The wrecked ships on the beach in Portsmouth, Dominica, were pushed there by such an event and many a town’s waterfront is washed away, dinghy docks with them.
So, I listened to Chris’s daily SSB broadcast on 8137 to find out if we needed to think about moving into a marina next week but fortunately it appears this low isn’t going to continue developing and we all breathed a sign of relief.
A wonderful calm period of several days of light winds and low swell had been predicted at the end of this week but this soon disappeared! In any case we don’t want to go to Colombia too early or we will be stuck in the marina for 6 weeks until the rest of the rally boats arrive in mid January, so we are hoping another nice calm of 4 days presents itself in early December. If not, we will just stay in Curaçao for Christmas as originally planned and head off to Aruba with everyone on January 2nd. Many here need to head north and northeast, some even doing what we did in 2013 and motorsail east for a few days to Grenada. At least this time we are going downwind with the current and wind hopefully in our favour.
Meanwhile we have been socialising of course, with a great evening on ‘Resolute Of Thames’ with 8 OCC members in total. We also had a more official OCC gathering in Karel’s Bar so Ken from ‘Badgers Sett’ could get a photograph of the 14 of us to send into the magazine. Another 2 OCC boats arrived the next day, so there are now 18 OCC members on the moorings in Bonaire. No edition of the OCC magazine is complete without a picture of Ken and Judith having a drink or meal somewhere, so we were all glad to oblige!
We walked to the hospital one morning to ask about having yellow fever inoculations as we read that you should have a certificate if you want to enter Belize from a country which has yellow fever and Colombia has. There is a clinic one can attend on Tuesdays at 1000 in Kaya Neerlania, just along the road from the new Budget Marine building and they will conduct a short assessment and give the jabs the same day. Perfect.
Diving has been lovely. Just getting into the clear water is wonderful enough but to be able to slowly descend to over 20 metres below the surface is a real experience. It can be very colourful and busy with hundreds of fish in all shapes, colours and sizes, with different personalities and behaviours. I was lucky to see a smooth trunkfish juvenile, a tiny pea-sized black dot with yellow spots that we rarely find. Like the adults, they have small fins and look like clockwork toys when they swim, really cute. We also find too many of the beautiful but deadly lionfish, an import to the Caribbean but a voracious predator with poisonous spines that can destroy a reef in no time and sting humans badly. Lionfish hunts are organised and they are good to eat but the battle to eradicate them is far from over.
It is magical to be floating in the water, weightless and gently gliding around. Rob and I sometimes ‘dance’, holding hands and slowly waltzing around and we feel remarkably graceful in the water, for a change! I feel like laughing as we must look so daft but my regulator (air supply) would fall out of my mouth if I did that. Not good so far underwater.
We will probably stay here another couple of weeks and then sail downwind to Spanish Water to anchor for free and save some money on the moorings, although they only cost 7 pounds a day. It is the endless meals, ice creams and tempting supermarket items which soon add up!