Christmas was a whirl of social events, leaving us needing a day off to recover. 22 of the Rally participants enjoyed an excellent meal at The Pier on Christmas Eve, with spicy pumpkin soup, tournedos and apple spring rolls being favourites. The following day 8 of us were booked into Pop’s Place, a shack style beach restaurant serving excellent local food for only 15 pounds and that included drinks! They offer goat stew, fresh fish and lion ribs with fried plantain, rice or fries.
We were due to arrive at 1300 but were just getting into the dinghy to get ashore when the sky went black and we could see the rain lashing down further up the bay. With a short trip and fast dinghy we thought we’d make it to the dock before the rain. Wrong! Dumping the dinghy we ran barefoot to shelter and joined Robert and Carla and the lone security guard for half an hour whilst we waited. Jeff and Di took a slight lull to arrive wet too but in the end the 6 of us just gave in and walked to the beach. Fortunately it did stop and we were steam cleaned and dry by the time we left.
Dessert was back on Beyzano, my Christmas cake and a ginger biscuit yule log courtesy of Carla. Another great day and good to spend with friends when you are missing your family and friends.
Yesterday we held a dominoes session on the boat to introduce Jeff and Di to the game. Steve and Linda drove over from Willemstad for 1600 but we were still playing by 2200! It turned into a crazy and hilarious game, brilliant fun. Half way we stopped for mini pizzas, sweet and sour meatballs, Christmas panna cotta and cake. Naturally all of us, except for Steve, drank a little too much so today was a rest day to recuperate after all the socialising.
Lately we have had a few rain showers with some high winds through the anchorage. The wind off Colombia has been gusting up to 39 knots with big seas, so we have been watching the forecasts carefully. Miracles do happen though and at the moment the grib files and Windguru site is showing a good lull in the winds after New Year, perhaps long enough for us to get straight to Santa Marta. Our priority is a safe passage to Colombia, so if we need to skip Aruba, then so be it. The rally has a planning meeting on Tuesday ahead of an Indonesian buffet social evening, so we will all discuss plans then but we intend clearing out on the 31st to up anchor on the 1st and spend the night in one of the bays in the NW of Curacao. Whether we head for Aruba or Colombia on the 2nd depends on how the weather develops between now and then but we are looking forward to setting sail again.