Thursday, October 31, 2013

Ahhh Bonaire…. Cruisers and Divers Paradise..


Dear Friends,

We arrived in Bonaire early afternoon, and what a nice voyage it was… Once having rounded the southern tip of the Island, in warp speed we arrived at the anchorage…. oops.. no… you cant anchor, you just find yourself a great, clean set of of moorings… and your ok.


Ofcourse, still optimistic that we would catch some more fish…an eager Kite surfer blew that hope literaly out of the water.. as he passed too close to our stern, and wham…. Kite surfer crashed (sorry Dude…), our line snapped, lure gone… luckily Kite Surfer was not injured.

The great thing is that allthough you are on the lee side of the island, winds continue rather good, and no waves or swell…. so we stormed our way into Kralendijk….


There are aprox 50 moorings, all well kept and maintained. Of course this doesnt come for free, and a snappy Us$ 10/day is charged (payable at Harbour Village Marina). But, it is worth it…. the cleanest water ever, and one can scuba dive right of your boat, as all the moorings are placed just on the edge of the coral reef…


If you want to stay out of the music vibes, dont pick up the mooring nearby Karels Cafe…(as we did the first night..)… at three o clock in the morning, their  resident DJs where still pounding away…

After almost 14 days of nice little, seemingly untouched islands, it was nice to walk around in such a nice town of Kralendijk. Well kept, clean in a Dutch kind of way…. They even have a mega sized AH supermarket.

So, our days became filled with, riding our bikes, scuba diving, shopping, riding our bikes some more, and scuba diving some more. We checked out various diving sites (just so you understand, we took the Onda Boa to a specific diving site, well charted and soon you spot the yellow buoy with even the name of the diving site…. then it is just a matter of tying up to the buoy, get your diving gear ready and of into the deep blue…

P1040557bonaire mapa mergulhos

Just awesome. We found Karpata and Hilma Hooker the two most spectacular sites (the later being a wreck check for the movie: We did not go to check out the East coast of Bonaire (mainly because of the $$$$$), but surely that will remain our list.

We did want to check out the thousands and thousands of Flamengos in the National Park, but that turned out to be a bit of a disapointment….



When we told that to the park ranger, he didnt fail to explain to us that those pink feathered friends are able to fly and so he couldnt tell if, when and where those birds would show up. Honestly, we didnt like the park… Unless you like cactus, iguanas, goats and a handful of flamengos… But on the up side, some very interesting diving sites (beach entry)



The last day on Bonaire we visited the other side of the island.. Salt production ponds, run by Cargill (how clever is that… just let the water evaporate, bulldoze the salt into piles, put it on conveyer belts, and load vessels). I assume and hope they pay Bonaire a nice little sum of money for this.


Anyway, time for us to go (Bonaire is nice, but also rather expensive) and so of we went to Curacao (nice little day trip away).

And, I amost forgot…. We had the honour and privilige to have anchored close to M.Y Tatoosh ( We thought we had seen already sufficient super yachts, but this one…. It not only had a helicopter on board, but also a 40ft sailboat (monohull) and 2 speed boats, it also has a cinema theatre and a crew of 34.


One can only wander…


* White slave referes to a dive site, and a monument for the slaves that worked in the saltmines

All the best,


Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Los Aves Sotavento, Venezuela


Dear Friends,

Just island hopping, on our way to Bonaire, we also visited this last island archipel. On  approach the Coast Guard called in and we were cleared to anchor of Isla das Palmas.


Windy, but kind of protected.  We saw heaps, i mean literaly mountains of conch shells... somebody had themselves a great conch meat party... and of course the windward side of P1040416P1040419

the island full of debris and PET bottles.



Some fishermen came by and we swapped a bottle of Grenada rum for two Dog snappers.

The next day, for security reasons (as the wind was blowing hard and we were kind of anchored wedged in between two coral shoals), i decided to re-anchor to a somewhat more protected spot.


During a snorkel  i spotted a gigantic lobster, took some pics to show to Dora (who had stayed on board), and bravely  she geared up to catch the animal (bare handed??). By the time we got back, the monster was gone.

The winds picked up but we were in a good place.



Early the next morning, at Sunrise, we set sail to Bonaire...

Do well…

Best regards


Monday, October 28, 2013

The flip side of paradise

Dear friends,

Before we continue posting about our travels, this post is about something else. We don't want to create the false impression that we are just bumming around, holiday 24/7, and not a worry on our minds...Boat maintenance, repairs, and things that were working absolutely perfect yesterday, but crashed today.... All of that and more, also make part of the livingaboard experience, and we just deal with it, the moment those kind of issues appear. 
Truth must be told: fixing things on a boat is still better in the tropics then in higher latitudes...
Here a current to do list:
* checking battery bank, and organizing shorepower hook up
* solving fresh watertank puzzle ( seems we cant use the starboard tank for some mysterious reason)
* DVD repair
* verifying solarpanel electrical production
* changing oil and fuel filters ( on of my favourites)
* fixing the washdown pressure pump
* fixing the ice box compartement of the fridge
* fixing the dinghy... It is leaking(slowly), and now everytime before using I have to pump it up...

You guys get the picture.... In the meantime it doesn't stop us from going to new places, checking different cultures, food and meeting people.

Battery bank, still ok?

Flat dinghy

A great week to all.

Best regards

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Los Aves Barlavento, Venezuela

Dear Friends,

A nice comfortable sail (genaker only) to this small island archipel (still Venezuela).  A trip of aprox. 30 miles. We caught another fish just leaving Sarqui.
On this island., as per the name, a lot of birds (red foot boobies). Nicely anchored in a mangrove surrounded bay, it was decided to have a bonfire and barbeque on the beach that night. And so it happened.... chilled espumante (was actualy intended to open upon arrival in Bonaire, but this was just a much better ocasion..), a great fish on the grill, a new moon, stars.... i dont need to say more...

The day after....

As Los Aves Sotavento is only 10 miles away... we continued our journey going west....

Take care,

Friday, October 18, 2013

Los Roques, Venezuela

Dear friends,

Again, an easy going passage from Isla Blanquilla to Los Roques. The winds, always from the Eastern quadrant, were a little too light to make descent time, but around noon we approached the lighthouse of Sebastopol, the entrance in the coral archipel. What a sight.. amazing transparent water, colors changing from deep blue, turquois, light green.... just  fantastic. Behind the reef no swell and it was decided to anchor the first night behind a mangrove island called Buchiyaco.

Sebastopol reef entrance

Buchiyaco Mangrove

Not easy to handle..

Afternoon stroll

We did some snorkeling on a shoal nearby the Onda Boa, but that came to an abrupt end when Dora spotted a Baracuda.... in no time she was back inside the dinghy as she had read that baracudas are rather curious fish and have no issue in actualy atacking divers.... I admit, that I still was blisfull in ignorance because hadnt read that article yet.
Anyway, back to the Onda Boa, took Lucky for a swim, and she decided to explore on her own the mangrove island. This was a new experience for her, and obviously she got stuck in the mangrove trees and roots...A rescue operation was prepared, and after some heroic mangrove tree climbing and getting tortured by a trillion mosquitos, Lucky was saved from a dreadfull night in the mangroves.

The next day, we sailed (genoa only) towards Fransisqui.... dodging shoals and corals (easy to see ).  Dora caught a, what we later identified as a king mackerel, fish.... great ! Lunch guaranteed. And just before we arrived at destination, we caught half a fish... that is to say.. we caught the fish, but another predator (probably that same baracuda) had munched away half of the fish (also a king mackerel)... what was left still was suficient for a great meal.
Anchored in the bay formed by the two Fransisqui islands, we went ashore and were pleasantly surprised to find a nice restaurant Casamarina (we did have lunch there the next day). Some great snorkeling, untill another baracuda was sighted.

Weaving through shoals and coralbanks, easy to see

Yipee... another uh.... Jack Mackerel

Anchored at Fransisqui

Ah.. how sweet...

Rough dispute on the coral bank...

The next day, we went on a, say unauthorized , land excursion. Just before we left, a power boat with oficials from Inparques came by to check up on us. Everything in order, however they summoned us to check in with the Coast Guard.
 We took the dingy to Gran Roque. The main island and comercial activities.  A very nice, well kept and pitoresq village. A great number of guesthouses(pousadas). Even and  ATM (however this one turned out to work only for locals). So we asked around where we could change some Us$. In a kind of hush hush tone, we were told to seek out Sr Jose Moreno at the water and other liquids distribution outfit. And so we managed to change 40 Us$ against  40 bolivar... So, we became rich... (Atualy we found the prices of goods and services very reasonable  (internet acces for 30 /hour; well not realy an hour because all of a sudden the power supply was cut...). We wanted to have  lunch at one of the beach restaurants, but it  was going to take too long before they could serve us, so we decided to go back to the boat and have lunch at Casamarina instead. The ride back to the Onda Boa, was rather bumpy but we managed. Pasta fruto del mar... Between the two of us we spend 720 bolivar, so we thought thougt that was a bargain.

Gran Roque


Very well kept

Beach front pousadas

Pasta Fruto di Mare, Casamarina

We still had a bunch of bolivars to spend, so we set of for another  land excursion. Well first we went to another anchorage, at least closer to the village.
Unfortunately, we bumped into the same guy of Inparques (yesterday) and again he urged us to check in with the Coast Guard. And so we did... or actualy we tried...honestly.
Long story short, the good guys of the coast guard werent realy interested in our presence, and without any hassle let us stay, as we were going to leave the next day anyway.
Great, with  still almost 800 bolivars, burning a hole in our pocket, Dora got her cute beach dress, and i splashed out on a deep blue hair band. So, that was that, money gone and everybody happy.

Gran Roque

Getting too much??

Beach dress

After a rather bumpy night (not much protection from the easterly winds), the next morning set sail to Sarqui, yet another blue, pristine, fluffy beach, turquoise island. More of the same, but still spectecular. Done some great snorkeling and Dora even had a close encounter with a manta (devil) ray.

Anchorage Sarqui

Spot the Manta Ray

Finaly something yellow...

The next morning, nice breeze, genaker time.... and on our way to Los Aves Barlovento.  record time, we hooked another fish, a Dog Snapper....what happened to this delicacy, please read on in the next post.

All the best,