Sailing Somewhere

BONAIRE

It's November 28th, and yes, we're still in Bonaire. There are only 40 mooring balls here and since anchoring is not allowed there are a limited number of vessels hanging out. The weather window for many headed to the Panama Canal opened up and thus did the mooring field. There are only a few of us hanging around. Since we're heading north, it looks like we will be here until at least the first week of December. We're in no hurry, truthfully. It's safe, beautiful, we are able to obtain great food, and we've been diving everyday-sometimes twice a day! 


Friends,  Scott and Kristen, from the States paid us a visit during their vacation. It was great to spend time with them and go for a fantastic day sail.


There's a steady stream of cruise ships coming and going. Watching them dock has been interesting. Luckily none have come closer to the mooring field than the one in the picture below.


We've done some shopping and plan to rent a car this week and visit some of the sights to be seen on land, but here is the link for more of my underwater videos, because that's where we've been spending most of our time.


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November 7:  A 56 hour sail from Grenada had us arriving in the mooring field in Bonaire just as the sun set, but with the illumination of the full moon and some help from Phil on s/v Miss Molly locating a mooring ball, we were able relax after the passage.

 

We had great conditions and sailed most of the way, until we lost the wind and we were forced to motor sail the last few miles. The cat crew did well despite rolly conditions and rocky seas. They seem to be accustomed to their world moving unexpectedly. The anchorages in Grenada prepared them well. Even though we weren't sailing for a few months, the motion of the boat in Prickley Bay and St. George's Anchorages in Grenada made certain that nobody on board lost their sea legs.

The highlight of the passage was the escort we received from the playful dolphins that met us about fifteen miles out of Bonaire. They are special and always make me giddy when they make their appearance.

Bonaire is a distinctively special island. We haven't toured a lot inland, yet, but the residents here are adamant about keeping it clean, and what we have found is the tidiest island so far in our travels. Litter is a huge No-No!

Anchoring is not allowed in order to protect the reefs and the efforts are working. Jim and I have dove several times right from the stern of the boat. Some of the healthiest coral we have seen in the Caribbean can be found 50 feet from our mooring ball.

We'll be here in Bonaire for as long as they allow us (we are allowed to stay 90 days), or we get bored of diving (never!), or we get a fantastic window of opportunity with the wind to start moving north.

Saying Goodbye to Grenada

Snorkeling, diving, swimming under waterfalls, participating in Carnival, meeting locals and other cruisers from all over the globe: Grenada has been our home since June and I can't imagine a better place to wait out hurricane season. It will be sad to leave the friends that we've made and the beauty of this island, but we're on a sailboat and those sails need some use. We have plans, so we need to be moving on.

I can't really say what I will miss the most about Grenada, but Jim and I agree that the chocolate produced here is the best we have ever tasted. We took a tour of Crayfish Bay Organic Cocoa Estate and received not only an agricultural education on the farming of cocoa, but also a history lesson. We also learned how to make cocoa tea. We're going to miss the chocolate, but the chocolate is reason enough for a return visit.

We'll miss the fresh fish as well as the bounty of fruits and vegetables and delicious local food. The fishermen, especially Venus who seems to have a unique ability to appear off our stern just when we need a lobster fix, will be missed, but we promised him that we'd be back next season to sample the catch and get more of his advice on spices to use when cooking.

 

And of course, the lush beauty of this island is something that will call us back again and again. But the true beauty of this island rests in the friendly and welcoming people who live here and are eager to share Grenada with visitors.

One highlight of our time here in Grenada was having the opportunity to spend some time with the staff and students at Grand Anse Private Academy and I promised Sharon, their Principal, that I would return.When I do come back I hope to bring with me donations of children's literature and possibly used tablets, ipads or laptops.

These kids are great and their little school could use some supplies, but the technology would help a great deal. If anyone reading this has used laptops or tablets that are in working order that they'd like to donate, contact me or Sharon through her facebook page.

We're preparing to depart, but we'll certainly be back!  Grenada is an amazing island and we're going to miss it.

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  • #1

    Paul Gapper (Friday, 07 November 2014 05:57)

    May I ask you how easy you find it able to use wifi when on the hook. I have read that a lot of "free" hotspots now are password protected? What wifi booster do you use? We hope to start our full time sailing in April next year. Just trying to get the best equipment for the journey. Safe travels.

  • #2

    Michele and Randy (Monday, 10 November 2014 15:41)

    Hope you guys made it safely to Bonaire.....miss you!!
    Our projects are going well and we will be close behind you!!!

  • #3

    Sharon (Thursday, 13 November 2014 05:59)

    Paul, Every island is different and seeking out wifi can be a pain. Some islands, like Grenada, have a cruiser's wifi for purchase. Other islands, it's hit or miss. There are several wifi extenders on the market. we've gone through two already (Salt water corrosion is a pain). We are currently using the bullet and using an open source from shore. The cruise ships coming and going here, though, in Bonaire have a way of blocking our signal..

  • #4

    Sharon (Thursday, 13 November 2014 06:02)

    Michele and Randy!
    We miss you too! When will you be here???