Pause

Still in Aruba, well I am. Tanya is in Maine with family. Our trip is on hold for the near future, on hold not over! There are more important things in life, so we will see how things play out in the coming months and go from there. I am taking the boat to Panama on the next weather window and will probably fly home.

We’ll let you know when we’re back…

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New Position Report Map

We have a new vessel tracking map from www.yachttrack.org, the other map is still there just below the new map. I was growing tired of waiting for the old map to draw so I found this one which plots our track almost instantly. Check it out by clicking on the Position Report tab at the top of the page.

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Aruba

We made it to Aruba!

We will be here for the next two or three weeks.

I heart Aruba, should say I $ Aruba!

For the folks back home. Franchise?

What little we have seen of Oranjestad is really nice but very touristy and crazy expensive. It’s fun to visit places like this once in a while.

Whew, I think we’re caught up!

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Curacao

More on our short trip to Curacao.

Willemstad Curacao What To Do

We were at Barbara Beach at the Santa Barbara Resort, when we saw a little smoke in the distance. We were done for the day so we decided to take a look:

This was a tour boat that takes people out to Klein Curacao. Terrible.

Heading back to Willemstad, waiting at the bushalte. Someone took out the bus stop sign last Saturday night…

Fort Amsterdam which is the Governor’s official residence:

Fort Amsterdam

Fort Amsterdam WIKI

Through the tunnel:

Into the courtyard/parking area:

Church in the fort. There is a black speck just to the left of the small window at the top of the facade:

That black speck is a British cannon ball from an attack in the early 1800s:

Offices in the fort:

And back out to town:

Another government office just down the street:

The Chief Prosecutor’s Office. I thought it was a church…I don’t want to go to church there:

I thought this old cinema looked cool:

Shops and restaurants built into the waterfort ruins at the east entrance to Sint Anna Baai:

Waterfort Arches

The shops and restaurants are in that fort but actually around the corner facing the ocean:

Punda section of Willemstad:

We ate at The Iguana Cafe along Sint Anna Baai, it was very good and not too expensive. All they serve is Iguana…kidding:

Nice view of the pontoon bridge:

hey, what’s going on over there?”

This is the floating market across from the customs building. All those boats come from Venezuela loaded with fresh food to sell:

The market itself isn’t really floating it’s on the sidewalk but it’s about 100+ yards of all this beautiful fresh food, from Venezuela. We haven’t seen a market like this since Guyana:

Nice Venezuelan boat:

These three at the end sell fish in the early morning:

Maritime Museum just across the foot bridge from the floating market:

Maritime Museum

The museum has tours of the industrial harbor on Wednesday and Saturday. Actually there was a lot of historical narrative in the tour. Yay lets go look at a working industrial port!” What a trooper:

Everyone is herded from the museum down to the waterfront and onto a ferry boat:

Oil storage, and somewhere in there is a refinery. The refinery operation is currently out for bid if you’re interested in running an oil refinery. The contract comes with a clause that you have to clean up the massive oil spill the last operator caused just before they skipped town…

Dutch Military Base. That Dutch Navy ship just returned from delivering disaster relief to Sint Maarten:

Ship being scrapped:

Dry dock. They were just flooding the dock to take that ship out in the next day or two:

Next in line for the dock:

And next…

That oil tanker belongs to Venezuela and is currently being held here over money issues:

…more boats:

Container ship being placed pier side:

And back down Sint Anna Baai to Willemstad:

The pontoon bridge opened while we were crossing. Just starting to open:

The hinge at the other end:

And we found the Curacao sign:

This is Rif Fort on the Western entrance to Sint Anna Baai:

Rif Fort

There is multilevel shopping and dining inside the fort:

And a great view back across to Punda:

Walk out the other end of the fort into the cruise ship shopping area and Renaissance Hotel and Casino. They had a Tiffany’s, a huge Starbucks, and a really nice cinema along with all the other names you’d find in a cruise ship mall. Blah blah blah, but fun for a change:

And this wouldn’t be “livin’ the life” without a broken shroud!

Of course that involves going up the mast two times to replace it (for those of you that don’t live on a sailboat):

Nice view of anchorage B in Spanish Water:

Up again to install the new shroud. Curacao Rigging did an excellent job making our new shroud, unfortunately he did not have the parts to make the other three. The hurricanes that ravaged the leeward islands this year have made obtaining parts very difficult. Anyway, if you need rigging done in Curacao and have the time, email Gijs (Hice) at Curacao Rigging, great work at a fair price!

Curacao Rigging

With our new shroud installed it was time to move on. We checked out of Curacao and headed 25 miles up the coast to Santa Cruz Bay for a few hours of sleep before departing for Aruba…at 11pm… Passing Willemstad and Sint Anna Baai:

Have you ever been cut off in traffic? Conversation in our cockpit:

Dave, I’d go behind that tanker. No were doing eight knots, were fine. OK it’s your boat.” We really were doing 8 knots but as soon as we got near the bow of that tanker he sped up…I think it was deliberate, and I think they were up in that wheel house laughing about it, doubled over in pain laughing about it! I, I say I because Tanya told me not to, think I may have cut this tanker off…just a little maritime faux pas.

We anchored just outside of Santa Cruz Bay for dinner and a few hours of sleep before heading to Aruba. We ate, cleaned up and took a dip in the ocean before bed. The water there was so clear it was amazing. We departed at 11pm with winds predicted to be 15-20kts. We had sails up in 17-23kts of wind for about 15 minutes then the wind died. We ended up motor sailing in 7-10kts of true wind for the entire trip…ugh. Buy fuel in Curacao, it’s the cheapest you will find between Martinique and Aruba!

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Klein Curacao and Curacao

Pictures from Klein Curacao and Curacao.

The tour boats flock to Klein (little) Curacao during the day but depart by 4pm at the latest. We had the place to ourselves for a couple of afternoons.

Beautiful beach:

Dea Latis at Klein Curacao, storm raging in the distance. One of those squalls eventually came up and smacked the tar out of us for a solid hour…not fun:

Working lighthouse:

Dea Latis anchored in the distance:

Mechanical or electrical conduit at one time. The light is automated LED now.

Of course, Verboden Toegang:

Ship wreck on the east shore:

…back down…

…and across the lunar surface to check out the wrecks:

Nice big sailboat. The thought of this gives me a chill:

Shipwreck from the early 80’s:

Back across to Tranquility Base:

Tranquility Base

Dea Latis patiently waiting:

We spent a few days at Klein and moved on to the main island of Curacao. Santa Barbara Golf Resort at the inlet to Spanish Water:

Santa Barbara Resort

Inlet to the main anchorage of Spanish Water:

The hotel’s small marina…$3 per foot per night…too rich for us!

Marinas

So we anchored in Spanish Water, we’ll not tell that story or the story of getting to Willemstad to check in…to boring, yes that’s it. Now we’re downtown checking in. Once we checked in with customs we had to cross this pontoon bridge to get to another part of town to finish the process.

Queen Emma Bridge

Looking north to the vehicle bridge that links the city together:

Queen Juliana Bridge

Punda, which is the East side of Willemstad:

Customs building in Punda on the far left in that row:

Then into Otrobanda which is the West side of Willemstad, to find Immigration. Big commercial dredge pierside:

Go US Coast Guard! Stopped in Curacao…must be tough…

Walking under the bridge looking for our next stop:

…found it, buried down in the commercial port, Maritime Immigration Office:

Back across the pontoon bridge and home for some rest. The bridge has a big diesel engine with propellers on both sides to move the span open and closed. The bridge opened just after we crossed:

We had a long busy day so we just snapped a few pictures along the way to check in. We went back to Willemstad a couple of times so we do have better pictures and will put them up soon.

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