Travel Journey 8 | Curacao – Bonaire

Travel Journey 8 | Curacao – Bonaire  


After a three-week stay in CuraƧao we sailed to Bonaire against wind and current direction due to agreements with friends and family. We already knew that our ship is not that good at cruising, but now the numbers confirm it too. As the crow flies, the part we have to cover is only 30 miles, we covered more than 80 miles. “You are crazy if you are going to cross that part” we hear many sailors say here. Out of convenience, it is unfortunately often chosen to use the engine for these types of distances. For us, however, it still feels good to sail as close to the coast as possible and only to sail the last 100 meters on the electric motor to the mooring.

 

The deep blue water at Bonaire turns fifty meters off the coast into beautiful clear blue sea. There are two rows of buoys (moorings) with a total of around 40 ships that move nicely with the wind direction with their bow. We are on a mooring, which is less than twenty meters from the boulevard. It doesn’t matter where you enter the water at this island, the entire coastline is dotted with the most beautiful corals. It is therefore not unusual that we see divers coming under our ship. To maintain a good relationship with these divers we have to plan a toilet trip! Explanation seems unnecessary to me. We are in Bonaire for four weeks and enjoy the nice weather and the beautiful underwater world. In addition to our ship, a water polo field is installed every day, swimming pools are not needed here. It is nice to see all the activity on and around the boulevard. Not only tourists, but also “locals” enjoy the excellent Caribbean climate every day. My mother also decided to come along with my sister, stepfather and step brother for two weeks.

We regularly make a trip from one underwater paradise to another, such as Klein Bonaire. With our dinghy it is fifteen minutes sailing with wind and waves until you reach Klein Bonaire. The beach of this small island is not accessible because of the sharp reefs around. We are forced to put the dinghy on a buoy and let ourselves fall back into the water with flippers and snorkel. A sea turtle is startled and with a few strokes it is out of sight. That is promising! Arriving at the reef I see the most beautiful underwater aquarium I have seen so far. Beautiful red, blue and yellow colored fish don’t seem to care. Slowly we play pinball with the current over huge underwater ferns, coral and coral pipes that look more like brains. This appears to be fire coral after a painful collision, but I have to go deeper into the other species. Indescribably beautiful in any case.

After more than an hour, we stop, because we are fed up with all the little jellyfish. Every few minutes you get a nasty sting from these critters. Especially those in the face are annoying! On the way back to our ship we can just stop the snorkels. High waves hit the bow. Our boat has only just managed to survive against the wind and waves and if we don’t want to sink, one person has to pump the tubes back and forth and scoop water out of the boat. A few days later a piece of sailing is planned. In the meantime Niels and I have been living on this ship for 5 years and we have traveled more than 7000 miles, but my family (except for father) has not yet made a nautical mile with the New Nexus. Just like every day there is a beautiful 5 Beaufort and we decide to go to “A thousand steps”. My mother, who was already seasick on board our ship in Groningen with the slightest swing, is now fully enjoying the helm. The fear of hanging over the railing for a whole day on the high seas disappeared after an hour and we make a nice trip around Klein Bonaire. Unfortunately, we do not catch any meters of swordfish, Mahi Mahis and tuna that day, and they should believe me on my word if I tell them about the huge fish we have already caught during this trip.

Unfortunately, this beautiful island also has a downside. We regularly go to the north side of the island, where the wind and waves crash on a rocky coast. Between the waves we see crates and tons floating, the tide line is marred by a 10 meter wide strip littered with plastic waste. Never before have we seen so much plastic together. When we have 20 garbage bags full, we see no difference. I notice that I feel sad when I walk around here. It will take months, maybe years, to clean up this mini-piece of the world. And if you can believe the newspapers, this area is not even the most polluted. After these busy weeks, the next challenge is on the schedule, Los Roques. This is an island group about 100 miles off the coast of Venezuela, the country that we tried to avoid just over a month ago. The situation would now be stable, but we are being warned about corrupt government officials and the fact that there is no money on these islands. We call Alejandro, a man who is mentioned on Noonsite as an expert by experience when it comes to the political situation on Los Roques.

He is currently in Italy but he emphasizes that it is NOT safe to go there. Then also ask for the experiences of fellow sailors. After gathering a lot of information about procedures that you have to follow upon arrival, we finally started with a backpack full of dollars on the next trip against wind and current direction. This time a full two days at sea with 6 Beaufort winds right on the head. Joshua and Gideon also join us on board. They just flew over from the Netherlands and will film as much as possible for the documentary we are working on. For them it will be the first time that they also sail at night. For Jos this is an extra exciting experience because he became a father last year and never had to miss his son for 2 weeks. After some explanation about the steering of the ship we make a plan for the services. We will each make a three-hour shift, after which you will have 9 hours off after your shift, what a luxury! Even before the sun goes down, the first rod is bent. A nice tuna is frolicking on the deck a little later. With great care the fresh tuna is cut into sashimi and sushi and less than an hour after our catch we enjoy the tastiest fish of all times. How simple and beautiful life at sea can be! Off to Los Roques …