Sharon’s Blog 3/14/14 The “B”
We said our
good-byes, checked out of Grenada, bought fuel, and began the first multiple night passage in quite a while without Harold.
This passage had a new twist in that we would be sailing past Venezuela where there is a real pirate risk.
We decided to stay far off shore, maintain VHF radio silence, turn off our AIS (vessel tracking system) and lower our
American flag. Kim arranged a ham radio call with our friend, Felix, so he could record our position.
We felt really comfortable with this until a fellow cruiser told us 50 miles offshore might not
be enough! Well, not only did we not see any pirates, but we saw very few ships
for the entire 400 miles. One interesting thing did happen about an hour before coming into Bonaire
and only minutes after we hoisted our American flag. A military helicopter from Bonaire flew over and circled
us clearly checking us out. Kim had me run out to the cockpit to show we were not pirates.
is like no place we have ever been before. The “B” in the ABC islands was part of The Netherland
Antilles, now called the Caribbean Netherlands. This is our first Dutch province, but this one is
unique in that its proximity to Venezuela is very evident. Everyone seems to speak Dutch, Spanish, English,
and a dialect we do not recognize. The people seem very rule oriented and passionate
about the environment. It is easy to understand why as this place is gorgeous. The
water is crystal clear Caribbean blue. Only a few boat lengths from the shoreline, there is a cliff
like drop off. The waters surrounding the island are part of a national park. A plentiful
number of mooring buoys have been put in and rent for only $10 per night. We are only a short dingy ride
into town and the cruiser hang outs.
We wish our stay here could
be longer. This is definitely a place we recommend. Sadly, Kim’s
shingles are preventing him from diving. He is healing, but slowly. Erica and her family
are meeting us in Curacao next weekend. During our passage we had some engine problems which we need to
address. Our plan is to sail to Curacao on Sunday. This is the first time
our kids have visited us on this journey and we are very excited.
S/V Georgia J, moored in Bonaire.