And how we enjoy it to be back in the water! From the nice slight shaking of the boat to the freedom of being able to jump into the water or to move to another place, it is just great!
We stay 3 days on the mooring in the bungy bay, put back on the sails, adjust the height of the engines and finally stow away all the tools and materials.
Once again we enjoy Sabrina Francis singing in the Le Phare Bleu Lighthouse Ship and find out more interesting stories about our favorite Yanmar dealer…
For washing, one last Yoga class with Pierre Yves and some more errants we move the 3 miles over for two more nights to Prickly Bay.
And unfortunately only now that we are about to leave we discover the West Indies Beer Company who brew a large variety of great beers, we tasted almost all of them and I couldn’t find any off flavors!
Even the ales were very nice, with a lot of CO2 and very drinkable (even for a German/Swiss taste 😉 ).
Then we finally say goodbye to the island of Grenada and make a short test run of 45 miles to the sister island Carriacou in the north of Grenada. Time to try out autopilot, engines and sails and to make the crew used to being on a boat moving in the water again.
Since the weather systems dictate a break of 3 days before we can head on, we have a good time enjoying Carriacou.
First thing we hike up the almost 300 m to the Chapeau Carré (in the mid day heat of course, since it took us a while to find the right path going up…) and enjoy the views over the island and as far as down to Grenada.
Then we finally take out the bikes and make a tour around the island mainly on excellent dirt roads, excellent tour with 42 km and 500 meter of height! We get beautiful views on the rather rough atlantic side and over to Petite Martinique up to Union Island, Palm Island and Mayreau.
From the Paradise beach in L’Esterre Bay we enjoy a beer after almost rounding the island and have a post card view over to Sandy Island. Somehow moved I think about the good time we had over there in March together with my family but also there it was the last time I talked to my dad on the phone…
On Saturday morning we fill up the diesel (which is not expensive duty free, but a lot more than in Grenada we find out too late…) and finally head direction west. Well, we still go a bit northwest, since we don’t want to be too close to Venezuela…
On the a bit more than 3 days and 416 miles we find best sailing conditions, a full moon almost through the whole night and hardly any rain. Well, the wind could have been a bit more, but we cannot complain. Especially during the night we carefully watch what traffic is going on around us.
On the first day we finally test our new sail, a “screecher”, that we have ordered in February from the Doyle factory in Barbados. With 75 m2 and a fast furling system it gives us more speed than the 45 m2 genua and a reasonable possibility to react when a squall is approaching compared to the Parasailor which can be very difficult to be taken down.
On the second and third day there is so little wind, so we go during the day with the Parasailor, during the night we also prefer the Screecher.
This time we don’t catch any fish, maybe because we are too slow in the water – the speed in the water is only 3.5 knots, while we have a currant of almost 2 knots with us.
While we enjoy our sundowner beer I am just thinking “what a boring passage”, when I see action in the water next to us.
A few moments later we are accompanied by at least 15 to 20 dolphins, all lining up to play with the two bows of our She San, jumping and surfing in the water, it really looks like they are having a lot of fun!
The next morning we approach Bonaire and as flat as it is we immediately recognize that this must be the Netherlands 😉
Turning around the corner we think to have almost arrived, when we realize that there is too much wind for our screecher on a course too close to the wind. We try to roll it in, but it doesn’t work, the rolling line is wrapped around the sail and the furling system, a complete mess. Reto cuts the endless line, unwraps the bundle, I get some thin rope to fix it again and somehow we manage to take it out and back in again.
Soon we see what has caused the disaster: the rope on the bottom got lengthened by the strength of the wind, therefore the whole sail made a curve like a banana and couldn’t be rolled in properly any more.
With a new rope at the bottom we try it again, but something is still not right and again we have a complete mess with the sail not being rolled in properly and the ropes too tight around it, so there is only one solution, taking it down and pushing it as it is down into the cabin.
In the meantime we are almost in Kralendijk, when with quite some speed a small boat approaches us – it is the dutch coast guard and two officers step on board wearing their large military shoes – I just swallow… they check and photograph boat papers and passports, fill out papers and finally they check the whole ship including the bilge, all cupboards and stow rooms.
Then, finally, we can go ahead and chose one mooring boy and after a short break it is time to visit customs and immigration.
Here we hear for the first time the local language, the Papiamento and we recognize that many of the words are close to Portuguese. After 1.5 hours also the lady from immigration arrives and within 5 minutes we are free to go with the stamp in the passport.
Another stop on the other side of the town to register for the usage of the mooring boys, we have no other choice since anchoring is strictly forbidden on the whole island.
Just as we start to enjoy our sundowner our neighbor Martin comes over, welcomes us and invites us to join the next days barbecue with the cruisers on the Klein Bonaire island just across the bay.
We feel welcome and happily accept and within 24 hours we have met some 10 of a total o 30 yachts who are currently here on Bonaire.
The following days diving becomes the main activity,
just a jump into the water at the back of the boat and there is a lot to explore on the reef right next to the boat.
On the first dive two very curious french angel fish come up to our nose and in the fist moment we are almost scared because they come so close. They stay with us for the complete dive, it seams that they like us 😉
Later we google that they are known not to be scared and approach humans/ divers naturally..