Bonaire in the ABC islands
Latitude 12°09.1 North Longitude 068°16.7 West
Our time in the Windwards had come to an end. We didn’t have time to go further south, we’ll have to save the other islands for another time. We left at 7.00 and motored around to the west of the island. Fai Tira and Bionic were behind us. The wind was a bit fluky and a couple of squalls came over but by 9.00 the engine was off and we were sailing along nicely with the twizzle up.
Our usual Dolphin escort appeared for half an hour or so in the afternoon. There was a nice F3/4 blowing from behind and we travelled 127 miles in the first 24 hours. By 22.00 on the second night the wind had picked up to a F7 and we reefed the sails down. We did 159 miles in the second 24 hours. Although it was good to have a fast passage it meant we were going to arrive in the dark. We tried to slow the boat down a bit but with such good winds she raced forward. Fai Tira caught us up and went on ahead. We rounded the headland at 2.00 in the dark and crept up to the moorings. Fai Tira had found a buoy and we followed slowly and picked up a buoy too at 3.45. Time for bed.
The next morning we awoke to a great view of the town and a lovely bar on the landing stage. As usual we went in search of the customs. We had all our papers stamped and signed and then had to go to the police station to get our passport stamped by immigration. If you think EU bureaucracy is bad, come to the Caribbean. We had a look around the town but it was election day and a lot of shops were shut but I found a great supermarket. I hadn’t seen a proper supermarket since Martinique so it was good to stock up with lots of nice food.
Some of the other BWR boats arrived later that day and went into the marina. We took the dinghy along to see what we were missing.
Firstly it was a good mile out of town plus it was full of gin palaces and expensive, we decided to stay out on the buoy. This boat has a familiar name!!
Later that evening someone won the election, we weren’t sure whom but a lot of noise was being made. Car horns were sounded as they paraded up and down the street.
We watched it all from Camomile’s cockpit with Pete and John from Fai Tira and Debs and Eileen from Scot Free with a few bottles..
The next morning we bought a pass to go snorkelling. Bonaire is one of the best dive sights in the world and once you’ve bought your pass you can go where you like. Debs on Scot Free is a qualified diving instructor and she had arranged to take some of the others diving.
We all got into 3 dinghies and motored across to the island opposite. Bill and I weren’t joining the divers but we snorkelled over the top of them. The coral gardens were beautiful. I watched a turtle surface and then swam along with it; they are so graceful. There were so many fish of different size and colour it was spectacular and the water was so warm it was like a tepid bath. We walked along the beach for a while then returned to the dinghies and motored back to the boats.
We spent most of the next day doing more shopping and preparing the boat for the passage to the San Blas islands which we had been warned could be rough. We took a walk along the waterfront to the customs house to check out and get another set of papers for the next port.