Time passes so quickly! We have now been in Bonaire for 2 and a half weeks!
We counted down until we left Trinidad until the “To Do” is done. The last month we spent chasing down contractors to finish the work like install the new diesel tank, install the new stainless steel arch and the sun screens. Karen was busy recover all the cushions downstairs, and we all including Dwayne continued to rebuild, replace and install all the new tools for Interlude. List of new tools: new water tank, diesel tank, store area, generator box, water pump, freezer, deck shower, rain catcher, regulators and all the things that go with installation. As you can imagine a 5 minute job usually takes 5 hours because something else breaks or it just does not fit the way you planned.
The last day before we left Trinidad we had a little impromptu party with some of the people on the dock and some of the contractors. As the party was going one of the contractors was still installing the final sunscreen panels. We were bound and determined to leave the next day, as Cheryl had $10 riding on our departing date. (Cheryl won, interest is accruing.) It was a beautiful send off. To our surprise a contractor and a security guard gave us parting gifts, it was very touching.
We had a very easy passage from Trinidad to Grenada. Either no wind or lightening, so we motored. We had Dwayne with us; a third set of hands at the helm makes any passage easier. You cannot image how nice it is to be on the move again!
In Grenada we spent most of our time provisioning, getting the things that are easiest or the least expensive there. But we also said our ‘see yeahs’ to Altair and Dream Chaser as they are staying in the chain. We also said good bye to Johnanthan at Island Water World, when next we hear of him, he will be back in England. We went to some of our favourite local haunts, had some cheap lunches, hiked the hill to the fort overlooking St George’s, hike the hill to see the stadium and swam in the sea. We tried the water maker for the first time, no leaks!! We toasted with our water in Champagne flutes, then with real champagne.
We then left Grenada for Bonaire. Almost a 400 mile passage, to be made in one step. We had our passage weather reviewed by Denise on Tiger Lily, which added comfort that we had not missed something in the weather report. We had 5-10 knots for the first 24 hours, so we motored, with our new Raymarine Wheel Pilot doing all the work. The next 24 hours we had 10 knots, so we had the head sail up and the motor on. The last 12 hours we had 15 knots and 6 foot seas, so we hand steered as we could beat auto in course and it broke the monotony. We arrived in Bonaire just after 9pm, after 62 hours and picked up a mooring ball, as is required. We saw 3 pods of dolphins during the passage, with pictures to prove it!
As we were coming into Bonaire Dwayne caught a Mahi Mahi, the first fish he has ever caught and the first fish ever caught on Interlude! As Karen was sailing, Dwayne and Cheryl filleted the fish. The first question Dwayne asked Cheryl was “Do you know how to fillet a fish?” Cheryl responded “No, do you?” To which the answer was again ‘No’. So they winged it and they still have all their fingers.
The next day we cleared in to Bonaire and went to pay for a month of moorings (it is a marine park, so no anchoring). As we were doing a basic course with Dwayne we went for a day sail, with 20 knots, a fun time for all the tacks/gybes and crew over boards that are needed. We certainly started our time in Bonaire with a fully charged battery.
We spent a day provisioning and Dwayne getting his ticket back to Trinidad. That night at dinner we noticed a sailboat passing way to close to our butt! It was Avalanche, a Danish boat we meet in Trinidad. They picked up the mooring next to us. Dwayne had a chance to say ‘see yeah’ to them before he had to fly off home.
We went with Avalanche to a restaurant “Casablanca” an Argentinean steak house that we had been to in 2003. It was still just as good. They headed off to Aruba shortly after that.
We were in Bonaire for almost a week before we went diving! But we are making up for it now. With the underwater camera we have taken some great pictures of the fish, and a learning more of their names (Fred, Barney and Sam). The reefs are in great condition and lots of fish. We are the leaders in spotting turtles at Yellow Submarine, the dive shop we are renting tanks from. In fact we seem to be the only ones recording sightings. Cheryl is now tired of most types of file fish, especially as I love them and perhaps take too many pictures of them! Cheryl is on the hunt for a seahorse, we saw one here last time.
We met Audrey Paige, friends of Sea Cycles. We had a marvellous day on their boat, snorkelling at Klein Bonaire. They needed to turn on the diesel to charge the battery, so suggested we go to Klein!
We rented a car and went to a beach on the windward side of the island and both Cheryl and I had massages, birthday presents from my brother Bruce. It made for a lovely day. Saturday we dove down the south end of the island to dive, again on Sunday. But on Sunday we had Dennis and Allayne from Audrey Paige with us. Then we had a late lunch at a Chinese food restaurant. Another lovely day.
Slowly we are getting over the tiredness from all the work done in Trinidad. I have basically finished all the items on my to do list from Trinidad. It is time to start a new list. Cheryl still has an item or two, but nothing that is too urgent that we cannot enjoy Bonaire.