Posted by: rosyroadsadventures | July 29, 2012

Dushi Bida

N 12° 09.3′   W 68° 16.8′

Kralendijk, Bonaire.

We’ve had fun in Bonaire, exploring, relaxing and enjoying some great camaraderie with our friends on Renegade, Mystic Moon, Hobo and Apparition.   Some photos from the last week:

 

View from our mooring, flying the Bonaire courtesy flag. The yellow represents sun and nature, white symbolizes peace, liberty & tranquility and blue represents the ocean. The black ring with four points represents the compass used by local sailors to navigate around the world. The red star symbolizes the fighting and surviving spirit of the people in the six regions of the island.

  

Papiamentu for “sweet life”. The description well fits this laid-back, pleasant island.

Bonaire’s northwest coastline, and one of the easily accessed dive sites. The depth drops sharply just off the beach all around the island (where the water turns dark blue). Bob enjoyed the diving but got his fill in a week.

Brackish Goto Meer lake in the northern part of the island, where Caribbean flamingos reside. We could see them in the distance but couldn’t get close to them here.

Bob earned the title “donkey whisperer” befriending this little guy. This four-legged critter was thin and had cactus pieces stuck on him and we debated whether we should have him rescued by the local donkey sanctuary. There is a wild donkey overpopulation here, and one of the solutions they are considering is euthanizing some to feed to the zoo lions in Curacao. So we left well enough alone.

Innovative and effective cactus fences were spotted around the island

Lunch stop at Lac Bay on the southeast side of the island. The Bay is part of the Marine Park and vessels like ours are not permitted here. Sections are designated for windsurfing and kiteboarding.

Windward coast. We were happy to be in land vehicles instead of boats on this blustery day.

Finally got close to a few pink Caribbean flamingos on the south coast

Restored red slave huts where salt workers were forced to live many years ago. Each was about the size of a large dog house. The only redeeming feature was the gorgeous view.

Salt mines, these used for industrial and road salts, not table salt. The surrounding salt ponds were just as pictured – a striking pink hue.

  

Downtown market with one of the many murals we spotted in Kralendijk

Karel’s, a popular waterfront hang-out in Kralendijk close to the mooring field

Few language barriers here even though the official languages are Dutch and Papiamentu. Most of the signs were easy to figure out.

Some of the local fishing fleet. The low dock made it easy to off-load the dogs for a walk.

Deb and Bill hosted a spectacular dinner for 11 on Renegade with leg of lamb and an amazing spread of accompaniments

We were inspired to try an informal dinner for 8 aboard Mar Azul. Borrowed a couple of chairs, set up a chili bar in the galley and our guests brought elegant apps and desserts. A little cozy, but great fun. The Renegade group had left Bonaire or we might have had 13 aboard. Got us thinking how to better use our space for more comfortable entertaining. A future project . . .

One thing we have learned during our time here is that June and July are the windiest months of the year.  Go figure.  The cooling breeze is welcome but it can be hard to find passage weather with winds below 20 knots.  Looks like we have a break coming next week and plan to move on to Curaçao, our next destination.  It is 30 miles to the west and should be a 4 to 5 hour trip with favorable currents.

Our cruising companions have either moved on or are preparing to do so with the upcoming weather window.  All are going different directions, some east, some west, some on a fast pace, some more slowly.  We’ve benefitted from a lot of knowledge sharing from their experiences in Curaçao, Aruba, Colombia, Panama and the Western Caribbean and feel more comfortable tackling our upcoming itinerary.  We will likely see some of our friends again soon, some later, and for others this may be “good-bye”.

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Responses

  1. Great pics Elaine! I hope you didn’t kiss Bob after he kissed the donkey. I’ve added Bonaire to my bucket list… looks like an awesome place for kiteboarding and diving! Good luck with your next passage… of course 30 miles should be a walk in the park, after your last marathon passage.

    • Bob does have a gift with animals, but no worries, he didn’t make contact. Think you would love Bonaire, especially if you like diving. Just got in to Curacao last night – great passage. Hope you can rendezvous with the Mar Azul again – the guest cabin awaits!!


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