Grenada to Bonaire with NO pirates

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While we were waiting in Grenada, we did have a couple of wonderful weeks sailing. First we celebrated Christmas with Michaela, and enjoyed Tobago Keys, where we swam with the turtles, had lobster on the beach and watched the fantastic underwater life at the reef surrounding these small deserted  atols. Following Michaelas return to civilization Marie and I had the opportunity to visit Sandy Island – a small sand strip in the ocean, with a reef around. Not as famous as Tobago Keys, but every bit as fantastic, and much more deserted.

They still manufacture 1200 liter of rum a month
Tobago Keys, food is being prepared
The local business men
View over Clarks Court marina

Then the day arrived and our spareparts for the water maker arrived from  Norway, the technician came at the agreed time and suddenly, we were ready to depart.

Finally we left Granada with a happy boat and a very happy crew. We were engaging in a three nights and 460 nm journey from Granada to Bonaire. We were going west after an extended stay on Grenada, where all sorts of weird things happened to the boat. But the main learning was, NEVER let other people work on your boat, when you are not present

But the sailors finally got out and smelled the sea, felt the waves and got into zen with North Star. The first 24 hours or so, you are concerned. You listen and feel the boat – is all well. And then suddenly the partnership is re-established, you thrust. And being out there far from any shore, thrust in your ship, in your crew and in yourself is crucial for your ability to enjoy. I have tried both and I am sure some of you have as well! Not so great when you don’t have thrust.

It was a great sail. 15-24 knots coming in on 140 degrees, on our stern corner. We sailed a north westerly course for the first 36 hours to stay about 150 nm off the Venezuelan coast, where rumours had warned of piracy.

So when the radio suddenly came alive an hour before dark, we were a bit jumpy. “North Star this is the Venezuelan Marine”. And the call came from a cargo ship north of us in rather bad english. We discussed if we should reply, but being boarded by the Marine, and searched for narcotics is not so nice either, so we replied. It took about ten minutes and then everything were quiet and it became dark. We did not know what would happen next, and I would say, things were a little tense. But nothing happened and we turned at the southerly light tower on Bonaire around 8 am, in 25 knots after a really nice sail; where we once again re-established the thrust between Marie and I and North Star. Finally we are on our way towards the Pacific, the BIG dream after six months in the Eastern Caribbean.

Now we have been on Bonaire for a couple of weeks, diving from the beach, refreshing our skills under water in a big way. There is about 95 registered diving sites here. Many double reef experiences and a very strict protection policy of the ocean – so it is really beautiful.

Bonaire is Dutch and have been Dutch for 300 years. It is also a place where two cruise ships arrive 6 days a week which is probably both a curse and a blessing. It brings business to the island but when up to 8000 turists rampage the island from 9-5 it has a rather big impact and not all of it is nice. It is also a rather flat island, so the trade winds blow 15-25 knots everywhere and all the time.

You can buy everything here as the supermarkets are filled from Europe and US, so life is great after the Eastern Caribbean, where supply in most place where more limited. The Dutch supply similar  supermarket concepts as we know from home and the Chinese supply the supermarket concept with everything else!

Carnival on Bonaire

We moor in Harbour Village Marina, which is the only alternative to a moorings buoy and as Marie had to go home for a little while, thats where North Star still is. She rest between a bunch of nice American neighbours, whom either is live a-boards here in the marine or drifters of the Caribbean sea for many years. 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Here we dive a couple of times a day, I work on the todo list, which is always long on a sailboat and plan for the cruising of San Blas in Panama before our expedition into the Pacific Ocean.

Service information:

On Grenada we stayed in CLARKS COURT Marina and they are really good. We received lots of help from Grenada Marine, both with our Volvo engine and our water maker, also really good. We got a tremendous service from Simon the local Electrician which is at super yacht level or more. We were also impressed with Driftwood a fibreglass and woodshop in Clarks Court. We stayed in Port Louis marina and they were helpful and flexible. We had dinner and can recommend Hotel Silversand, BB crab, the local restaurant Patty’s next to Port Louis.

We can warn against Iguana Marine, who tried to fix our water maker and walked away in the middle of the job. I would think it maybe was because of lack of competence. 

We learned: When you have people looking after your boat, only let them look after it. They can only work on projects onboard, when you are supervising.

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