We arrived back in Curacao on November 9, after a three-hop trip that took us from Atlanta to New York to Miami to Curacao. We lived on the boat on the hard until November 24, during which time the boat was washed and waxed, the bottom was painted with anti-fouling, and the prop and rudder were cleaned and then painted with PropSpeed. We were on the hard longer than expected because of the delay in the delivery of our bottom paint. We use a brand that is not popular down here, and so had to order it through Marine Warehouse for deliver just before we returned to Cuarcao. They had the paint delivered to the shipping company on time but forgot to give the official approval for the shipping. Fortunately, before we departed the US we checked to ensure it had been delivered to Curacao , and learned of the problem from the shipping company. They were able to get the paint on their ship the next day, but it still was two weeks before we actually saw the paint. So we spent an extra week climbing a ten foot tall ladder to get on and off the boat many times a day. Curacao Marine did a great job getting us back in the water as quickly as possible.
We socialized with “Changes” and “More Mischief”, and later with Bill (“Dolce Vita”) and his friend Bruce, who accompanied him to get the boat ready while Colleen stayed back in the States spending time with Bruce’s wife. Bruce helped me with installing new gaskets/o-rings in the dinghy carburetor, and Bill & Bruce both helped us install our new 32” flat screen TV in the saloon. (We gave the old 20” one away.) We stayed at the marina dock until December 7, during which time I put down two maintenance coats of varnish on the cap rails and ascended the mast to replace the sticky wind meter. While still at Curacao Marine we walked a number of times down to Willemstad, where we saw the finale of Hunger Games and had some lunches and shopped multiple times at the extensive and picturesque Venezuelan fruit and vegetable market. When at last we were in Spanish Water, we went for a number of 10K-step walks. (Guess who has become Fit-bit obsessed.) Near a huge abandoned “mansion”, we asked a young man doing some painting about the origin of the building, and he said that it was the home of a “boss” slave owner in former times. Later research on the web revealed that the building was constructed in 1883, well after the abolition of slavery in Curacao. In fact the building is known as the Quarantine Building, and was used to house arriving sailors for an interval to see if they had yellow fever. The young man also said that a clutch of nearby roofless rooms was former slave quarters, but we have become somewhat skeptical of that description.
When Bill & Bruce had their boat ready, they left for Bonaire. But Bruce was scheduled to ultimately fly back to the States from Curacao, and so would need to take Insel Air from Bonaire to Curacao. Likewise, Colleen was scheduled to fly in to Curacao from the States and then catch the Insel Air puddle jumper over to Bonaire. So we picked Bruce up at the airport the day before his flight to the States, and he stayed overnight on Tusen Takk II. As an (unnecessary) gesture of thanks, he took us out to dinner at the Renaissance Restaurant in Otrobanda. We took Bruce back to the airport the next day, and waited for Colleen to arrive, since she was bringing us parts and supplies from the States. Her flight was delayed, and for a time it looked like she would miss her flight to Bonaire. So Bill, attempting to be helpful, made a phone call and changed her ticket to a next-day flight, and we would have another overnight guest. In the end, Colleen was able to change the tickets yet again and catch a later flight that night, so we left the airport without her after sharing a pizza “supper”. Later we learned that her flight to Bonaire was delayed three hours so she didn’t get there until after midnight. We look forward to joining them in Bonaire soon. We are able to spend six months in Bonaire a year and then have to be away for six months. Since we left Bonaire on June 15th, our target date to return is December 15th.