On Tuesday, March 8, we were joined by John & Ann Taylor for a visit on Tusen Takk II. We had met them originally in late 2006 on our way down to the Caribbean. They were aboard their sailboat “Living the Dream”. We shared a number of eastern and southern anchorages, including the Bahamas, the Dominican Republic, the USVIs, Dominica, Grenada, Trinidad, Los Testigos, Puerto La Cruz, Venezuela, etc. A few years ago they returned to their home in Punta Gorda, FL, and so they are officially CLODs (Cruisers Living on Dirt), although they have retained ownership of their boat and keep it in a canal in the their back yard.
They exemplify the kind of enduring friendships that occasionally occurs among cruisers, an aspect of cruising that can be deeply satisfying.
They had been to Bonaire on a previous occasion, but had not been able to visit the north end of the island due to muddy (!) conditions in Washington-Slagbaai Park. So on one of the days of their visit they rented a pickup and headed north. We stayed in Kralendijk, since we had just recently been to the park with Kari & Rasmus.
We did a fair amount of diving together — on the first day with rented and borrowed gear since that bag had unaccountably been sent to Aruba even though all their other luggage had arrived correctly. An aside: when they went to the dive shop to settle their bill, they were not charged for that rental. They were told that the policy of Dive Friends is to not charge if dive gear was misplaced by an airline — just one of the many reasons why we are so happy with the Yellow Submarine branch of Dive Friends.
John and Ann quickly became involved in the active social life of our Bonaire cruising friends: Tuesday night Sundowners aboard s/v Flash, Wednesday cruiser’s burger night and Friday Arepa night and a fortuitously-scheduled wine tasting on Saturday night at the combination Ikea-and-wine shop located in several adjacent units of a storage facility. Ten dollars gets each participant a glass (not just a taste) of six(!) different wines. Transportation was provided by Ron & Nancy in two pickups. The trip back to the dock was particularly interesting since there were 26 of us squeezed into the two vehicles. Ron and Nancy are Americans who own property on the island and who divide their time between Bonaire and Illinois. When they are on-island they often join in socializing with what they call the “boat people”.
We could not ask for better guests than John & Ann. Of course, as former cruisers they could anticipate what and when something needed to be done and always offered help. But beyond that, they were consistently low-key and relaxed and just plain fun to have around. It was a good visit.