Bonaire — December 1, 2016 – January 15, 2017

The big news for this blog is that the happy cruisers (Tusen Takk II, Celilo, and Dolce Vita) bought a (very) used pickup. A 2006 Mazda double cabin model never sold in the USA. We have named her “Wanda”, and have affixed a suitable (?) decal to her hood. We have spent a lot of time, and a fair amount of money, turning the rusty bucket into dependable transportation. We have visited a lot of junkyards searching for parts. We replaced the rear suspension springs. We took the truck to a muffler shop and had extensive work done to the muffler and exhaust pipes. We have done extensive repair work to the floor under the driver. We have repaired and patched the driver-side doorframe. We have sealed the front windshield. We have installed a new starter. Much of the metal under the rear of the cargo box was gone, and we created a new rear out of lumber that we covered with metal and then coated with roofing compound. We replaced the clutch master cylinder. We flushed and replaced the radiator coolant. We replaced the left rear taillight, only to have that later damaged when one of us – not disclosing who – backed into a pole.

It has been – and continues to be – an interesting experience, one that would not have been possible without the mechanical abilities of Bill (Dolce Vita).

As it turns out, we use the truck a lot. Shopping expeditions, trips to the laundry, interesting island events and just exploring. One of our destinations is a new Wednesday night activity. When the mosquitoes got to be too pesky at the Zazu burger night, we switched to dinner at a local cooking school. The meal preparation and table service are handled by young students, under the supervision of adults. It has been an interesting and enjoyable experience that gets us out into the community and not incidentally provides some great meals.

It has been a busy six weeks since our last blog post. A trip up to Bonaire’s second city to attend “Rincon Day” on December 18. A German chocolate cake celebration of my birthday the next day. Christmas dinner aboard . (Two days later I came down with what I assume was Zika. For two or three days my ankles were so tender that I essentially couldn’t walk, and I had a mild headache and a bad rash that persisted for over a week.) But I digress. I was listing activities. We attended one of the sponsored fireworks displays that many larger businesses throw for their employees on their last working day of the year; this year we damaged our hearing at Kooyman’s. That evening we had dinner at the Cuba Compagne restaurant after which we gathered back at Tusen Takk II for dessert and to watch the extensive fireworks on shore. On the first day of the new year the happy cruisers joined us for Hoppin’ John. Later that afternoon, about a dozen dinghies from the mooring field gathered initially at TT2 before letting loose and floating as a connected group toward Klein Bonaire, sharing nibblies and stories along the way. On Jan. 3 we put Celilo’s dinghy up on our deck and began a multiple-day project to repair its floor and reinstall an internal platform for their cooler. On Jan. 5 we took Wanda out to Sorobon for lunch and on Jan. 15 we sought and eventually found “Mi Banana”, an eatery way out in the boonies where we were the only non-Bonaireans among the large crowd enjoying the local fare.  So yes, it has been a busy six weeks.