In our last blog I characterized our island life as “busy”. If that was appropriate, then the activities covered by this blog should be called “frantic”. We stayed super busy, exercising almost every weekday morning at the Bonaire Health and Fitness Club and then going for a long walk. Here is a brief accounting of some of the other activities that filled our days:
On Jan. 19, the crews of Tusen Takk II, Dolce Vita, and Celilo (hereafter referred to as “the Pod”) took the pickup (hereafter referred to as “Wanda”) down to the foodtruck (hereafter referred to as “King Kong”) owned and operated by Asko and his wife Jana. Asko formerly was one of the big guns at Dive Friends, but is now happily making delicious hamburgers at Bachelor’s Beach. Later that day, the Pod joined Roger and Stephanie aboard their vessel Poespas for drinks and a vast array of hors d’oeuvres.
On Jan. 20 the Pod gathered on TT2 to make posters for the Women’s March. On Jan. 21 we joined about 20 others in downtown Kralendijk to participate in the world-wide march to protest President Trump’s policies.
On Jan. 22 the Pod took dinghies out to Klein Bonaire for a day in the sun that included a picnic lunch and a rousing game of bocci on the beach.
Our vessels are moored very near the dock used by local fishermen. From time to time we buy a fish as it is being offloaded. On Jan. 23 we scored a major purchase of a wahoo that Bill cut up and separated into three big piles.
On Jan. 26 the Pod took the pickup up to Seru Grandi in order to reconnoiter sites we had been assigned as volunteers in the annual count of Yellow-shouldered Amazon parrots, or “lora” as they are called in Papiamentu.
On Jan. 28 we departed before dawn, and were on our counting stations from 6:30 am to 8 am. Afterwards, we drove up to Rincon for the volunteers breakfast. On our return we noticed a parking lot filled with cars, so we pulled into Mangazina di Rei, which turned out to be a busy Cultural Park. “Mangazina di Rei” translates to “King’s Warehouse”. After working the whole week in the salt flats of southern Bonaire, slaves would walk for about 9 to 10 hours to the storehouse to get their provisions. The center is now dedicated to the culture, history, landscape and nature of the area around Rincon.
On Feb. 7 we helped Mike & Roberta (Celilo) celebrate their anniversary at Donna Giorgio.
On Feb. 16 the pod went to Sorbonne for lunch, stopping along the way to take pictures of the salt harvest machinery.
On Feb. 18 Elliott — son of Patricia, a frequent visitor to Bonaire and a sometime joiner of Pod activities – used his drone to capture stills and videos of the Pod’s moored vessels. (Here are a few snippets of his videos.) Several days later a local newspaper contained a blurb warning that it is illegal to fly drones above Bonaire.
Later that day, nephew Erik and his wife Cindy arrived for a week visit aboard TT2. During their stay, Cindy completed her PADI dive certification. In addition to diving, we toured the south end of the island and attended the Youth Karnaval Parade. We hope they enjoyed the visit as much as we did.
After their departure, the Pod watched the Grand Karnaval Parade on Feb. 26.
On Mar. 11 the Pod participated in the annual Bon Doet – an annual charity event through which folks volunteer their time to work on various projects. Last year, we gave our efforts to a local sailing club for youth. This year, we spent most of a day staining picnic tables and repairing and painting lattice partitions at a local childcare facility. All told there were more than 1500 volunteers participating this year on this small island!
On March 14 the Pod gathered on TT2 for a farewell dinner for Mike and Roberta, who were leaving the island early in order to settle Celilo in at Curacao Marine before flying north to join as crew a vessel on an organized visit to Cuba!
When they departed Bonaire early on March 15, they discovered a problem with their cutlass bearing. After returning to their mooring, they decided to leave anyway and to sail on to Curacao. They spent the night anchored off Klein Curacao, and proceeded the next morning to the mouth of the channel through Willemstad, where they were met (by pre-arrangement) by a commercial tow boat that took them safely to the marina.