Sunday, May 11, 2008

Bonaire to the Aves

All I have to say is, heading east is not fun. Left Bonaire at first light, just before 6 a.m., towards Los Aves de Sotovento. Let's just say, it was not a fun day. The seas were higher than forecast and even trying to tack and motor sail wasn't really working with the current against us. Then, the engine started revving up and down again. Oh no, we need to change the fuel filter way too early! Put the boat on auto pilot (love that) and hauled everything out of the lazarette - snorkelling and dive gear, boat hooks, fenders, etc...... - just to be prepared. Dennis, my hero, went down, into the lazarette, into the bilge, in eight to ten foot seas that I was trying real hard not to surf up and down. Mission accomplished, and we continued on our way, finally pulling into the anchorage by the lighthouse, totally exhausted, at 6:30 at night, about twenty minutes before the sun was going to set. Real fun in a coral anchorage! I don't even remember what I prepared for dinner, all I know is, it was something easy!! Then, when we got ready to collapse, we saw a fishing boat hanging off the coast, so that was something we paid attention to. Watched it for awhile, and they were fishing!
Collapsed and woke up the next morning around 7. Underway by 8:30 to Aves de Barlovento. Cut the motor just after the anchor was hauled, figuring we had all day to sail the 15 miles. Going a whole three knots we landed a 5' wahoo. Hove to, brought the fish in and Dennis did his magic. Ended up with a 2 1/2 gallon ziploc full of wahoo and so not enough room in the fridge and freezer to put it in. Where are our friends when we need them?
Pulled into Barlovento midafternoon, followed by two playful dolphins for about half an hour, all the way into the anchorage. We were negotiating our way through the reef (where I was at the helm and Dennis was busy playing with the dolphins), when they kept jumping beside me. I looked over and told them to stop now, I was trying to go through the reef -- and they did!! There were four boats in the anchorage and we made new friends when we took them fresh wahoo. A couple dinghied by and I called them over to give them some fish. They visited a couple of days later, when we gave them more fish, and we got our baby fix with their 5 month old little boy. They were heading on to Curacao and west. Visited with Viv and Keith on Victoria, and English boat, and got all kinds of helpful hints on the area from them. They've been cruising between Curacao and the Aves for a couple of years. Know where to go next year!
Ended up spending over a week in Barlovento because of wind and waves. Did some walking and found the spot where cruisers leave their mark, and lots of birds. Didn't do as much snorkelling as we would have liked to because the water was so choppy. By the time it calmed down we were ready to leave.Leaving another anchorage at 6 a.m. to head to the Roques ..... ~~~_/)~~~~

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