Dancing In The Dark – passage to San Blas

Sunset on passage to San Blas
Sunset on passage to San Blas

It’s 3.30am on our first night after leaving Aruba, and I’ve just started my 3- hour watch. The wind is steady at 20 kts and we’ve got a reef in the main and the jib partially furled. There’s no moon tonight so it’s inky black out there, but the stars are putting on their best display, the Milky Way a glittering belt encircling us above. I listen to the familiar creaks and groans of Toucan as she rides over the swells and watch the little blue triangle (that’s us) marching across the chartplotter screen. Suddenly two orange monsters appear on the screen, one crossing our path ahead, the other coming side-on. These are the ‘targets’ that our AIS (Automatic Identification System) picks up, better known as bulk cargo carriers, plying their trade across the oceans of the world. They’re big and fast and I certainly don’t want to be the meat in their orange sandwich. Continue reading “Dancing In The Dark – passage to San Blas”

Aruba Jamaica ooh I wanna take ya!

Chilled out at the Beach Club in Aruba

I’m beginning to feel like a Beach Boys song of late having travelled to most of the locations listed in the song. We have now arrived in Aruba the last island in the Dutch Antilles and I guess it feels like we are about to finish our adventure in the Caribbean. Our next port of call will be the remote San Blas Islands located in the very west of the Caribbean sea but they just won’t have the feel of the Eastern Islands with all that Rasta charm. Continue reading “Aruba Jamaica ooh I wanna take ya!”

The Bridge – Curacao

Queen Emma floating pontoon bridge, Willemstad

Curacao is very different from Bonaire. It’s much more industrialized and commercialized, and they even have traffic jams and traffic lights! The island is mainly famous for its’ liqueur and for the Queen Emma floating pedestrian bridge that spans the two sides of Willemstad, the capital. Originally built in 1888 and subsequently upgraded, at 548 ft it’s the longest bridge of its kind in the world. Considering that Willemstad is a busy industrial port, it’s particularly bizarre that all vessels have to enter via this bridge, which swings open on demand, powered by two diesel engines! We got to experience this first-hand when we went to Curacao Marine in the harbour, but more on that later.. Continue reading “The Bridge – Curacao”

Under The Sea – Bonaire Pt 2

The trunkfish, Bruce & I. Photo courtesy Rob Curtis
The trunkfish, Bruce & I. Photo courtesy Rob Curtis

Bonaire is considered to be one of the best diving locations in the Caribbean. All the waters around the island are designated as a marine park, and with little rainfall and run-off from the island, the water is amazingly clear and even more importantly, warm! It’s also incredibly easy to dive here because the reef is so close to shore – you can walk in from the shore or jump off the back of the boat and there’s the reef wall right underneath you. So it’s no wonder that we were a tad frustrated not to have our dive compressor working! Continue reading “Under The Sea – Bonaire Pt 2”