When we first sailed to the entrance of Willemstad, Curacao, the sky looked like a movie depicting the pitfalls of pollution. The combination of the brightly painted buildings, the smokestacks emitting greenhouse gases and a few gathering rainclouds made us wonder if we were sailing into a grisly movie set recreating the industrial age! Our first impression of Willemstad was negatively affected.
The walking bridge swings open to allow LIB access.
But in fairness to Curacao, during the remainder of our stay, the sky was mostly clear and blue and that first sky was the worst one by far. On a positive note, Curacao has an active group called GreenTown that is working hard to raise awareness among Curacao citizens, children and industry of the opportunity (read need) to clean up the island. This is a very important step and one of the only groups we have seen in the Caribbean trying to affect change! So, even though Curacao has an issue right now, there is hope that GreenTown will manage to make a big impact on the future of the island.
As you know from our last blog, we moved to Curacao to meet Deneen, who has bought LIB. Our first few days were spent preparing for the survey and haul out, then meeting Deneen and her broker, Robert. (We were very impressed by Robert and thought he did an excellent job.) Kind of surprisingly, we had a great time with the haul out and survey and especially getting to know Deneen. The fact that Curacao Marine did such a careful job lifting LIB made the whole process much easier.
Every boat owner gets a little jittery watching his boat lifted out of the water and over concrete! But LIB was carefully tended and the survey went well, so our girl was only out of the water for about an hour.
At the end of a fairly long day, Deneen, Robert, Frank and I went to dinner at Kome in Willemstad. The dinner was excellent and the company even better. It was super fun getting to know Deneen and Robert over a relaxed dinner.
Deneen agreed to join us the following day for a stroll around the quaint shopping area of Willemstad. The pictures will do more justice to the walking area than I will….
Willemstad along the canal.
This picture shows a bit of the walking bridge that crosses the canal and is shown above as it opened for LIB to enter.
Frank and Deneen strolling along; probably talking boats.
Pretty examples of the colorful buildings.
Lucky for us, Deneen had been to Curacao and remembered this cute restaurant from her previous visit. She didn’t get a chance to try Mundo Bizarro on her last visit so we agreed we had to make it happen this time. Great choice as the food was excellent. I should have taken a picture of the bar inside. It is worth a look if you are ever nearby!
Aren’t these great?
I have no idea what this building actually is, but I loved the artwork and had to capture it.
“Lock your love on the Punda Love Heart.”
Although I do not know how effective it is to lock you love on the “Punda Love Heart,” it seems to be a popular thing to do. What happened to setting your love free and if it comes back to you it is yours forever? Different cultures or do we live in a possessive era? Just kidding ~ that is way too deep for my frivolous blog! 😉
Just a little wave action in the harbor.
The first 10 days in Curacao, the wind just howled! The water was kicking up so I thought I would try to show the power demonstrated in these waves.
But really, a still shot doesn’t capture the strength of the water and wind.
After Deneen flew back to Texas and the survey was completed, we had a few days to chill and drive around Curacao. Frank and I find it interesting that in the two weeks we have been on Curacao, we have rented a car perhaps six days. During our whole stay in Bonaire we only rented a car four days. This alone demonstrates how different each island is for a cruiser!
Eveline sent this pic of Cap searching the tall grass in the yard.
Captain went to stay with Eveline of Yuka’s Dog Services & Training because we didn’t want her wandering around, untended during the haul out and sea trial. Eveline is fabulous and I strongly recommend her for boarding your dog and for training or agility classes. Cappy had a great time and came home happy and tired.
We wanted to take Captain with us while we explored the islands since she had been away for a couple of days. Unfortunately all of the beaches and the national park we saw prohibited dogs!
This made for an abbreviated day but we did get a chance to see the island, take a few pictures and have lunch.
Fishing boats at anchor.
Although here at Curacao Marine the water is not pretty, Curacao does have some beautiful beaches.
A perfectly protected bay for swimming.
The sand was fine and white and the water crystal clear, but very few people were swimming. Instead they were stretched out on lounge chairs or hiding from the sun in the shade, enjoying a good read.
If Cappy had been allowed on the beach we would definitely have been in that water!
One last fun sight we found was a darling kids’ playground where the nature had been decorated or painted to make it look like a sea-scape. Look how clever this artist is!!
What a creative and happy place to play!
Currently we are waiting for our new IridiumGo to be released from customs so we can begin our journey back to Texas. Unfortunately, between eZone and Customs, our package has been seriously delayed! We await the release of our new IridiumGo and we won’t leave Curacao without it. Two thumbs down on this delayed delivery!
For those who don’t know, IridiumGo is a satellite communication system that allows us to access weather and send limited e-mails while in the middle of the ocean. A very important safety measure that we want to have working for our passage from Curacao to Belize since it is about 1,200 nautical miles! We will be at sea for approximately seven nights and we want to use the IridiumGo to update the weather.
Until the IridiumGo is up and running, we will simply wait in Curacao and enjoy our surroundings.
Now that Let It Be is sold, we will be even more anxious to take delivery of our new catamaran. We are working very closely with HH to set up our boat so it will work well on long passages with only Frank and me on board and for continuing our lives as sailboat cruisers.
I absolutely cannot stress enough how important it has been to have Morrelli and Melvin working with us on the purchase of this boat. Gino Morrelli has been an amazing resource and we are thankful beyond words for his guidance and help! (And patience!)
On his recent visit to China, Gino sent us a couple of picture of our HH55 in construction, including this one of the master cabin bed area. I really like the large window at the head of the bed and along the outboard side in our master cabin.
Here is our aft, port stateroom area under construction.
The completed room looks a lot prettier as seen here on Hai Feng, HH55-02.
When we visited HH55-01, Minnehaha, in Ft. Lauderdale a year ago, owners Deb and Doug were very generous in allowing us to poke around their beautiful boat. While Frank was opening every engine and electrical compartment, I took myself off to the master hull to check out a few of my own “wanted” items. Sitting up in bed and reading is a luxury I have missed, so I was delighted to see there is a generous headboard/backrest on the HH55 ~ perfect for reading. And I love that I will be able to see outside while reading in bed!
Thank you so much for visiting our blog! We appreciate your time and hope you will drop us a line in the comments. If you would like to hear from us more often, please visit our FB page.
We have re-activated our IridiumGo! and now you can see where LIB is located. The device is set to update our location every hour.
Find our location by clicking on “Our Location: Follow s/v Let It Be” found on the right side of the page under the second heading “More About LIB.”
We leave today for Belize and anticipate the passage will take seven or eight days.
We won’t have much communication while we are sailing, but I have a blog post or two written and scheduled to post while we are sailing.
Prayers for a safe and beautiful passage are always welcomed. See you in Belize.
The documents are signed, so now I can tell you that the reason we moved to Curacao was to meet the prospective buyer of LIB, take her on a sea trial and have our boat surveyed.
I am happy to report that all went well. Our floating home passed inspection with flying colors, the buyer loved Let It Be and our home has been purchased.
As LIB was lifted out of the water a man watched how she sat on the trailer. (See him?)
We were very impressed with Curacao Marine, the yard that pulled LIB out of the water for the dry portion of the survey. The men were extremely professional and careful about the haul out process. The trailer is well maintained and they even put plastic over the support pads so LIB would not have any scuff marks. One of the guys was in the water using a controller to manipulate the support pads precisely where they needed to be under LIB. We have been very impressed with Curacao Marine during our stay here!
The surveyor had a few minor comments about Let It Be which we have already addressed. The starboard engine was vibrating a bit at idle and we had a Volvo mechanic address that issue. We actually thought the idle setting of both engines was a little low, so while the mechanic was here, he adjusted them to meet the Volvo specifications. The tiller arm on the port rudder was a little loose, so Frank went to work and fixed it the very next day! The surveyor came back by and has inspected and approved that work already!
No moss growing here!!
We are very pleased with the results of the survey of Let It Be and if I were buying a boat that received this kind of report, I would be thrilled. Big kudos to Frankly for his excellent and detailed care of our boat!
Ironically, the person who has bought LIB is a woman I had “met” through the FB group Women Who Sail. We had texted a couple of times about a few subjects over the last year or two. (But she didn’t realize LIB was my boat when she decided to make an offer!) She is also friends with our friends, Amy and David of s/v Starry Horizons (who have the excellent blog and vlog Out Chasing Stars.) AND! our buyer lives in Texas, so we have that excellent connection as well.
An evening sail in Bonaire. Thanks for the pic, Clayton.
During our discussions about selling LIB, we agreed to deliver the boat to Galveston, Texas which will be her future port. Frank and I think this is a great arrangement because it saves our buyer the expense of having LIB delivered, we get to explore the western Caribbean along the way, and we can return to the U.S. via boat instead of airplane.
Arriving by boat is much easier than flying with Captain!
Per our agreement, we will arrive in Galveston by May 15th. This gives us ample time to find excellent weather windows and allows us to explore a few anchorages along the way to Texas. This May delivery time frame allows us to break up the 2260 nautical mile trip from Curacao to Texas into several shorter passages.
Our tentative plan for returning to Texas is to make three stops between here and Galveston. The first leg will be to the San Blas Islands of Panama; about 650nm. The second leg to Belize will be approximately 760nm. From Belize we will sail to Isla Mujeres, Mexico which is a quick 200nm. And our final leg to Galveston will be about 650nm.
Needless to say we are happy and sad about the sale of Let It Be. She is a fabulous boat and has taken great care of us. We have had very few issues with LIB and we have made many changes to make her perfect for our sailing needs.
It’s hard to let go of a boat that is in great shape, sails well, has been our home, and functions well for our purposes! (Plus I still love the cushions we had made for the cockpit and helm area!)
So, there you have our news about Let It Be and our anticipated route through the May delivery to Galveston.
I guess soon we will have to figure out what to do while we are ‘boatless/homeless’ until our HH55 is delivered to California!
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Our final sunset on Bonaire.
Well it was hard to leave Bonaire and say so long to the great people we met as well as the beautiful island. We spent our last few weeks taking advantage of the wind for kiting and the fabulous reefs for diving.
We also said goodbye to many people we had the fortune to befriend while visiting. Jerome, Aga, Sebastian and Basi invited us to their home for dinner in their back yard. Aga made a delicious dinner and we enjoyed it in while watching the sun set beyond their dock as the boys played in the surf. Thank you all so much for sharing your lives, your local knowledge and your home with us!
Bonaire shirts and a mug depicting our day of sailing!
We also received this fun memento from the BSSA sailors! Now each morning we are reminded of them as Frank has his coffee. Thank you so much for the shirts and mug but mostly for welcoming us into your group.
Frank passed a Gatorade to Rudo, that day’s winner.
We loved having the BSSA kids sail by LIB and Frank often tossed them Gatorades. These memories are very special to us! Keep sailing kiddos. We look forward to hearing how you are progressing and we will truly miss seeing you sail or hearing you call to us from the shore!
In addition to leaving shore friends, we had to say so long to many cruisers. Because we were in Bonaire a long time, we made some very dear friends in the cruising community. We can only hope our wakes cross again in the future!
A huge pod of dolphins!
We left our Bonaire mooring ball for the last time on Sunday morning. Just past Klein Bonaire, we saw a large pod of dolphins in the distance. I’m guessing there were nearly 50 dolphins in the pod and we decided to turn a bit in their direction and get a little closer. Soon part of the pod came to play in front of LIB’s bow!
How cool is this?!
Perhaps 15 dolphins came to play and were cavorting just in front of us, looking up and smiling as Captain went crazy, barking at them from above.
I so wish I could jump in and swim with them.
The water was perfectly clear so I could get this picture of two dolphins swimming just below the cross beam of LIB. I, and nearly everyone I know, seem to smile any time dolphins come to play. Somehow they manage to raise the happiness level of the boat, even when we weren’t unhappy about anything!!
Our plan was to stop at Klein Curacao for three days and two nights and take the opportunity to be away from any city lights or traffic. The day we arrived, our plan looked golden. We knew there were some serious swells north of us but we hoped they wouldn’t arrive for a day or two.
A wide angle view of Klein Curacao from our mooring spot .
We grabbed a mooring ball and settled in for a quiet day. Klein Curacao has perhaps two little places to grab a lounge chair and drink. These are visited mostly by the day boat passengers and are fairly crowded until late afternoon.
Cappy’s friend is left on shore.
Frank paddled into shore with Captain and she managed to make friends with the only dog on the island. But after romping along the beach and rolling in the sand it was time to come back to LIB.
Private boats anchored off of Klein Curacao
Since we arrived on Sunday, there were several private boats from Curacao anchored or rafted up and enjoying the day. But we knew that before dark most of the boats would head back to Curacao and we would be nearly alone.
By late dusk only a few stragglers remained and they left just a little later.
The sun looks like it is melting into the ocean.
We watched the sun set from the deck of LIB and loved having a completely quiet evening. Bonaire is fabulous, but the street does have a good deal of motor noise in the evenings. It was a nice change to hear only the water playing across the beach and hear the fish jumping nearby while watching the sun wave goodnight.
The buildings on Klein Curacao have character.
While this old light house looks kind of charming, I wasn’t sure if it actually functioned, but sure enough, her beacon flashed through the night warning sailors of Klein’s shores.
We planned on scuba diving off of Klein Curacao Monday, but when Frank took Cap to shore that first morning, a group of surfers were unloading their gear. The arrival of serious surfers did not bode well for the comfort of our anchorage. Sure enough those northern waves began to roll in around 11 am. Rather than stay on Klein, we decided to finish our morning chores and head to Curacao and a protected anchorage.
Our decision was a good one as is evidenced by these surfers loving the waves on the north end of Klein Curacao as we motored by.
The waves were pretty close together.
The waves we saw were a decent size and they were expected to become larger over the next 24-48 hours.
That boat is partially hidden by the waves.
If our sons had been on board, I am sure we would have stayed on Klein so they could catch a few waves, but Frank and I aren’t surfers, so we think our decision to leave the unprotected shores of Klein Curacao and find a protected anchorage on Curacao was a good one.
So our big news is color! We have chosen the exterior paint color for our new boat. HH has kindly put together a rendering of the HH55 with an approximation of the color we have chosen.
A rendering of our pretty, unnamed, future boat.
I actually think the paint will be a slightly darker blue than this rendering shows. We are pretty excited! It seems like the HH66 owners have chosen bold and unique paint colors and the HH55 owners have chosen very subtle colors. We decided to go with something in between. How do you like our color choice?
Thank you so much for visiting our blog! We appreciate your time and hope you will drop us a line in the comments. If you would like to hear from us more often, please visit our FB page.
From the Bilge is where we post picture(s) that we have not used, that don’t fit into any specific blog post or that highlight some of our favorite places. The pictures might not be stunning, but they will recall something we think is worth sharing. We hope you enjoy these non-chronological items as they pop up From the Bilge.
Perhaps my favorite excursion during our travels has been our trip to 27 Charcos de Damajagua in the Dominican Republic.
First we followed a trail beautifully shaded by an arching canopy of trees, then the real adventure began…
We swam through streams…
climbed over rocks….
slid down water smoothed rocks….
and jumped from cliffs to return to our starting point.
The whole return trip was made through fresh water that was just chilly enough to be invigorating. And the jumps, slides and swims were just daring enough to make one stop occasionally to take a deep breath….. and go for it.
I highly recommend this trip if you stop in the Dominican Republic!
As always, thanks for stopping by to read our blog. What do you think of our new section, From the Bilge?
When we sailed away from Puerto Rico to escape Hurricane Maria in September, we chose the ABC Islands for their location and accessibility from PR. We did not realize that we would fall a little bit in love with Bonaire. But we have.
And we are not alone. We have met many cruisers and land lovers who return to Bonaire year after year. We understand the attraction! Bonaire provides a great location for several activities we love.
Frank kiting near the mounds of Bonaire salt.
Kiteboarding: the wind is almost always great for kiting. We can launch and take down our kites right on LIB so we don’t have to deal with sand on the kites and us when we finish the day.
French angel fish and a photo bomb by the Spanish hogfish.
Scuba diving: Bonaire is years ahead in their protection of the reefs and their efforts are apparent in the health of the marine life. These are the best reefs we have seen during our cruising life.
A fabulous view while biking.
Biking: there are bike paths on some of the streets here and many people ride bikes. The terrain is varied so you can have different types of bike rides. No, you won’t find downhill biking or epic mountain bike rides, but you can ride off road or on road and have excellent views and get plenty of exercise.
The string along the sand is a “lane line” for swim practice.
Swimming: the mooring area is crystal clear and an excellent place to take an afternoon swim. Plus we joined the swim practices and three times a week we reel off laps as we watch the ocean bottom for sea life.
LIB sporting her spinnaker.
Sailing: the wind is generally from the east and we are on the west side of a low lying island which usually means pretty flat seas with generous winds. These conditions make for some very fun sailing!
Education/Giving Back: occasionally there classes about local sea life or island history and we hope these resume soon so we can attend. Also, once a quarter, the local dive shop puts together a reef clean up day. They provide the tanks and bags and divers volunteer to gather debris from the ocean. We will definitely participate as soon as we can.
Volunteers for the parrot count.
Recently we participated in the annual count of the yellow shouldered amazon parrots on Bonaire. Approximately 50 volunteers were assigned observation points around the island and one Saturday morning we all assumed our positions by 5:45 am and counted how many parrots lifted from our designated area and which direction they flew. This year the estimated count, which is really an estimate to determine if the parrot population is increasing or decreasing, was up from 700 to over 1,000 parrots spotted. Good news for this endangered bird.
BSSA kids spend the afternoon on LIB.
We have also met several people from the Bonaire Sailing School Associaltion (BSSA). We invited the kids out to sail with us on LIB and Frank organized a work day where cruisers volunteered and made repairs to the BSSA sailboats.
Even in the rain, Bonaire is beautiful.
Another plus is that the weather and water are a little warmer in Bonaire than in the Virgin Islands or Bahamas this time of year, which makes water activities way more inviting. Further north, the weather patterns are more unsettled in the first quarter of the year than they are in Bonaire.
Bonaire may be a small island, but it has plenty of activities, excellent grocery stores, tons of restaurants and a variety of shopping available. Even though we have stopped here longer than anywhere else, we feel like there is much more to explore and learn about Bonaire.
Even so, our time in Bonaire is coming to an end. We have plotted our next move and surprisingly, it will be westward. We are off to Curacao in a week or two. We didn’t explore Curacao at all as we traveled between Aruba and Bonaire, so we will take a look around that island for a week or two. By the time we see a little of Curacao, mid-March will have arrived and the weather should allow us to leave the ABCs. We have a few weeks to determine which direction the wind will take us after Curacao.
This week at the Miami Boat Show, the first HH55 with an aft helm station, Hai Feng, was on display. We have chosen to have our HH55 with the aft helm version. From what I have heard, at times there were lines of people waiting to see the Hai Feng at the show. Though I have not seen her in person, I am sure she is quite fetching! Frank actually was aboard Hai Feng for her sea trial in China a few months back and he was impressed with the boat’s performance. During the sea trial, sails were lifted and lowered several times to make sure all was in order and the Hai Feng was put through her paces. The highest SOG Frank saw was 18 knots! Pretty awesome.
Hai Feng wrapped and ready for shipment!
We are really looking forward to the day our boat will be wrapped and ready for shipment to California!
For those interested in a slightly smaller performance cat, HH has introduced the HH48 and she looks stunning!
Today our friend, Al, flew back to the U.S. at the crack of dawn. Frank and I spent the day catching up on e-mails and doing a little clean up. Until about 3 pm when I decided we had to get off the boat and see if the Bonaire Karnaval Parade was similar to the Christmas Parade.
NO SIR is the answer! The parade today lasted over an hour; although I admit this had much to do with the pace of the parade rather than the number of floats! Still, we had a great time watching the parade and the participants had an even better time than we did!!!
Here are a few pictures from today.
Let me begin by saying the children are my favorite part:
Little dude backing up on his motorcycle before the parade!
A darling girl… and I love the t-shirt!
A handsome little doll representing “Peru on Bonaire.”
I was completely uninformed about the Karnaval of Bonaire so I don’t know what the actual theme of the parade was, but we sure enjoyed watching it.
Butterflies started the parade.
Costumes were elaborate.
Music and dancing down the street.
Headdresses are all the rage this year.
Miss Plus Size Top Model was the Queen of Karnaval – I think.
A fighting machine – but that drink doesn’t look like it has raw eggs in it.
One float had the whole Rocky Balboa thing going on including a fighting rink and the music from the movie. The participants enjoyed rocking out to The Eye of the Tiger.
Well hydrated parade participants!
I’m happy to see that the paraders were very conscientious about hydration. Nearly every adult we saw had one or two drinks in hand to relieve thirst. In fact, some of the floats appeared to be more like mobile wet bars than actual floats.
So tomorrow is a holiday on Bonaire and I believe many of the parade participants will appreciate not having to be up early for work. And based on the amount of traffic, music and activity on shore tonight, I don’t think the celebrations will end anytime soon.
How are you spending the next few days leading up to Lent? Is there a parade or pre-lent celebration in your near future?
Thanks for stopping by to read our blog. As always, feel free to leave any comments or stop by our FB page to hear from us more often.
If there is one thing a sailing cruiser learns, it is how to make repairs; often with creative solutions.
Frank decided to put cruiser know-how to work and organize a volunteer repair day for the BSSA (Bonaire Sailing School Association) sunfish sail boats. He posted a plea for help on the Bonaire Cruisers FB page and went from boat to boat in the anchorage asking cruisers if they would help with some simple repairs needed on the local sailing school boats.
Patrick, Lawrence, Dave, John, Sue, Malcolm, Ernest, Derek, Mary Grace, Dave and Frank
The result was that on January 23rd, 11 cruisers volunteered and spent about 3.5 hours working on the sunfish owned by BSSA. Twenty two hands were busy with all kinds of maintenance that the working BSSA parents don’t have time to do.
Boats were cleaned and polished.
Sue polished until the sunfish shone!
Malcolm and Dave passing off the new bungee.
Main sheet tie downs were replaced with spliced dyneema and bungee cords for centerboards were replaced.
Derek and John fixed a dozen tires.
Attachments for loose tires on hand trailers were replaced and there was even a little gel coat work done.
Ernest removes a hiking strap.
Frayed and fragmented hiking straps were removed.
And replaced with new straps.
Derek and Frank making sure all the water is out.
There were a few sails that needed some repair and Frank brought those back to LIB. Since we don’t have a sewing machine, Frank asked our friend, Barb, to help us out. Barb pulled out her sewing machine and made the needed repairs and now BSSA has two more sails in working order and another repaired hiking strap!
In just a few short hours, cruisers were able to make a decent impact on the boats used by BSSA. We worked on 11 sunfish. Seven were in use but needed a little maintenance. Three were not being used because they needed attention and the cruising volunteers were able to address the issues. (Those three boats are now in use.) One boat we worked on still needs a little more TLC before it is useable.
Frank did a great job of organizing the volunteers and the sailors were fabulous to spend their time contributing to the sailing youngsters of Bonaire.
It is pretty cool to see the kids out sailing and know their boats are working a little better because of our efforts. Plus BSSA had an open house a few weekends ago and added 10 or so kids to their ranks. I think they will need those extra working boats!
A very special thank you to Anneka, a BSSA mom and board member, who met us to unlock and lock the storage area and give us access to water and power. Anneka has been a warm and welcoming liaison for BSSA!
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This week Frank and I pretended we were ornithologists, which we are definitely not. We participated in the Echo Bonaire annual count of the Yellow-shouldered Amazon Parrot.
Yellow-shouldered Amazon Parrot – photo from Echo website.
Due to heavy trapping of these birds and poaching of nests for the pet trade, as well as diminishing habitats, these parrots are classified as vulnerable on the endangered species list.
Called Loras here on Bonaire, this parrot has become extinct on Aruba and their status on Curacao is undocumented. So each January the Echo Bonaire team organizes volunteers and on one Saturday morning a count of Loras on Bonaire is undertaken.
Our roost is the rocky hillside in the left third of this picture.
Thursday our neighbors, Barb and Chuck of Tusen Takk II, helped me scout out the spot Frank and I were assigned for the count. Pre-spotting was well advised as our observation perch was on a rocky outcrop and access was best found in daylight the first time.
Saturday morning we departed LIB just before 5 am and were dropped near our site by 5:35. With flashlight, deck chairs and note taking papers in hand, Frank and I ducked thistles and dodged cacti until we reached our rocky outcropping. By 5:50 we were at our assigned point and waiting patiently for the Loras to awaken and take flight so we could count the those in our designated roost. Simultaneously about 50 other volunteers waited in additional observation spots throughout Bonaire.
The inky darkness dissipated gradually as the sun awakened and cast a bit of light on the south facing hillside we were assigned. By 7 am we had seen not a single parrot but we agreed that even without the Loras, this was a unique and pretty way to share the dawn.
Our site in the soft light of dawn.
The notes we received about our site stated that last year only two parrots were seen at the roost and we thought this year was a bust. But a little after 7 am we began spotting Yellow-shouldered Amazon Parrots flitting up from the scrubby brush and alighting on the cacti.
The total count from our roost was 12; a significant increase from last year! We also had several groups of Loras land on the brush behind us and fly through the valley where our roost was located. It was fun to watch them flutter from place to place.
Many of the volunteers for the parrot count.
Volunteers gathered around 8:45 that morning to turn in their official drawings and bird counts. The news was good for this years’ parrot count. Last year a total of slightly over 700 Loras was made, but this year the number jumped to 1021 sightings.
Good news for the Yellow-shouldered Amazon of Bonaire! And fun spotting for the volunteers.
The Echo folks did a good job or organizing and communicating with the volunteers. The only hiccup was that the transportation they arranged for us fell apart.
Chillin’ in the truck bed post bird count.
Luckily, Barb and Chuck came to our rescue. Their truck seats were accounted for, but they let Frank and I throw our chairs in the back and they took us on a scenic trip back to the anchorage.
Tusen Takk II are awesome neighbors and we are lucky to be moored next to them! Thank you Barb and Chuck for telling us about this volunteer opportunity and making our participation possible!
As always, thank you for reading our blog. If you have and questions about our life aboard, feel free to ask in the comments below. Also, you can check out our FB page if you want to “hear” from us more often.
Hi guys, it’s me, Captain. Mom is super lazy so she’s making me do the blog today. NOT!
Please can I write? I have things to say!
Actually, I begged to write this one because I think mom’s stuff is kinda boring and we need to change it up. Plus when we stop and talk to people they often say, “Oh I remember Captain!” Mom laughs because she says everyone remembers me but not her. Perhaps she needs to wiggle her tail more?!
So it’s been months and months since I’ve had a chance to tell you what is going on for me. Since my last blog, we have been to five different countries: Turks and Caicos, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Aruba and Bonaire.
Playtime and shade = happiness!
I really liked Turks and Caicos because we stayed mostly at South Side Marina and I was allowed to get off and on the boat anytime I wanted – well almost! And there was another dog that lived there and we played lots and lots.
Walking at Puerto Bahia, Samana
The Dominican Republic was great because mom took me for a lot of long walks and we found a waterfall that I could play in during our walks. That waterfall was super special because it didn’t have any salt in it and I could drink the water! I wish whoever puts the salt in all the oceans would stop because I really want to drink that water!
One surprise was going back to Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico is the place where we first moved onto LIB and it was kinda fun to be back in a familiar place. Dad was riding bikes and mom got to play some tennis. I had long walks and made some new people friends and really liked hanging out at the pool with Frank and MG.
But my people are strange. One afternoon we went to the pool and we were super chill and talking about some hikes we were going to do. Then Frank got on his computer and suddenly everything changed!
Palmas del Mar before Maria. Taken from the top of the mast the night before we fled.
He and MG started taking about somebody named Maria and weather and category 4 or 5 or something and next thing I knew we are in full pack and go mode! Within 15 hours we had picked up and left Puerto Rico and were sailing to Bonaire.
Later I figured out there was another one of those hurricane things headed toward our marina, so we had to skedaddle.
LIB moored in Bonaire.
So since September we have been hanging out in the ABC Islands. It’s really pretty here and sooo many people from the cruise ships stop to pet me and tell me how much they miss their dogs. They should just bring them along! I sure am glad MG and Frank have brought me on our boat.
My boys have come to visit two times since I last wrote! Once was in the Turks and Caicos and then they came to Bonaire for Christmas. Wow wee it is so fun when they are here. Hunter sneaks me treats sometimes (don’t tell!) and Clayton’s ear rubs are so good that I groan with happiness. I just can’t help it!
Mom hasn’t been taking as many pictures of me lately, so I don’t have very many to show, but here are a few I like.
Few shells makes for great runs! (Turks and Caicos)
Without a doubt, running on soft sand is my favorite thing to do! Especially since there haven’t been any goats to herd in a looooong time. After I run, I cool off in the ocean and make sure my fur is really wet, then I roll around in the sand!
Feels as good as rolling in grass!
MG thinks I do this just to get messy, but really this is how I scratch all those places I can’t quite reach. You should try it. I’m sure you would start sand scratching on a regular basis!
UGH! The rinse cycle before getting in the dinghy.
The one thing I don’t like is that before we go back to the boat, Frank dunks me in the water and washes away as much of the sand as he can. Boy, I just don’t understand why he ruins a good sand scratch like that.
It’s been a long while since we have found creeks and stuff to explore in the dinghy. I really miss zipping along and seeing fish and turtles right next to the dinghy.
Instead of Swamp People, maybe we could be Dinghy Dervishes?
We look kinda crazy when we go on these dinghy explorations but we all laugh a lot… even when we get in water so shallow that my people have to get out and walk us to deeper water. (I just stay in the dinghy and make sure they go the right way!)
I count two in and one getting out….
Over the last few months we have had lots of new friends come out on LIB with us. One day we had 15 kids from Bonaire out for the afternoon. Can you say busy?! Phew, that is a lot of kids to keep on the boat. When we stopped for snacks and a swim, those kids were jumping from all over the boat and I had a hard time keeping count of them all. It was good my humans helped too!
After all the kids were back on board and we were underway again, I went down to mom and dad’s room and took a nap. Hoowee, that was a tiring day. But super fun! And now almost every time we go to shore for a walk, I see one of the kids or somebody yells my name from a passing car to say hello.
I think I am a pretty good advocate for boat dogs!
Speaking of going to shore, that is the one little thing I’m not so keen about here in Bonaire. There are a LOT of dogs here and pretty much all of them bark and snarl from behind their fences. It’s a little distracting when I’m on a “business trip.”
I jump right in when it’s time to go to shore!
Here’s a picture of me and Frank swimming to shore for a walk. Mom does this too, but she is the one who takes most of the pictures.
Pretty adorbs, aren’t I?
MG and I participated in a Santa Hat Walk around Christmas. We got to walk places we had never been and there were lots of other people walking who petted me. I was the only dog that went on the walk. Gosh, I’m sure glad my people like to take me with them! Anyway, I won an award for being cute. MG says if I were a human I would be really conceited because everyone tells me I’m cute or pretty…. Why does she think I hold my tail so high? Duh!
So that’s pretty much the news around here for now. Except I know mom and dad are up to something right now because they keep mentioning this boat called an HH55. I took a peak on mom’s computer and I saw some pictures of it. At first I couldn’t really tell it was a boat, but now it’s coming along. From what I can tell, they want to use this boat to go exploring even farther away from the U.S. As long as I get to go with them, I’m down for this whole new boat gig. Here’s a picture I found on mom’s computer that shows the boat is actually beginning to look like a catamaran now.
Deck and coachroof bonding completed.
I have two questions about this new boat. 1. Will I still be able to look into the cold drawers? 2. What are we going to name it? If you have any ideas for a name, please post a comment below, ok? I bet I would get a lot of extra treats if I manage to come up with a cool new boat name. (Dad kinda wants to keep a song title name, but mom wants something lighthearted relating to exploring or speed. How do you reconcile that?)
Oops, gotta run. Yesterday I made a new friend, Dave, who likes to paddle board and he said he would take me with him. Pretty sure I just spotted Dave coming my way!
I hope your day includes some excellent sniffs!
Tail wags and licks,