Friday, March 17, 2006

Bon Bonaire

Some 80 hours after leaving Martinique we arrived in Kralendijk the capital of Bonaire - 460 nautical miles. We had nice winds to bring us down here but the seas were really lumpy and confused, which made getting any rest quite difficult, but when we saw our first glimpse of Bonaire it was all forgotten. The south of the island is barely above sea level fringed by the whitest sand and then a turquoise strip of the clearest water. Unfortunately we couldn't see much more as there was heavy dust from Africa in the air limiting our visibility. We turned the corner to sail up the leeward coast and the winds built across the low land. We sailed right on the wind all the way up the coast really close in storming along - it was wild and the first time we have sailed R2 like this in ages. We took a mooring as the water is too deep to anchor and the island is surrounded by coral which we don't want to damage. I jumped in the water and found coral and hundreds of amazingly coloured parrot fish gathered under R2 - we fed the fish and they went mad. We went ashore yesterday afternoon to clear in and have a look around. Bonaire is nicely developed, a little cheesy in the main town centre but just lovely with a quiet innocence about it. It is a diver's paradise with over 60 dive sites so we are going to see about doing a course or trial dive while we are here.

This morning the air is clear, the sky and sea are as blue as each other, we an see over to the island paradise of Klein Bonaire behind us - just got to go and explore! On the way down Andrew hooked a huge fish which stripped 300 metres of line off the reel before we could stop the boat, after a short but energetic fight the wire trace on the lure snapped and he was free. The game fish here grow to over 500 pounds so we were probably a little optimistic with our 100 pound set up but we'll keep trying.


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