“I have a crazy idea? What do you think about a trip, sailing to Curacao?”
“Sounds good! Hey, Eric, do you want to go on an adventure?”
“Yea…. want adventure!”
So, with an unanimous vote, it was decided! Just like that! This is how decisions are made in our family.
One of the friends we made here, in Bonaire, is a full time traveler. He spends most of the time on his boat, wandering island to island, continent to continent. Now that’s what I call an adventurous life! He is a great story teller and has plenty of life experiences to share. We could stay for hours to listen about his adventures in Africa or crossing the Atlantic.
When he decided to leave Bonaire, sailing to Curacao, he asked if we want to join for a short trip. Sure, why not? A trip on Divelander catamaran sounds like a wonderful experience!
We packed a small backpack for a few days and, early morning, we embarked on Divelander, waiting for the next adventure. Eric was thrilled to go with “the big boat”. This is not his first sailing trip. We spend one week on a boat in Greece last year, when he was one year and a half. But he doesn’t remember much of that, he knows about it mostly from our stories and pictures.
The C in the ABC islands, Curacao lies on the Southern Caribbean, outside the hurricane belt. Unlike Bonaire, it is an autonomous country since 2010, when Netherlands Antilles were dissolved. Historically, Curacao was one of the most important locations for the Atlantic Slave Trade. Due to its natural harbours and strategic location, it used to be the centre of trade and shipping in the Southern Caribbean region. First Spanish and then Dutch colony, crossed by several different nations on commercial activities, this multicultural environment left a significant footprint on the islands architecture, lifestyle and culture. Nowadays, Willemstad, Curacao’s capital, is listed as one of the 23 UNESCO sites of the Caribbeans.
There are just 82 km between Bonaire and Curacao, so it would appear to be easy to travel between the two. But the only public route is through air travel. There are several flights each day and it takes just around 20 minutes to reach your destination. But this is serviced by small planes (10-30 seats) and is quite on the expensive side. High winds and strong currents in the region makes difficult to travel by sea on an organised schedule and many people get seasick on the way, so air travel remains the only feasible option.
I was a bit concerned about how Eric will react while we were sailing to Curacao, but he had a wonderful time on the boat. The sea and the breeze quickly got him tired, so he also took a short nap. Actually, it was me having problems! I suffer from motion sickness since I was a child and I am not very well during water activities on an agitated sea. Luckily, it is not such a long trip! Soon after I start feeling bad we could spot a shade of Curacao on the horizon. This gave me hope and helped getting over seasickness easier. In fact, people say the trip from Bonaire to Curacao is really easy and the real problems appear on return, due to adverse currents. Luckily I don’t have to experiment that! The return from Curacao will be via 15 minutes flight on a very small plane (18 seats). I’m wondering how that will be!
We anchored our boat in the Spanish Waters in Curacao and this will be our home for a few days. We can easily explore the island from here, as it is very close to the city and public transportation, with private mini-busses also available. The Spanish Waters is actually a wide lagoon, very well protected by the winds and waves due its narrow opening through the rocky coastline. It is actually one of the most well-protected anchorage sites in the whole Caribbean. No wonder the location is very popular among cruising community! It looks like a floating village, with probably more than one hundred boats anchored here, some of them for months or even years. The bay is surrounded by the typical south Caribbean landscape, arid, with limestone cliffs, cactuses and small vegetation. But on the shore you can admire chic villas that worth a little fortune. It was wonderful to wake up in the morning with that view, hearing nothing but the waves and birds. But still, I don’t think I could live on a boat there!
On the next post I will share more details on what can be done in Curacao and what we loved there.
Have you ever visited Curacao? Any tips to share?
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