It is a daysail from Bonaire to Curacao of about 45 miles downwind again. We arrived into the very narrow channel going into Spanish Waters by early afternoon. Once inside the channel, there is plenty of water if you obey the buoys and watch for shallows of the points. The water was calm, no waves or even much wind as we are protected by sand dunes. 1983 was the last time we were here and so much development has occurred. My parents visited and stayed with us on the boat here enjoying themselves in a tropical dutch country! They would speak of their stay here often. This shows the large body of water and many boats are anchored in here. Windsurfers, prams, lasers, yenglings and fishing boats share this water.
It is hot, dry and desert like just like Bonaire but the population of curacao is about 170,000 people, more tourists and is twice the size of Bonaire. This post will show lots of color as we were here during Carnival and their downtown is so full of color in the buildings. It is said that the King looked out on day onto all white washed buildings and was depressed. He decreed that all buildings be painted in many different colors.
The city of Willemstadt is divided into two parts called Punda and Otrabanda and is connected by a floating bridge on pontoon.This is looking at Punda where Customs is located and most of the fancier shops.
This is Otrabunda where the more common people live, shop and work.
The floating market has a long history of trading ships sailing from Venezuela about 50 miles to the south. They are still bringing good looking fruits and veg to this dry country. The wooden boats park along the wharf and sell from stalls. They seem to have plenty of business. The local market had lots of colorful clothing, household goods, spices and knic knacks of all kinds to sell.
The city was clean, colorful and preparing for Carnival in the next week. Their currency is the Nederlandse Guilder however, Dutch is the official language but Spanish and Papiemento are widely spoken. The flair is more Spanish than Dutch too.
We planned to meet our friends from Carina Rose, Wil and Loes now live in Curacao. We meet them first in Bahamas and promised we would eventually sail into Spanish Waters. They took us for a tour around the north end of the island. Saw these flamingos at a salt pond. This color of mustard is the most popular color on the island i think.
We drove up the leeward coast checking out the beautiful bays. Permission must be requested and granted by the officials before anchoring here and they limit a boat to 3 days in them. Maybe drug control?? We heard of a drug bust that occurred on the day we toured here – a fisherman was found with 50 kgs of cocaine in his boat and was sent off to jail .
This is an example of a Landhuis, now a museum featuring the look of that era and also history of the plantations that the house was part of .Same mustard color!
Childrens Carnival parade is for those between 6-13. The route is 7 kms long and some of these pictures show how tired and hot they are.
The adult parade was the following sunday and here are a few highlights from it. The route was 12 kms long and they danced and walked all day as they arrived to where we were at 5PM!
Least you think we did no snorkeling here i will post just a few! They are of corals, soft and hard. I think you can quess which are called brain coral?
Our next leg is 350 miles west and slightly south to Santa Marta Columbia. We are looking forward to this as we have never been here. We hope that the “typically windy water off Santa Marta” will treat us kindly with fair winds and small following seas. Till next time!