CURAÇAO TO USVI OCTOBER TO DECEMBER 2008
 

Seru Boca
   
Seru Boca marina in Curaçao is in the middle of nowhere on a private estate. The road to it runs through the typical island scrub and trees which is home to rabbits, Caracaras, iguanas and small lizards. Unfortunately it is being developed - golf course, hotels, condos. The damage to the environment already is amazing. This picture was taken on the road to the marina and the wonderful tree arch may be cut down for a new road. The developers (Hyatt) should be shot. If you are thinking of staying at a Hyatt resort or hotel, please don't!
 

Seru Boca
   
The locals, who obviously call a spade a spade, call this Montana - mountain. Taken from the boat Montana was our view for a few months. Very pretty.
 

Pelicans
   
The pelicans in Bonaire aren't stupid. Rather than fishing themselves this pair used to sit by the boat while the man was fishing. When he finished fishing he would go ashore and gut the fish, throwing fish parts into the sea. Why waste energy flying back to shore when you can hitch a lift and stay close to the forthcoming action?
 

Frog
   
We've had a lot of different wildlife land on the boat (including birds, a cricket, dragonflies, and a Preying Mantis) but this is probably the weirdest - a very small frog. Where it came from, we have no idea. Given that we were moored about fifty yards from shore it's a total mystery. To give an idea of scale the guardwire it is sitting on is 6mm diameter. If anybody knows what sort of frog it is please let us know (Matthew Waldram, we need you).
 

Queen Mary 2
   
The doyenne of the British merchant fleet, the Queen Mary 2, passing us slowly on her way to dock in Bonaire. She is an amazing sight and these days she's one of the few things that make you proud to be British (her ocean-going design is different from other cruise ships, which are basically white boxes). She shares the same registered home port as us - Southampton and unusually she flies a blue ensign (the rest of the Cunard fleet fly the red ensign). The reason she can fly the blue is that her captain is a commissioned officer in the Royal Naval Reserve.
 

Fire
   
The scariest thing that can happen at sea is a fire, gales don't even come close. Behind the smoke is a small tugboat with (we think) a fire in the engine room. Fortunately they managed to put the fire out and returned to port.
 

St Nicholas
   
On Saturday 29th of November the Bonaireians celebrate the birthday of St Nicholas. St Nicholas arrived on the big tugboat which was escorted by the local dinghy club. You can see one of the little Optimists flying red balloons.
 

St Nicholas
   
And here he is.
 

St Nicholas
   
Needless to say it's a kids day and a big crowd turned out. St Nicholas has helpers who hand out sweets to the kids. The kids at home leave a shoe by the door (or chimney if they have one) and in the morning it is full of sweets. The small child being held by his mother had a wonderful teddybear backpack. Not that I was jealous at all...
 

St Nicholas
   
The party area where drummers were playing.
 

Troupial
   
You don't often see birds with orange feathers. I managed to take this picture of a Troupial in flight.
 

Yacht fire
   
In the Bonaire mooring field this boat wasn't as lucky as the tug. The owners of the American flagged yacht Constance were away diving when their yacht caught fire. The fire had obviously taken a good hold before breaking through a hatch, which is when the smoke first appeared. By then it was too late to put the fire out. Obviously you don't take money, passports, credit cards, cash etc diving. The owners therefore were left with nothing except bathing costumes and dive kit, oh and their dog, which someone manage to rescue.
 

Bonaire seafront
   
The pretty seafront in Bonaire. In the shallows by the seawall you could see Parrotfish and Blue Tangs feeding. The darker water in the background is the reef drop off which started right behind our boat.
 

House
   
And one of the typical, simple but pretty Dutch/Bonairean houses on the seafront.
 

Mooring field
   
Looking out at the mooring field Kelly's Eye is on the very left.
 

It rains fishes
   
With food to die for and not too expensive, our favourite restaurant 'It Rains Fishes'. It would be worth spending a day in Bonaire just to eat there - you could get in breakfast, lunch and dinner.
 

Slave huts
   
Sailing past the slave huts (on the right) on the west coast of Bonaire.
 

Salt piles
   
The slaves were brought in to work the salt pans which are still in operation.
 

Skipper
   
And here's my skipper on watch (driving with his foot) looking pretty relaxed. Little were we to know what was coming in the next twenty four hours.
 

Salinas
   
Salinas Bay in Puerto Rico is very pretty, this is the view looking north. There are larger mountains behind the hills you can see.
 

Christmas lights
   
Mike wanted to take a picture of a ketch lit up by Christmas lights and here is photographic proof that yachts move all the time and thus you can't take long exposure pictures. When Mike saw the picture he thought it was exactly how he saw the boat - it's called Gordon's Export syndrome.
 

Celi
   
Cely - sailing on Bob's yacht the day before she came to see us.