Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Aruba is One Happy Island

Two Happy Cruisers at One Happy Island
Aruba is a delightful island and we are anticipating a pleasant stay here. After checking in with Customs and Immigration Sunday, we motored over to Surfside Beach, the anchorage at the west end of the airport. That afternoon there was a strong squall with pouring rain so we stayed on the boat to make everything was okay in the anchorage.
Aruban Florins
Monday morning we went ashore to get acquainted with the town. We found the Tourist Information Center and had a nice chat with Emily about where to go and what to see. Then we walked to the area around Renaissance Marina and the cruise ship dock. A Carnival ship was in town so the streets were crowded with sunburned passengers. We found an ATM and got some of the local cash, had lunch, tried the Chill beer, bought a courtesy flag, some groceries, and a new battery for our water tester, and just enjoyed the sights.
Compared to Cartegena the prices are high here. The exchange rate of 1.79 florins per American dollar is favorable, but things are just way more expensive. (Except the cheese; the cheese is cheap and big!) The ATMs should give dollars because they are accepted everywhere here, but they won't because of the horrible inflation in Venezuela. The Venezuelans come over here and withdraw all the American dollars they can, then go home and sell them in the black market and make a 700% profit. It's crazy, so to get dollars you have to go inside the bank which we will do tomorrow. 
The local brew
Marble Statue of Queen Wilhelmina
Huge Rounds of Gouda Cheese
Today it was really windy so we stayed aboard and fixed things (windlass switch, running light, compass light) and cleaned and washed the salt out of the chain locker. We also visited another chandlery and picked up a few things we needed. Tomorrow is laundry day, then Thursday we plan to be tourists and go see everything there is to see on this 19.6 mile by 6 mile island.

Bonbi the Blue Cododo Lizard Mascot of Aruba

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