Monday, November 30, 2015

Klein Bonaire Snorkeling



This is the last video I took back on Bonaire. It's taken a while to get good enough Internet to upload it.
We have tried to snorkel here in Grenada, but Bonaire spoiled us. We think the water is too murky here, but I'm sure we will eventually find a nice spot.



Sunday, November 29, 2015

Arts and Crafts

A really long time ago I started making these embroidered tea towels of our various trips. So far I have finished three. Perhaps I should make them a little simpler so they don't take so long?
 
Notice how little my now-grown-up daughters are in this old photo? Boy, I am really WAY behind.
 
 
The Leaning Tower of Pisa
 
 
And Malcolm still had red hair when we were there in 2002.
 
 
Using them sure brings back great memories. I just hope I can catch up someday, but now I have to add more for our sailing trip; Mexico, Central America, the Panama Canal, San Blas Islands, Cartagena, Aruba, Bonaire. I'd better buy a lot more tea towels! 

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Camp Grenada

A few years back boat insurance companies declared that anywhere below 12 degrees North latitude would be safe during the Caribbean hurricane season which is from June to October. Wouldn't you know it? Grenada is just below 12 degrees! Consequently hundreds of boats hang out down here or in Trinidad waiting for the hurricane season to be over so they can resume their wanderings in the Caribbean. The yachtie community has gotten so established down here that folks call it "Camp Grenada". I guess we have joined the camp because we are right in the middle of it here in Prickly Bay. Every day there are announcements for activities like yoga, tai chi, arts and crafts, dominos, chess, etc. There are daily bus trips to places like the grocery store, hardware store, open air vegetable market, and chandlery. Some boats have been here for YEARS! I don't think we will end up doing that, but who knows?
The anchorage at Prickly Bay, Grenada

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

St George's Town, Grenada

We had a nice walk around town yesterday afternoon. The architecture is reminiscent of England.
This Victorian cottage with its overgrown front garden appealed to me.
The streets are very steep and narrow in town and walking is downright scary.
We walked up to the fort and enjoyed fabulous views of the town and waterfront.

Here's another reason it's so scary to walk here; they drive on the WRONG side of the road! And notice how close the cars are to the sidewalk? We keep telling ourselves, "Look right, look right."

Monday, November 23, 2015

Bonaire to Grenada

After fueling up at Harbor Village Marina in Bonaire, we started our 450 mile passage to Grenada. It was another long trip fighting a strong current most of the way. However we did get some rain one day that washed off a lot of salt. And we did enjoy some nice sunsets. And our first view of Grenada this morning was charming. We can hardly wait to get ashore.
For you cartophiles, our longitide here in Grenada is about 62 degrees and the longitude of Halifax, Nova Scotia is 63 degrees, so we are even further east than Halifax. It's amazing how far east we have come from the 120 degrees back home in California.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Bonaire Hedgerow

I have always admired English hedgerows which are basically a living fence of closely planted trees and shrubs. If well maintained they are strong enough to contain cattle. They also provide cover for a large community of birds, animals, and insects and give the English countryside its distinctive soft green look.

Here in Bonaire they have a similar concept, but in this arid climate different plants must be used. The candle cactus (Pilosocereus lanuginosus) is used and woven between wire, instantly providing an animal proof fence.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Bonaire Island Tour

Yesterday we took a little drive around the island. Heading South from Kralendijk we arrived at the massive salt pans and the huge piles of salt waiting to be loaded onto ships.
 
 
 
 
Along this part of the coast are several obelisks. They are all painted different colors and many years ago served as markers for the various anchoring spots for the salt ships.
 
 
 
Bonaire is famous for its flamingos and we were lucky enough to see several. These mature ones were in a lake called Gotomeer on the North end of the island.
 
 
This immature flamingo has yet to attain his distinctive coloring. The coloring comes from their diet of brine shrimp.
 
 
These slave huts were provided for the salt pan workers. They are so tiny even I had to duck to get in the door.
 
But they had beautiful views towards the sea.
 
 
Another obelisk with a cruise ship in the background.
 
  
 
Being a Dutch island, windmills are used to transfer water around the salt pans.
  
 
 And this is the lighthouse at the South end of the island.

Monday, November 16, 2015

A Trip To Van den Tweel's

We stopped by Van den Tweel's supermarket this afternoon and I took a few photos to show you our shopping dilemma. The pictures on the boxes help a lot, but some things are just mysterious!
 
Above you see what could be cookies, but look carefully. See the picture of cheese? These are "Assorted Puff Pastry Cheese Biscuits".

Above is "Sliced Smooth Gingerbread Whole Wheat". Gingerbread toast?
 
This ones easy; it's pancakes. You add 800 ml milk and 2 eggs.
 
This is a "Potato-Leek Soup Meal" but you have to add a "small leek, a medium sized potato, and 50g of ham pieces".
 
Another easy one; "Wild Pink Salmon".
 
And another easy one; "Green Tea - A Conscious Choice".
 
We picked up this sauce packet because there is a lot of cauliflower here and it looked good. When I got back to the boat I Googled it and it's a "Curry Cream Sauce". The label says it's "Yummy on Cauliflower" so I'm sure we will like it, but I had to translate the instructions which were thankfully simple: "Whisk the contents of this packet with 250ml of cold milk in a pan. Bring to a boil. Simmer for a few minutes. Serve".
 
And wouldn't you know it; they had no Rundervinken today. The meat counter lady said maybe tomorrow, so we will be going back because we are stocking up the boat again for our passage to Grenada. There is a sweet weather window starting Wednesday and lasting until Sunday. Perfect.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Snorkeling Along The Waterfront

 
Although this is not a marked dive site here in Bonaire, we frequently swim over from our boat to say hello to the friendly fish. And we are starting to profit from it; Malcolm found a dollar yesterday. If this keeps up, in nine more days we will be able to buy a Bloody Mary at Karel's.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Monarch Butterflies & Caribbean Milkweed

I had always heard that Monarch butterflies laid their eggs on milkweed, but I never knew exactly what milkweed looked like. There are several different varieties, but here in the Caribbean they have one called Sodom Apple or Calotropis procera. It has large pale grey-green leaves, pretty purple flowers, and strange puffy fruits. There are many of these plants growing all over Bonaire. We recognized them from our visit to the butterfly farm back on Aruba and easily found Monarch butterfly eggs and caterpillars on them.
 
Above you see one of the fruits covered with Monarch butterfly eggs. The fruits are soft and empty except for the brown seeds which are dispersed by the wind via their attached white tufts of hair.
 
 
It's easy to find the caterpillars on the leaves; just look for the leaves with holes in them.
 
The toxins in the milkweed plant make the caterpillars, and the mature butterflies too, taste bad to birds and provide a natural defense mechanism for the Monarch.
 
 

Bonaire Architecture

 
There seems to be either a glut of ochre paint here on Bonaire or some official mandate for public building colors, because this gold color is EVERYWHERE.
 

When we were looking for the Customs building the first day we arrived, someone said, "It's the gold building with the red roof". Hmmm, they're ALL gold with red roofs!
 
 
 
 
After wandering around the island we realized that there are some buildings painted different colors, like blue, green, pink, and orange.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
In fact we saw this little "Fixer Upper" and thought we could buy it and live here. You can bet we won't paint it gold; maybe Tiffany Blue or Aqua?