Tin Tin's Sailing Calendar

Thursday, 2 February 2017

Curioser and Curacao!

Our day sail to Curaçao brought us along a rugged coast, with great scarps like shark fins rising dramatically under low woodland and terminating in jutting overhangs over vertical cliffs. We sailed along past a high peak chiselled into ledges, below which a factory complex had been built on a little reef protected bay, Fuik Baai. It turns out that the mountain, Tafelberg or Table Mountain, is being removed steadily on a 125 year lease for its phosphates. Our entrance into Spanish water was hard to see- a narrow cleft in the rocks and suddenly we were gliding past a long immaculate mooring pontoon on our right, the other side of which was a resort beach and swimming area full of rather large merry Dutch tourists, with a palm shaded hotel complex below the mountain.
Spanish Water was a surprise, and very different from what I had expected. A wide expanse of water bounded by low wooded hills interspersed with deep Inlets. The surprise, however, was the extent of high quality housing development around the bay, with charming water front cottages and little docks, and red roofs stretching up over the lower slopes. Various Marinas were up different arms of the lake, but once anchored we could find nowhere that welcomed us and provided clearing in facilities. We stopped briefly s
At the Curacao Yacht Club and found that we would have to drive into the city of Willemstad. Needing fresh supplies we walked a mile or so up hill and down dale to the Van Thiel area to find a supermarket, but also found a coastal beach resort to see out the sunset.

On the first of February we caught a bus into Willemstad, relieved to be routed through everyday homes rather than the glittering well todo holiday villas. So much variety of cottages, shacks and more substantial houses, decorated with intense colours and considerable style.

The city was amazingly colourful with grand Dutch buildings lining the main port entrance painted in vivid yellow, blue, red and green. The bus dropped us by the floating market full of old wooden Venezuelan craft selling vegetables and fish. I then spent an hour in Customs before emerging to find the others in a waterfront cafe watching the ship traffic, and the amazing floating pontoon bridge that swung open to admit huge cruise liners, coastguard cutters, tugs, cargo vessels and even yachts. Two small foot ferries shuttled back and forth whenever the bridge swung open.

We then all trekked along the other side of the port to immigration and port authority which took us till 2:30, by which was needing a cold drink and lunch!

I then spent a productive afternoon in a shady courtyard using wifi to arrange an agent to transit Panama, a berth in Shelter Bay marina and clean off and anti fouling, and to scan and send all the necessary documents.

The bus took us back at sunset, and still needing more time to send documents we enjoyed supper in a lakeside cafe before retiring to TinTin

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