"We will miss many things about Curação..."
Hello! It’s been a long time since we’ve posted, but we got busy with working to pay for next year’s sailing season and doing boat work. We arrived in Colombia this week, but more on that next week.
We loved our time in Curação and found it a great place to stay for hurricane season, although it did get pretty hot - unusually so according to locals; perhaps because of El Niño this year. Also the marina was well protected, nestled in between two peaks so we didn’t get much of a breeze. Our poor little 12v fan was working overtime.
Boats and all their components tend to rust, melt, corrode and generally fall apart in the hot sun and from being constantly bathed and splashed in salt water and salt air. I’m not going to bore you with all of the boat repairs we had to do. However, one of our major achievements this hurricane season was to finally get around to improving our bedroom. The main cabin in our boat is at the stern. When we installed our solar panel arch, we had to reinforce underneath our deck with stainless steel plates and extra fibreglass boards. We couldn’t find headlining anywhere in the Caribbean last year (the white or off white vinyl covering that you usually have on the ceilings and upper walls on boats). We sneaked some into our luggage from England to Grenada and it rocked around in our cockpit locker under a pile of ropes all season until we finally got a chance to use it. We got some boards cut and covered them in headlining to cover up the stainless steel plates and unfinished fibreglass. It looks much better now.
Another major thing we did was to change the orientation of our bed. Neither of us is super tall, but nevertheless, our toes touch the end of the bed even with our heads right up against the headboard, which we both found irritating. We had already built a battery compartment between our bed and the sofa, so we made a wooden holder for the cushion, got some foam cut and sewed a cover for the cushion using a neighbour’s sewing machine, installed a stainless steel bar underneath to keep it in place and voila! We now have ample space for arms and toes to wiggle as our bed orientation is now across the boat. We can also have tall people to come and stay with us now. A lot of work, but we love it.
We also built some shelves to go inside our wardrobes. We keep every item of clothing and shoe in these and they are tiny and oddly shaped. We had fabric wardrobe hangers, but they didn’t make the best use of the space. Now, it looks much better and we can fit more inside them.
Curação is a gorgeous island. We were quite isolated in the marina with a limited bus service, but we did hire a car a few times over the months we were there. We snorkelled in the blue hole cave - involving a short hike along a cliff top before you climb down and jump into the water. Before you is a wall of stone, you hold your breath, dive beneath the water and come up again inside the cave, with flickering blue domed ceiling and rippling turquoise water. Noon is the best time to visit when the sun is high in the sky. We also visited the furthest northern point of the island with its lonely lighthouse and puffing blowhole. A walk along the cliff side takes you to a tiny secluded yellow sand beach. At Lagun, half way up the island, we experienced our best snorkelling - first time seeing a tiny reef squid with its strange giant blue eyes hovering in the water. The resident turtle pootles around the bay and we saw a brown and white spotted sea snake coiling itself down an underwater boulder and disappearing into a dark crevice.
We visited the Kaya kaya street party. The entrance fee goes to the artists, a mix of muralists, visual artists, dancers, musicians and installation artists. Curação attracts artists from across Latin America, the Caribbean and the Netherlands. The Kayakaya was something that some artists had travelled to specifically to sell their work, such as from Trinidad. The residents in the streets open up their houses and sell refreshments and chat to the visitors. Many have lived in the houses for decades and are proud of the street art around their local area. In the evening huge numbers of local young people queued to enter to dance away to the live music.
We will miss many things about Curação, the incredible beaches and crystal clear waters teeming with life, the barren landscape, which was just transforming to green in the week or two before we left, the giant warawara prey birds, the envy we felt for the frigate birds as they whizzed around carelessly on their air currents, the kindness and companionship of our little sailing community that we spent hurricane season with. The two puppies and their dad that live on the golf course. Six months old now and look how they’ve grown!
You can find our PODCAST episodes at the links below
YOUTUBE (for video version)