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Old 07-04-2012, 08:23 AM   #1
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Aruba to Curacao

After a week in Aruba, where we treated ourselves to western amenities and a posh marina, we moved out to the anchorage by the airport. Good holding in 8’ of water and out of the swell. The weather forecast to Curacao was only OK but heck it’s less than 80 miles and the long range forecast didn’t show anything any better, so - on to Curacao.

We checked out with Customs and Immigrations Sunday afternoon. They were efficient; less than 30 minutes after we tied to municipal pier, we were back on Hobo ready to leave - with our confiscated spear gun in hand. On trips of this length, we like overnighters knowing that we have extra time if we need it, which we did on this trip. As we rounded the south end of Aruba we encountered a 1 knot contrary current that soon became 2 knots. We had 20 to 25 kts on the nose and quick (~6 sec), 2 m seas. We slowed down to match the sea state for a more comfortable ride. We had the 2 knot counter current all night and the winds increased - but heck it’s less than 80 miles.

About 10 miles from Spaanse Waters (our Curacao destination), we were boarded by the Coast Guard. They were professional and easy going. The funny part was they wanted to see what one of the “fish” looked like. I think it was more out of curiosity about paravanes than anything else – or maybe they thought we had an innovative way of smuggling drugs.

The next day we bussed into Willemstad to clear in with Customs, Immigrations and the Port Authority. The process took 45 minutes and cost $10.00 US (for our anchoring permit). Nobody came to the boat so it was even easier. When we were in town we stopped at the floating market. It is made up of vessels from Venezuela who come to sell fish and produce. One of the other pictures is of the security guard at the Port Authority with the sign in English, Spanish, Dutch and Papiamento (the local dialect). The picture of m/v Alexander I, shows a true manual windlass. Next stop Bonaire.

Here’s the trip summary for both Colombia to Aruba and Aruba to Curacao. On the Colombia trip we had some positive current and 15 kts on the nose (average). On the Aruba trip we had ~2 knots of contrary current and 25 knots on the nose.

Santa Marta to Aruba 279 miles 1.46 gph 3.82 mpg 5.6 knot average
Aruba to Curacao 76 miles 1.74 gph 2.11 mpg 3.6 knot average
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Old 07-04-2012, 08:54 AM   #2
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Larry, thanks so much for sharing your adventures. Outstanding!! Can't wait for more.

Those easterly trades down there are tough. No wonder the divi divi trees are all bent westward.

Fair winds and happy cruising.
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Old 07-04-2012, 10:54 AM   #3
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Thanks for the inspiring trip report. Curacao is our favorite, above water, island in the ABCs with its harbor, swinging bridge & markets. I bought Judy a gold sand dollar necklace at one of the downtown jewelry shops, returned 3 yrs later & the salesman greeted us by name, remembered the exact piece & sold me my only piece of bling. It also has an historic synagogue in the downtown http://www.jewishfederations.org/page.aspx?id=106837

Watch out at the casinos, we’ve never won anywhere in the islands. Sometime during the year there's a festival where sailors using sunfish & similar boats sail from Bonaire to Curacao.

How long do you intend to stay on Curacao & is Bonaire next?
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Old 07-05-2012, 09:11 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by HeyJude View Post
Thanks for the inspiring trip report. Curacao is our favorite, above water, island in the ABCs with its harbor, swinging bridge & markets. I bought Judy a gold sand dollar necklace at one of the downtown jewelry shops, returned 3 yrs later & the salesman greeted us by name, remembered the exact piece & sold me my only piece of bling. It also has an historic synagogue in the downtown http://www.jewishfederations.org/page.aspx?id=106837

Watch out at the casinos, we’ve never won anywhere in the islands. Sometime during the year there's a festival where sailors using sunfish & similar boats sail from Bonaire to Curacao.

How long do you intend to stay on Curacao & is Bonaire next?
Thanks for the info. We'll check it out.

We'll be here for a week or so before we start looking for a weather window to Bonaire. We don't need much of a window since it's <40 miles. That gives us time to play tourist and to see if there's anyone here we know. Right now there are ~75-90 sailboats hanging out for hurricane season or just passing through. You can stay 90 days and then you have to either leave or get an extension. Unless you are getting work done, Dutch, or have a real good excuse, the extensions sound hard to get.

They do make it easy to stay here. There’s a free dinghy dock with trash/waste oil disposal at Fisherman’s Terminal. It also has a small bar/restaurant. Every day one of the large supermarkets sends a free curtsey bus to the Terminal. The market is located by several other large stores including NAPA and Radio Shack. There is even a water barge that delivers water to your boat for $0.29/gallon, Ouch! We’ll use our watermaker. If you want to go into Willemstad, it’s ˝ hour bus ride for 1.75 Guilders ($1 US).
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