Sailing Around The World

Archive for March, 2013

Happy Easter

I am still waiting to transit the Panama Canal but I am staying busy finishing up all the task I really do not want to do. On Tuesday my dad and I will help out a friend to transit the canal with there sailboat before we go through. I am excited to see how the transit process works and by doing so I know I will have much more confidence when it comes time to bring Dragonsbane through the locks. Anyway hope you are all enjoying your friends and family this holiday. I look forward to getting out on the Pacific Ocean and blogging daily once we are underway again.

Take Care,

Jacques


Hanging In There

You know its funny that when I read books on adventure and watched movies about people traveling around the world they always included someone getting sick. I never thought about it nor did I think that I could get sick but I was wrong twice. I guess after getting out of the Jungle and then sailing for 3 days I was hit by a bug pretty hard or something. I thought that it may be the onset of malaria but I am just about 100% normal haha.  I hope that I continue to feel better and I am looking forward to our transit through the Panama Canal in April. I just wish that it was not so hot here, its 90 degrees with very high humidity and no wind. At night it gets down in the mid 80’s but the mosquito’s come out and you have to stay in the cabin where its hotter. I just can’t win the heat battle here.

The marina we are in is full of cruisers making their way through the canal and working hard on thier sailboats for the next leg of their trip. My dad has been busy scrubbing and working on the boat the last few days as I have been laying around sick however I rather be scrubbing. We have also been working hard with all the paper work and red tap it takes to get through the canal. The rules here in Panama are very difficult and there are a lot of things set up in ways to make you pay more money than you should have too. But the great thing about traveling is the struggle of the journey. One day I may make it all the way home and look back at this and laugh.

Our Marina, Kinda nice to see all sailboats and only one motorboat on our dock!

Our Marina, Kinda nice to see all sailboats and only one motorboat on our dock!

Thanks,

Jacques


Made It Into Panama

Arriving into Panama Canal

Arriving into Panama Canal

Just wanted to let everybody know that we made it into Panama and my mom was waiting at the dock. We are going to start doing some repairs and arranging our trip through the canal. It should take us about two weeks to get through the canal and I will let you all know how it goes.

 

Thanks,

 

Jacques


Day 2 to Panama Canal

Not to much to report today only that the wind is falling off and we may have to fire up the motor to get the rest of the way to Panama. The wind is about 10 knots, waves 3 feet, and sky is cloudy. I am seeing a lot of ships now and that should make for a interesting night sail.

Current location: 10deg 29.68min North, 77deg 40.23min West

Thanks,

Jacques


Day 1 to Panama Canal

We are making good speed at 8 knots to Panama. I m hoping that we will get to the Panama Canal during the day but its not looking good. Anyway i thought I would let you all know we are doing good and enjoying the wind 25kts, and the waves 7ft.

Current Location: 11deg 3.9min North, 75deg 31.0min West

Thanks,

Jacques


Out Of Colombian Jungle and Off to Panama!

Our Truck to the Jungle

Our Truck to the Jungle

The Team, From top left to right Rich, Mickey, Tom, Phoebe, Graham, From Left to right bottom Jacques, Simon, Romana, Matt

The Team, From top left to right Rich, Mickey, Tom, Phoebe, Graham, From Left to right bottom Jacques, Simon, Romana, Matt

I survived the South American Columbia Jungle and I am now sailing to Panama for the next 2.5 days. I have to say that the trip to Columbia was the best decision so far on our voyage. My trek into the Jungle started 5 days ago in Santa Marta. I arrived at Magic Tours and was greeted by two English men Simon and Rich who booked the same 5 day trip to the Lost City. I was glad that Simon new a lot of Spanish and could understand what was being said. We took a trip by taxi to the city limits and were joined by the rest of our new team to trek into the Jungle. All 9 of us, plus the drive stuffed ourselves into our new clown car which was a small Toyota truck and spent the next 2 hours on the road driving deep into the Jungle.

Jungle Road

Jungle Road

We finally arrived at the Jungle National Park and were met by armed government grads with machine guns and full camo. They granted us access to the Jungle two track road and we headed into the Jungle Mountains on a muddy path that twisted along the edge of mountains inches from the canyons below. The road was covered in mud, rock, and we crossed through streams to arrive in a mountain village.

Our Start

Our Start

We had a quick lunch provide by our 2 new guides and cook. We then started our 4 hour hike into the Jungle which started out by hiking through a mix of Jungle and ranchers farmers as we climbed higher and higher to our camp for the first night. The terrain was a mix of streams, and steep muddy paths that had cross traffic of local ranchers moving supplies by horse through the mountain. We finally arrived 4 hours later at our campsite number one. The campsite was rustic, but included a hammock with an insect net for sleeping. We enjoyed a great meal of pasta and fruit from the jungle. We then enjoyed talking to one another about our travels and places we have been. We played cards and most of group went to bed. But a few of us wanted to play one more game in the candle light. As we played 100’s of insects started to cover the table around the candle light and soon our playing cards where covered with bugs. We had to shack the cards every time to get the bugs off so we could play. We quickly decided that after the king of hearts started to walk away by itself that the game should end and we went to bed. But our guide told us to use our flashlights and make sure we looked at the ground as we walked for poison snakes, and scorpions.  I crawled into my hammock and found it very uncomfortable because my legs kept going to sleep. I soon found out that no matter what you always slid down in the hammock and the blood rushed to my head. Even though I was uncomfortable I was soon asleep as the jungle came alive with millions of new noises that I have never heard but was very soothing.

Campsite 1

Campsite 1

The Trail day one

The Trail day one

Photo of me

Photo of me

Photo From the Trail

Photo From the Trail

The Jungle

The Jungle

We all awoke early the next day excited to hike deeper into the Jungle. Our breakfast was simple eggs, toast, fresh fruit, and juice. I filled my bottles with fresh boiled smoked water and put on my backpack. We hiked for 4 hours again and arrived in the afternoon at campsite 2. We all took a swim in the river that was next to the camp and enjoyed cooling off from the intense humid heat of the jungle. The water was cool and clean. Once again I enjoyed conversation between my new friends about American and English politics. We talked about our occupations, and the standards of vacation time, pay, typical working hours and so on. I found it interesting that other than the amount of time off we get we all work way to much and the world is getting too fast and out of control. As we continued to talk the rain started to dump down and the noise of the rain hitting the tin roof reminded us that we were really in the deep jungle of Columbia. As the sun went down we all went to our bunk beds this time and listened to the rain, and all the jungle things sing us to sleep.

our Swimming Hole

our Swimming Hole

Camp 2

Camp 2

Me in the Jungle

Me in the Jungle

The normal muddy Trail

The normal muddy Trail

hiking into the jungle

hiking into the jungle

In the Jungle

In the Jungle

View from the Trail

View from the Trail

Horse coming through look out!

Horse coming through look out!

One of many pigs

One of many pigs

View from the path

View from the path

Camp 2

Camp 2

We woke up again with eggs and toast, packed our bags, and slipped into our day old wet cloths. We all decided that there was no point in wearing fresh dry cloths because within 10 minutes you where wet to the bone for the rest of the day. The jungle was very hot and wet this 3rd day. I could not tell if I was sweating or drenched with the thick hot mist of the jungle as we climbed high up into the mountains. Sometimes the trail was so steep that we had to use our hands to pull ourselves up the trail. After being covered in mud, wet, and sweaty we arrived in camp 3. We were glad that it had bunk beds. Once again we played cards, learned more about each other’s cultural difference and had a great time. We had a great dinner but the steak we ate was not beef. The English folks thought it was Alpaca and I thought horse, not sure, anyway it all tasted great.

The group hiking along the trail

The group hiking along the trail

Phoebe hiking up the Trial

Phoebe hiking up the Trial

Matt on the Muddy Trail

Matt on the Muddy Trail

Climbing up the mountain

Climbing up the mountain

Tom way above me on a switch back

Tom way above me on a switch back

The trail is very steep and muddy

The trail is very steep and muddy

River is high now! Can t wait to cross it

River is high now! Can t wait to cross it

Camp 3

Camp 3

Crossing one of many streams

Crossing one of many streams

Climbing through the Jungle

Climbing through the Jungle

More Climbing

More Climbing

Simon Climbing up the rock face

Simon Climbing up the rock face

Looking down at Ramana from the trail switch back

Looking down at Ramana from the trail switch back

One of many water falls

One of many water falls

Camp 3

Camp 3

Day 4 we headed out to the lost city without our packs and hiked along the river for one 1km. We had to cross the river which after 3 days of heavy rain was moving very fast. We all made it safely across and where greeted by the 1800 steps that went straight up to the lost city. It took about 30 minutes of none stop stepping to get to the top at the lost city where the weather was very cold and wet. Our guide explained to us not to walk in the stone circle as these where sacred areas and that we were not allowed to enter so we didn’t. I could not believe the craftsmanship of the structures. I was told that what we could see was only about 10% of the city and the Indians would not allow the archeologist to dig anymore of the city up. The city was found by the cocaine ranchers about 15 years ago and looted the city of its gold, and jewels. Most of treasure has not been found but what has is now in Bogotá and England museums. The night before we got to the Lost City we talked with a local Kogi Indian about the lost city. The Kogi have lived in this region for thousands of years and to this day still live as they did then. They don’t believe in material things and believe in mother earth and everything that it gives. Matt one of our team members asked if they have noticed any climate change in the last few years. The Indian indicated that in the last three years 3 local plants have disappeared from the region. Also the rain and dry seasons have been very extreme and have never been so bad.

Crossing the River From the Lost City

Crossing the River From the Lost City

River Crossing at Lost City

River Crossing at Lost City

Group Crossing the river

Group Crossing the river

Climbing

Climbing

Still climbing

Still climbing

Climbing Climbing

Climbing Climbing

lots of Lost City Steps

lots of Lost City Steps

Climbing the very steep 1800 steps

Climbing the very steep 1800 steps

Climbing up to the second level of the lost city

Climbing up to the second level of the lost city

Lost City

Lost City

Lost City

Lost City

Lost City

Lost City

Lost City

Lost City

More Climbing

More Climbing

Colombian Army Watching Us

Colombian Army Watching Us

Me "Jacques" at the top of the Lost City. Made It!

Me “Jacques” at the top of the Lost City. Made It!

The Dog named Dollar because he follows the the teams up and down the trail like the value of the dollar up and down.

The Dog named Dollar because he follows the the teams up and down the trail like the value of the dollar up and down.

After visiting the lost city we trekked back down the 1800 wet steps and crossed the rivers and hiked back to camp 2, ate dinner and enjoyed conversations with other hikers from Germany, Australia, and many other countries. We woke up and trekked through muddy mountains, and crossed deep streams and made it back to the village. We all thought the trip was great and where ready to be dry for more than a few hours. As we drove out of the mountains the rain had been so bad the driver got us stuck in the muddy ruts. We tried to explain how to drive through the mud but he was hell bent on putting the petal to the floor and letting the wheels spin. This Columbia drive was a Jack ass bottom line and because we could not drive the truck we got to push it out of the mud as he laughed. O well it made for a good story. Sadly we all had to part ways and continue on our own adventures and I hope that one day I will get to see all the people I hiked in the Jungle with. They are the best people I have every come across traveling and I wish them the best of luck.

More river Crossing

More river Crossing

From the Trail

From the Trail

The River is crazy fast now

The River is crazy fast now

Trail high above the river

Trail high above the river

Our muddy return path

Our muddy return path

The View

The View

Stuck in the Mud

Stuck in the Mud

Me and Tom pushing us out of the Mud. Mickey too but he was not muddy LOL

Me and Tom pushing us out of the Mud. Mickey too but he was not muddy LOL

Coming into Santa Marta

Coming into Santa Marta

Thanks,

Jacques

Some Video


A day in Santa Marta

Well like Jacques said Dad has to write the blog today.  What to say where to begin?

Let’s talk about what I did today.

To begin with,  I saw Jacques off this morning bright and early kind of like when he was in Boy Scouts back in Gladstone.  He put everything into his back pack they told him plus those things experience has taught to take with just in case.   He will be hiking through the jungle and camping out under the stars in the mountains of Columbia filling his canteen in mountain streams etc.   Plus they will wonder through local villages and stop for a beer along the way.  We’ll see how good it was when he returns.

From saying goodbye have fun I started cleaning the interior of the boat with Murphy’s oil soap.   When you make a long passage such as we just completed the whole interior gets a sticky gritty feeling to it from salt spray that seeps into the interior and just doesn’t smell fresh, so we do a full spring cleaning after each trip, which takes a few hours.  I also made water with our reverse osmosis water maker.  The water at the marina isn’t safe to drink.

Then I went into Santa Marta to do some shopping.  It’s like the shopping frenzy on black Friday.  The streets are wall to wall venders selling everything imaginable.  There must be 50 cell phone venders alone.   People selling vegetables, hand made purses, hand made dresses as well as every chick name brand on the market.  It is truly capitalism in its truest form.  Very little regulation and buyer beware. However for the most part everyone seems honest and wanting to please and always always ready to bargain.   But since I don’t speak Spanish I could only point and ask how much.

Also every few blocks there is a memorial square filled with statues dedicated to some famous person in their history.   I found these people to be proud of who they are and of their heritage.  They keep their City clean and preserve their historic places.   It feels very safe, especially since there are armed military police on every street corner.   Many of the structure go back to the early founding families.   They also have a Super Market called Excite which has everything you will find at home or in WalMart.

Square 2

Square just off of Celle 14

Picture 005

Outdoor Cafes and bars

Picture 003

Busy Street Filled with Venders

Picture 001

Statue in a Square

Hotel and guard

Expensive Hotel from the 1950’s

Picture 004

Finally I ended the evening by being invited to dinner by some very nice neighboring boaters from Canada Cedric and Janet Miller who have been cruising for the last five years, now they have some stories to tell.

Tomorrow I go to Cartagena by bus.  They tell me it will take 5 hours to go 120 miles and that the ride is eye opening, we’ll see.  We won’t be writing again until Friday

Thanks for Checking in

Dale


Waves of Madness and Eyes of Red Glow

Last evening as I awake from a sleepy daze, I could feel all the bruises from slamming into the edges of Dragonsbane cabin when the boat shifted quickly and caught me off balance. It was my turn to take watch for another 4 hours at night, helm the boat, and trim the sails. So I put on my salty shorts, damp t-shirt, and climbed my way to the helm. My dad noted that the wind and waves where becoming very big and strong. My dad took no time to disappear down to his bunk to try and sleep in this wash machine of an ocean.

About 10:30 pm the wind blew up to 40 mpr and the wave where now reaching 15 to 20 feet. Dragonbane was being tossed off the tops of waves like a paper airplane and then rushed down into the troughs with a very loud roar from the white capped waves breaking. Once in the trough the sails would become slack and sheets limp, then like a shoot gun the wind would fill the sails and snap the sheets against the steel mast shrouds. The sheets snapped against the mast shrouds so hard that the shrouds would make a loud ping sound like a tuning fork for a piano. At this point I was outside my comfort level and was very sleepy. So I rush down to my cabin grabbed a spicy Cuban cigar and dashed back up to the helm before Dragonsbane pitch to her port side and put the life rail underwater. As I stood turning the helm back and fourth I stuck my spicy cigar in my check and lite the thing with my little lighter blow torch so the wind would not snuff out the flame. The bright glow of my cigar clenched in my teeth and smell of spicy Cuban smoke filled the cockpit. I surfed down the waves only by the feel of Drgaonbane movements and my white knuckled grip, I got her up to 10 knots a few times only to end up in the trough of the wave stalled out.

Being in the trough of a wave at almost a stop is very bad news I found out. As I listened a huge roar like a locomotive was bearing down on me, so I turn around and could see only white foam and the glow of my cigar. I new the wave was going to fill the cockpit so I extended my neck like a turtle and pointed my cigar up into the air like a submarines periscope so the sweet spicy tobacco smoke would not lose its fire. The wave hit and the sound was loud but nothing happened other then myself getting very wet. It made me mad at the waves that kept this unwavering punishment on me and Dragonsbane. But I finally started to enjoy the unpleasant passage and looked into the chrome bars of the cockpit bimini shined up like mirrors. I could see the refection of the two glowing red images that came from my cigar but looked as if my eyes where glowing cherry red. I thought to myself I must be going mad if I think this fun! We finally made land fall at Santa Marta Columbia where I went to sleep for preparation for my 5 day hike into Colombia’s Jungle and the Lost Cityof “Ciudad Perdida”

I will leave you all in the good hands of my dad for the next 5 days as I will be in the Jungle!

Thanks,

Jacques

Sailing into Santa Marta, Columbia South America

Sailing into Santa Marta, Columbia South America

Sanata Marta Columbia

Santa Marta Columbia

 


Day 2 On Our Way To Columbia

Yesterday was a very fast day on the water till about 4am. We sailed 9 knots for bout 12 hours and I thought that we would be to Columbia in no time but, as we sailed around the most north point of South America the wind died down from 35 mpr to bout 20mpr. The good news is that the wind is climbing back up but the swells are getting pretty big, about 20 feet so far. I have been told that the waves get really big the closer you get to Panama. Anyway funny story, last night as I was at watch a flying fish hit me in the back. It didn’t hurt it was just funny to see all these flying fish, fly into the boat. I must of tossed back 10 of them from the cockpit. The not so funny story was all the waves that kept coming into the cockpit last night. I know its hot here but that water is cold at night when you get soaked.

Current Location: 12deg 17.36min North, 72deg 54,64min West

Thanks,

Jacques


Off to Columbia South America

I thought I would send you one last picture before we depart out into the ocean for 2 days. Once again I will post updates as we sail with lat and longs. See you all on the other side!

These little guys where right next to our boat and I was wondering if they would come on-board or not, lol.

These little guys where right next to our boat and I was wondering if they would come on-board or not, lol.


Learning a Talent

I sail the earth with the idea that each new place will teach me something new and I will become a better person. As I travel I meet new people of all walks of life that inspire me to do more with my life. I find that the happiest people in this world are the ones working hard, but enjoy what they are doing regardless of the pay. Today I found myself with a charming and beautiful woman named Jay! She is very happy and getting married to her love. What I found so inspiring was the way she overflowed with giving and helpfulness. I walked into her Cigar shop; I was grated with a big smile and lots of questions. I asked her where I could find DVD’s and she offer to give me some that she didn’t need for no money, just happy to help. Then she invited me for a Cuban Rum, then espresso, and enjoyed several hours of conversation about the Aruba life and how she has been living on the island. I learned how to make drinks, season cigars in rum, and how I should see the night life in Aruba. I found it interesting that in Aruba the bars for locals is a big event that you need to prepare for. For example when you go out for the night each bar has a women that will review your personality and attire before you are allowed into the bar. If she likes you man or women you can come in and have a good time. If the bar staff really likes you they will give you your money back, but you better be one charming SOB. I am also learning how to enjoy food, rum, whiskey, and wine in a way that you don’t get drunk. In a way that everybody enjoys the food and spirits so it enhances the evening. It enhances the room’s atmosphere so it causes us to smile and our stress floats away without notice. I am trying to cultivate that talent with my travels so I can embrace it for the rest of my life. You don’t need money to have it but you need to learn it and that takes a lot of time.

 

Thanks,

 

Jacques


Walking Sideways In Aruba!

I spent the first part of my morning enjoying a crepe. I have always thought of crepes as a pancake stuffed with chocolate, fruit, or some sort of delicious cream. But not on a Dutch island like Aruba, no they put everything in crepes! I had a country crepe which is much like a farmer’s omelet. This thing came out of the kitchen the size of an 18 inch pizza smothered in cheeses, ham, mushrooms, and few other things that I didn’t recognize. Having so many flavors mixed together with the crepe batter it blended the perfect amount of sweet and salty to give you a real taste of the old country! After breakfast we walked about two miles to the bus stop and took a ride across the island to get more repair parts for Dragonsbane but enjoyed the sites. I was amazed to see the island under so much renovation and new building. Aruba has a very beautiful landscape and it is very obvious that the island is doing very well. The prices are not to expensive and after talking with a few tourist the cost of renting a time share with all its accommodations are very cheap. I would come here for vacation to only sit on the beach, drink, and dance.

One funny story of today’s travels is, as we were looking for the super market I decided to stop somewhere and ask for directions. I decided to go with this broken, dusty, rough looking building that had a sign that said RUM and MORE. I figured it says RUM so it must be a creditable location. I walked into this huge building like the size of a Target store to be very shocked when it was a small room maybe 10 by 15 feet. I asked the old lady behind the counter where is the super market, she told me and then told me I was in the Aruba Rum Factory store and this was the plant. Dear diary, JACK POT! She told me I could try anything in the store so I tried everything. I had chocolate, cherry, long island ice tea, coconut, and something called the sniper out! After buying a few bottles of my favorites I walked to the super market sideways and bought a lot of stuff I don’t think was on the list but sounded good. Best morning ever!

Thanks,

Jacques

Few Photos from today by Dale!

Why walk to your hotel when you can drive your boat into it!

Why walk to your hotel when you can drive your boat into it!

Better Picture of our docked boat Aruba

Better Picture of our docked boat Aruba

Aruba Main Harbor

Aruba Main Harbor

Flight taking off

Flight taking off

Hermit crab on the beach

Hermit crab on the beach

More Flamingos

More Flamingos

Now these little crabs freak me out! there like spiders that climb all over the docks and I dont like them very much.

Now these little crabs freak me out! there like spiders that climb all over the docks and I dont like them very much.

The Hotel Canal to bring your boat in!

The Hotel Canal to bring your boat in!


Aruba Island Landfall!

We made our passage last night from Curacao to Aruba Island, 75 nautical miles so we would arrive this morning. We left at 4:30pm yesterday and as we made it out into the ocean as the night sky filled the air we found ourselves navigating through a crowd of sleeping giants. There was at least 15 to 20 oil tankers/freighters off the cost of Curacao drifting in the wind waiting there turn to off load or fill up with oil products. I spent the first few hours playing my favorite video game! I turned on the radar and was able to see how far away and where each one of the freighters where on the radar screen, because at night on the ocean you have no depth perception. Each one of the freighters looks like it will run you over at any second but they can be anywhere from 100 feet to 10 miles away, regardless it was fun for me to sail through all the dots on the radar screen. As we made our way the wind blew up to 30 mph and we averaged 7.5 knots which was much faster then I planned on. We arrived off the coast of Aruba at 3:30am and put Dragonsbane into irons or you could say we just stalled out the boat into the wind, drifted 1 to 2 knots until we could make landfall at 8am. As we drifted for 3 hours we ended up back into a new group of freighters off the coast of Aruba, but this time it was daylight and we navigated through them with no problem. We cleared into customs, immigration, and sailed to our new marina for the next few days called Renaissance Marina.

What a place! We paid only $87 dollars to tie up for 2 days and we are located in front of a Casino, an entire city bock of fine restaurants, clothing, shops, and malls! But it even gets better because with being in the marina we get access to the resort gym, tennis courts, and their private island where a boat takes you to and from every 30 minutes. So I guess I will have to rough it a bit well we prepare for our next passage to Columbia “3.5 days” or Panama”6 days”.

Dragonsbane Dock Mediterranean Style

Dragonsbane Dock Mediterranean Style

Thanks,

Jacques


Gallery

Scuba Pictures Of Curacao!


Diving on Curacao Island

I spent the day with a German Dive Master checking out the diving around Curacao Island. Once again the diving was spectacular with no disappointments.  We began or dive from the beach  and submerged to 40 feet along a long reef wall where they had dumped a pill of trucks and cars down the 200 foot reef wall. The old cars and trucks where covered in coral like shrubs and ferns as if in a forest. I descended down to 60 feet and saw lots of crabs and crazy looking fish. After swimming back to the beach slowly decompressing along the way we got out of our gear and jumped into this old rusty van and went to the next dive site. We dove off a pier that had a floating oil rig under repair like the ones you see in the Golf of Mexico. Under the shadow of the oil rig we descended down to 55 feet and hovered over a cliff that dropped to 200 plus feet and as I floated off the cliff and looked down I could see dark blue and deep black colors with shadows of giant fish swimming below me. I turned my attention back to the reef walls and watch Sea Horses playing about, and schools of fish, mixed in with giant neon colored creatures. The coral was bright and full of life. As I swam I felt so at peace down in the depths as I came over a reef and saw an old sunken tug boat. Lots of fish now sat in the wheel house and the coal reef was slowly eating up the old wreck. We then swam to the giant pier and into the dark shadows of the deck 35 feet above our heads. As I saw into the dark thin beams of light cut through the water and gave just enough light to illuminate the large Barracuda fish just hanging out. The water was so clear it was if I was standing outside my house looking into the forest with tall hard wood trees at sunset. As I swam between the tall piers I felt like I was in space and I was so relaxed I really never wanted to leave. It was a good day finished up with homemade fish tacos.

Peace,

Jacques


Curacao Island

The day began with our hunt for the customs and immigration office. In Curacao I guess they don’t believe in signs on buildings for a indication of whats on the inside. Anyway we started by dinghy into a local marina, then found the bus stop and then got onto the bus. The bus ride took about 20 minutes which gave us time to see some of Curacao local life and sights. We got off in Willemstad and found the customs office, cleared and then was given directions to Immigration  We walked down the street, over a floating bridge, then turned left down that street through a gate were the guard was sleeping at his post and arrived at immigration  then checked in with the harbor master as well. After walking around most of Curacao we got a sight seeing tour for $10 per person that brought us all over the island and informed us of many things. For example 60% of the island income is through there oil refining  20% tourism, the rest who knows? The island is pretty wealthy but the prices of food and supplies are cheap. Lots of local markets with spices, food, breads, and crafts. They also have a floating market that has lots of fresh fish and fruits from Venezuela. FYI we are only 45 miles north from Venezuela/South America. After a 3 hours of sight seeing and a stop at the local distillery we had lunch, then headed back to Dragonsbane so we could enjoy Happy Hour with our new French Friends who are Anchored behind us. After checking up on Dragonsbane and seeing that we have not moved with the 30 knot gale we went to happy hour and talked about European and USA politics which was interesting to here a non American opinion of our current situation. Bottom line is that Europe has the same government issues and our problems with the US government is nothing new. The whole world has the same issue and it goes up and down.

All in all it was a great day and the weather was blustery but sunny. Curacao Island is very nice and would recommend it as a good safe place to stop for anybody. Now some pictures!

Sailing into Curacao Island

Sailing into Curacao Island

Curacao Willemstad

Curacao Willemstad

Walking through the city streets

Walking through the city streets

The Cafes that lined the canals through out the city

The Cafes that lined the canals through out the city

One of the bridges we walked across

One of the bridges we walked across

The Oil Refinery

The Oil Refinery

This big guy ate french fries from the people eating lunch!

This big guy ate french fries from the people eating lunch!

Me Standing next to some Cannons!

Me Standing next to some Cannons!

Our anchorage!

Our anchorage!

Thanks,

Jacques