Dolphins in the mooringfield.

Trrrrrr, Trrrr. I hear my phone vibrating on our steel deck. “Dolphins just 50 meters away from your boat!?!” I read in my whatsapp and scream to Suus. We are running to the front of the boat when a group of the most magnificent fishes are swimming by. Friends of us already jumped in their dinghy and are swimming next to them. We look at each other and decide to jump in the dinghy as well. Snorkle gear and slowly motoring to the group swimming just in the mooring field. “This is crazy!” I hear Suus whispering at me. When we are close we slowly dip ourselves in the water and see the dolphins go by gratefully. More than 50 of them are slowly cruising through the water. Moments later too many dinghies are rushing towards the dolphins and they dive a bit deeper. But just when we decided to go back to Yndeleau a small group turns and swims by just next to us. Two of them approach up to 2 meters from me, wondering and interested in what kind of weird things we are with a snorkel and big goggles, holding a rope with a floating thing, our dinghy.

While Suus her belly is growing we are finishing all the baby preparations, some needed baby tools are purchased second hand, a stroller, a maxi cosi. My tools have to make room for diapers, my workplace is replaced by a nice little changing station, one of Suus her clothes closets is gone for baby clothes, the kites need to be stored somewhere else because that is going to be her bed. Our boat is changing. At the same time we are struggling about where to be when the delivery could happen. We thought about Colombia but after a lot of deliberation we decided to stay in Bonaire. We felt really good about the dutch style healthcare, and it is a bit easier to speak dutch than our spanish. On the other hand, we had not been traveling for such a long time and that made us a bit reluctant to decide to stay in Bonaire. It would mean we should be staying four more months because we didn’t see us leaving before the little one would be a month old. But clearly the first arguments won and we decided to stay in Bonaire. We get a car that gives us the opportunity to kitesurf and discover the island. It also is way easier to transport a pregnant lady to the hospital for checkups and the delivery itself later. Suus thought that would be possible on a bike and me pushing her… Positive preggo brain.. 😉

“Wow, look to the right guys! That is the boat that was on facebook last night.” While we drive from Sorobon, windsurf heaven, back to the boat, together with Suus her sisters, we see a 48 foot Beneteau standing on the reef. From afar it looks like it misses a mast but it is just majestically standing there. The crane and all the cars around it already point out it isn’t meant to be there. “Let’s go check it out”. When we drive on the dirt road towards the point where the boat is standing we get another angle on it. And then we see it, half of the hull is bursted away. The boat stranded last night just after sunset. The crew was on its way to Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and just after the dark came in they hit the reef. One of the guys told us he was just calling the coast guard and when they asked whether they could get off the boat safely he glanced outside and saw that they could just step off the boat already. They were thrown on the reef and were laying there. They got off quickly but after they realized they couldn’t do anything on the shore, they decided to take at least all valuables and even started dismantling all the instruments. The boat is total-loss. “Pff, that hurts my heart” sighs Suus when we are stepping in the car again. While Suus’ sisters are also walking back to the car we look at each other, “Wow, these things are a wake-up call again. Is it bad to say that I am happy that he is not a cruiser with all his life on this boat?” “No”, answers Suus, “but it hurts so much to see his boat like this”. “They just left to have a nice easy trip to the beautiful islands of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.”. “It shows how strong and unforgiving nature can be!”

It took us 24 hours to arrive at Bonaire. A lot of tacking needed but smooth sea and perfect conditions.

We arrived at Bonaire!

And in the end we were accepted! So happy to be here!

Going to Bonaire, or aren’t we?

While rocking and dancing on the waves, we pass the lighthouse of Curacao. A moderate breeze is healing Yndeleau and we tack every half hour to stay as close to Curacao as possible. We left 2 hours later than planned because we had to do ‘just a few things’ before leaving. A large current, and the wind right on her new shiny nose are slowing us down towards our holiday destination. “Shall we just make up the bed in the galley and decide not to rush but to sail through the night?” We are enjoying our sail, a lot of boats are doing this passage by motor or motor-sail because it is always against the wind and current. But after 10 weeks on land we are enjoying every bit of  it. Just before the dark, we prepared a fish curry with a just caught Mahi-Mahi fish. The new freezer is filled up with the rest of this beautiful creature and in complete happiness we dive in the night. Our e-readers and podcasts are feeling better than ever. Our internal batteries are already charging and with the first daylight we see Klein Bonaire, the little island just in front of Bonaire. 

“Yndeleau, Yndeleau, this is sailing vessel Doejong, this is Doejong”. Our radio breaks the silence, our Dutch friends that we haven’t seen since the Canary Islands, where we prepared for our crossing together, are calling us. “Yndeleau, Yndeleau, this is Zoma as well”. Our Danish friends are welcoming us as well and when we are close to the mooring field they are dinghying towards us. The beautiful reef is well protected and it is not allowed to anchor in Bonaire, you have to use a mooring, two strong lines tied to a concrete block under water. An anchor and chain would drag over the bottom and could kill/demolish the reef. “Yndeleau, Yndeleau, just follow us, we have a free mooring for you”. The Doejong family is racing in front of us to a mooring and help us tie to it.


Mesmerizing turquoise water welcomes Yndeleau and us to our mooring, after we thank our friends and have a small chit chat we lift our dinghy from the boat and prepare ourselves for our check-in. The same as when you arrive by airplane you need to go to immigrations and customs. In covid times this is even stricter, you cannot have personal contact with others and we have a recent PCR test done in Curacao. We have been to Bonaire before, so while walking to the customs office we enjoy many memories. The pizza place we have been 4 years ago with my family, the beautiful promenade, Karel’s beach bar, the friendly people, numerous pick-up trucks and the continuous view on the beautiful blue water and Klein Bonaire just a mile away. 

The customs office is in the center of Kralendijk. Because of covid it is only allowed to enter with one person, as Suus did the check-out in Curacao, she goes in with all the paperwork. Just next to the customs I see all the colours of fishes swimming, I long for the ice cream at Luciano’s I see afar, and wow, all the boats at the moorings in front of Kralendijk. We are back to the life we dreamt of again. We have done a bit too much but at least we are ready to enjoy this beautiful island now. While I walk back to customs I see Suus coming out. “Uh, I need the check-out form of immigrations of Curacao, do you know where it is?” she asks. “I have no idea but let’s check” we go through the whole map but I can’t find it either. “Ok, I will tell them”. Suus goes in with confidence but I am getting worried.

Four years ago we were at Bonaire with my parents and my sister. The beaches are pristine and I can remember that everywhere you dive or walk into the water you find the most beautiful underwater world. I am longing for my first dive and snorkel. Not to forget the kitespot with stable strong wind and flat water in the south of the island. Oh, this place already had our heart but we wouldn’t have dreamt that we would be back here by our own boat, with a new wonder growing in Suus her belly. 

5 minutes later I see Suus coming out crying. “We are not accepted, we have to go back to Curacao.” All kinds of things rush through my mind. Curacao is exploding with covid numbers, we have to do a new PCR test, sailing up and down will take at least 2 days, Suus her energy is really low now with almost 5 months pregnant. We have a doctor’s appointment here for Anti D shots, important for the pregnancy, for Suus. “The officer is making a phone call with their boss now but they probably won’t let us in”. After 3 hours, explaining our situation and finally speaking to the big boss they do let us stay. We have learned our lesson, and fortunately not with high costs. Suus forgot to check out at the immigration office in Curacao. After so many of the same procedures we just think it was the “pregnancy brain”. We made a mistake but are very, very grateful towards the officers in Bonaire that did let us stay. Walking back to the boat we were even too tired of emotions and our 24 hour sail to stop at Luciano’s for ice cream. But don’t feel sad, we definitely made up for that! 

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It took us 24 hours to arrive at Bonaire. A lot of tacking needed but smooth sea and perfect conditions.

We arrived at Bonaire!

And in the end we were accepted! So happy to be here!

Wow, it has been 10 months!

“Wow darling, we haven’t written anything in a long, long time” I say to Suus surprised while I am opening our website and see our latest post. It is in Dutch and titled “We are landlubbers”. It throws me back to our time in Curacao, when we were living in an apartment, with air conditioning, a swimming pool, a car and even had 2 bedrooms. Covid has its advantages. With tourists staying at home, and rent prices plummeting, we could afford this amazing place during our Curacao refit. Suus had taken on a 40+-hours a week project for the Dutch government helping Senegalese fishermen improve their marketing and sales with the purpose of exporting fish to the European market. I took the whole boat apart for the “baby-refit”. Suus is joining me and together we read my last written blog. “We haven’t even introduced that we were pregnant. It was posted 10 months ago”. “Ok, that is pretty bad, but in our defence; we had some other things on our mind” I reply, “but I would love to write again!”.

So, that is gonna be my promise to you. I will write more regularly again and I will write in English frequently. I hope it is better than what came out of Google Translate before though. Feel free to help or correct me, see it as Open Source software :). And please let me know if changing to English makes you stop following my writings? I will post the next weeks a new blog every Monday morning. Trying to get you up to the present moment as soon as possible! So, if you are up for a good story, or at least… something to read every first day of the workweek. Just to wait a little longer to go back to your work email. Subscribe for the mailing list to get an update in your email when the new story is live.

So back to the “baby-refit”. Oh, and hell yeah, Suus is pregnant during our landlubber time! While having low energy caused by the growing little shrimp in her belly she pushes through a large work project. It gives us the financial freedom to change the boat to be fully baby-proof. Every morning at 05.00 AM I drive to, Curacao Marine, the wharf. The winter months in Curacao are hot, African dessert style hot. So I try to be ready at 15.00 – which almost never worked out – and we try to keep our weekends free – this worked out 3 times. The hull (bottom of our boat) needs to be maintained, large parts of the paint are falling off. I redo the whole propeller/shaft installation, it leaked and we don’t want to continue thinking about it, it needs to be done properly now. We also add a washing machine for the washable diapers and baby clothes. To be able to wash daily, more water is needed, so a watermaker is installed. The bathroom floor is not completely watertight so I decided to break the bathroom out completely and rebuild it so Suus doesn’t need to shower outside late in her pregnancy. We also want to finish a lot of projects on our long to-do- list, so we can spend as much time with the little one before needing to go back to boat- projects. Next to a lot of small things, Yndeleau gets a nose job with a new anchor base and roller system, the large water tank of 1000 liters is divided in two 500 liter tanks and we install a new dinghy engine lifting system. 

“Pffff, I can’t even lift my arms anymore, I need one more hour,” I tell Suus finishing the last paint on the nose job. “And I am almost done inside,” Suus answers. Five hours later, in the pitch dark, we are done. Yndeleau is shining and the boat is liveable again. Totally exhausted, we fell asleep in the harbour. After being landlubbers for 10 weeks we moved back to the boat again. Suus’ project and my 60+-hours a week tropical boatwork have totally drained us. But, we are sailing to crystal clear water tomorrow, it feels like we are going on a holiday, we are setting sail to beautiful Bonaire.

Ready to leave! Sailing via the beautiful Punda part of Willemstad. Do you see the coloured houses?

Sailing under the highest bridge of the Caribbean.

Building a new bathroom.

One of the biggest jobs; renewing the bathroom. We broke everything out and fully started from scratch… Built with wood, epoxy and glassfiber. New skills to me but pretty happy with the result!

Everything new and redone, we now have a watertight floor, a window, improved drainage, new location of the toilet, new sink, new countertop, new closets and a WASHINGMACHINE!