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!
Oh and don’t forget to subscribe if you want to receive a message if we post a new blog again.
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!