We are happy in Culebrita, working hard and having fun as well. Still together with our friends Robbie and Pete and Bob and Claudia.
We will be here till the hurricane season, then plan to go back to Curacao.
Here's what has happened since leaving Cartagena.


We made a decision to spend Christmas with Bob and Claudia ( S/V Flashback) in Culebra in the Spanish Virgin Islands.

Leaving Cartagena with the “promise” of a weather window of light winds and reduced current we sat of up the coast past Barranquilla with its dangerous river outflow of debris and on up to Santa Martha for a quick rest in Rodadero Beach.

Just around the corner of the coast from there lie the famous 5 Bays which offer good protected anchorages while we waited for favorable winds to carry us along the 120 mile stretch to Cabo de la Vela. We were unable to sail and were reduced to motoring into nearly 30 kts of wind with and adverse current. Eventually reaching Cabo de la Vela, we gratefully anchored under the protection of the cape. From there we bashed along the coast to Bahia Honda, a virtually unexplored bay in which we found shelter before attempting to round Punta Galinas, one of the most difficult upwind passages imaginable.

The currents are strong on the nose and we were lucky to only find about 30 to 35 kts of wind against us. To add to our discomfort we knew that we were on one of the most dangerous lee shores a yacht could encounter. Eventually the coast slipped away from us and the current eased and after an exhausting leg of the trip we arrived at Monjes del Sur.

This extraordinary place lies halfway between Punta Galinas, Colombia and Aruba. It consists of two barren rocks, one of which supports a Venezuelan coast guard station. Intriguingly they have built a stone causeway between the 2 rocks and on the leeward side have strung a rope a few meters behind the wall and also between the rocks. Mooring lines are attached to this rope which visiting fishing boats or yachts tie on to, there being room for 6 or 8 boats in total. We spend 2 anxious nights hanging there in howling wind, consolidating our strength and resolve to continue on to Aruba no matter what. We tried unsuccessfully to buy diesel fuel from the coast guard and other yachts and then upon asking a Venezuelan fishing boat if they had diesel to sell one of their deckhands swam a line over to us, got our jerry cans across to his boat and floated them back over to us. This topped off our tanks and to our amazement the captain refused any payment and was quite upset when a huge tuna fish he offered us had to be refused for lack of space in our fridge. What nice people!

We got out of MOnjes del Sur at dusk and after another terrible windward trip against 30 kts, current and high, confused seas, we got into Aruba where we were happy to stay for a few days in a calm anchorage. Aruba is rather Americanized but retains a bit of Dutch ness and is a place we would like to spend more time at as and when we go back across the Caribbean en route for the Panama Canal.

Aruba to Curacao was yet another thrash to windward and we got to the Spanish Water anchorage 3 hard weeks after leaving Cartagena.

Pete and Robbie were there to great us as was Baerne, a Dutch boat we had spend time with in Cholon.

The time in Curacao was mostly spend with stocking up on Dutch liquorice and cheese, items not available in South America!

Pete and Robbie, who by now had made their way via Jamaica, D.R., Martinique and Trinidad back to Curacao also wanted to go to Culebra for Christmas.

They needed to leave promptly because their visas had expired, so off we went, motoring due East past the southern tip of Bonaire towards the Aves Islands. The weather deteriorated and the big seas and strong winds on the nose combined again with the current slowed us so completely that we headed back to Bonaire and picked up a mooring which is compulsory ( there is no anchoring in Bonaire) and decided to try again another day if and when the weather improved.

That turned out not to be for another 2 weeks, which we spend exploring the island, snorkeling and relaxing.

A helpful cold front blew of the continental USA and caused a reduction in trade winds in the eastern Caribbean, a golden opportunity to sail north-east for Culebra.

The trip itself was upwind but pleasant enough especially when compared to all that had gone before.

Just before arriving in Culebra, Jeff crossed his track and became a fully paid-up circumnavigator, after 30 years probably the slowest ever!

We arrived the 24th of December in the morning ( brinkmanship!)

In Culebra Bob and Claudia had every thing already organized for Christmas and after joyful reunions we enjoyed a great Christmas beach party with them, PR2 and other friends.

The time till New Year was spent having dinner on one or other of the boats, doing small chores, shopping and snorkeling. Although the weather was quite stormy for a few days, it cleared away mostly in time for a New Years Eve party on Stravaig, where a good time was had by all and Jeff piped in the New Year!

The last couple of months have been spend snorkeling, fishing, dinners and evenings with card games with friends and also lots of hard work to get the rest of the projects done, of which there are still quite a few!

But we are slowly working our way through them and the boat is looking nicer and nicer. We will stay here a bit longer, next stop will be Curacao again where we might haul out to do the bottom next.







Jeff " destroying" the cockpit seating and finding some old termite damage that was down as far as the outside paint on the underwing!















All this is now looking good!







Cockpit before the new seats are done.













Our geckos having a fight???????












We were going to have lunch here on our day around the island in Bonaire!











One of the many beautiful iguanas in Bonaire.








Just a little bird.











Our backyard view in Culebra, Dakiti Bay.












Pink flamengos in Bonaire.





The houses that the slaves lived in with 6 to a house in Bonaire!





Fences made from cactus, guaranteed to keep intruders out!





And here you can see how small the houses are!
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