Hurricanes Hardly Happen

The dinghy dock is where the buildings are.
June 12, 2009
Spanish Waters, Curacao
All things considered, I’d rather be in Bonaire.
While we were in the West Indies and Bonaire, we were told by a few cruisers how great Curacao was. Some stories were third hand friend of a friend things, but at least one accolade came from someone who had been here. While we were in Bonaire we discussed the possibility of spending the hurricane season in Curacao. We could get in a marina and fly home if necessary and have some of our sailing buddies from home come for a visit. Boy, have I changed my mind since arriving here in Spanish Waters.
I can’t fathom why anyone would be enamored with this anchorage. The place is a wind tunnel. You could boogie board the wind waves in this almost land-locked lagoon. You are soaked when you finally tie off at the very distant dinghy dock. By soaked I mean you have been doused with the equivalent of at least one bucket of saltwater. Laundry? A bus ride away. Groceries? A bus ride away. Water, a long haul in the partially submerged dink. Ok, the bus to the grocery is a freebie. It comes to the traffic circle close to the dinghy dock at 10:00 in the morning and takes you to the supermarket. You have an hour to shop before the bus goes back. That is a nice gesture and much appreciated, but daily life is beyond inconvenient. The bus to Willemstad (capital) comes about every hour and it takes about a half hour to get to town. Town is attractive and the locals are wonderful. There are several casinos and they have POKIES!; the same video poker machines that I got addicted to in Australia.
I have to sign off now, I’m very stressed and have to go up on deck.
It’s 12:30 and Gene is back aboard Peregrine after a two hour trip ashore. He took the dink to check out a few ‘marinas’ and then got on the grocery bus. I suffered from high anxiety the entire time because we are anchored right in front of someone else. We have had gusts of 35 and even though we are well dug in (Peregrine bowed when we backed down), I hate being in this situation. We had to run the engine to charge the batteries, so on top of being on top of them, we fumigated them!! I would be sorely vexed if I were them. I believe in the Golden Rule, so I am insisting we move. This will be our second move. We found a great spot when we came in two days ago. Great except that we were outside the anchor area by about a boat length. We didn’t have the anchorage ‘map’ when we arrived. We simply saw boats anchored and found a spot with them and anchored. The Curacao Coastguard followed us the whole time we were looking for a spot. After we anchored they came alongside and we handed over our boat papers and passports. Gene asked if we were ok where we were. After the tiniest pause, they said, “Yeah.” Yesterday, we were approached by a local business owner and told we were hanging out of the anchor zone and into the local water sport area. We moved and here we are in this horrible spot. I didn’t sleep last night.

A few hours later…….

We moved. Now we are just on the border line of another side of the anchorage. After we anchored we put the coordinates of the area into our electronic chart. We swing in and out of the zone. The problem is if we move in a boat length, we’ll be a bit close to someone else. We could take in rode, but we don’t want to do that in these windy conditions. Guess we’ll re-anchor tomorrow morning and try to get inside by a boat length. Hopefully we can squeeze in and still have adequate scope for these winds. We thought about trying another anchorage area but when we went into Willemstad to check into the country, the officials asked where we were anchored. We are in anchorage ‘B’. It now says on our papers that we have to remain in anchorage “B” (Even though Anchorages A and C are only a few hundred feet from B) Great. I guess we can go back in and have that changed. Anchorage C is a calmer anchorage tucked behind a hill but it is even an even longer ride to the dinghy dock and would be out of wifi range (Unless there is another wifi provider there—doesn’t look like it, nothing but a house over there.) We are barely in wifi range here.
So here it is June already. Official start of the hurricane season. I can’t see living here at anchor until the end of October. There is a marina but it is full and the first opening is December.
Since hurricanes don’t come this far south we can theoretically travel to Panama even at this time of the year. It would be about a seven day trip to the San Blas Islands, Panama. According to Jimmy Cornell’s, “World Cruising Routes”, it is possible to go now if we keep an eye on the weather. My problem is I don’t want to sail in the hurricane season even if we’re “not in the hurricane belt”. Won’t some of the wind and waves from the hurricane area come our way if a hurricane hits?? And…since Al Gore invented Global Warming, all kinds of weird stuff happens. We could be cruising along in our predicted 10 knot winds and suddenly be hit with the first winds over 100mph in this area since the big bang.
We are in ‘thinking about things’ mode right now so we don’t know what we’ll do. If we left right away things might be ok. Even though June is the start of hurricane season it isn’t common to get them this early. The problem with that is we have a sail to be repaired and who know how long that will take. But, hey, “We’re livin’ the dream!”

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