Bonaire and the Aftermath of Hurricane Irma

 

Sept 7, 2017

Eva and Mike made it to Santa Marta! We are really anxious to see what they think about Columbia!  We have been hanging out with them since July, and it is nice to stay in touch once we decided to go our separate ways. We love our Iridium Go satellite texter!  Mark helped Eva set theirs up while we were all in Aruba, so now we can still communicate.

Angie forgot to take the sinus meds during the passage and woke with  horrific  sinus pressure behind her eyes and in her inner ears, so she is back to full force with everything including antibiotics, hoping to knock it out once and for all.   When she was on antibiotics for the kidney infection, she felt her ears actually clear up for the first time in ages, so this should do it!

Mooring Field Looking North
Mooring Field Looking North

We ended up moving to the “outer” mooring balls when one of the monohullers, who helped us before, decided to leave. They were taking advantage of the now increasing Easterly winds, and heading to Curacao.  Getting winds from the West make the inner balls uncomfortably close to the walls of concrete lining the harbor in this area, so we wanted to jump as soon as possible, in case there was another wind shift.  Besides, the outer mooring balls were directly over coral!  There is nothing Angie likes better than snorkeling or diving off the back of our boat and seeing fish life and colorful coral! Mark helped a lady single handling a Manta 40 catamaran hook up to an inner mooring ball.  She had just arrived from Grenada and there were no other mooring balls open.

Kids on Skiffs Bon 1

We dinghied into the marina to pay for a month of mooring, purchase gasoline for the dinghy, and pick up the Bonaire Marine Park “tags” needed for snorkeling or diving anywhere around the island.  It is about time.  This is the first time this year that we have seen the inside of the boat reach 100 degrees.  We need to be able to cool off while snorkeling in the water and find the new sunshades we picked up before this journey.

Break out the Sun Shades!
Break out the Sun Shades!

We also needed to find the local wifi spots.   Here, it is at the local restaurants with very limited range and most are secured. You have to be a patron, buying food or drink, and they change their password frequently, or have you sign in via FaceBook.  Unfortunately, for some reason, Angie cannot get the FaceBook sign-ins to work.  It doesn’t seem to be too costly though.  Gio’s offers $1.75 per scoop gelatos, Rumba Café offers $5 pizza slices, and Karel’s Bar has half off happy hours.  The problem is we have to leave the boat and dinghy to shore to do any type of online work.  That isn’t happening when there is strong surge or chop between here and there. So, we will be MIA from the internet most of the time while on Bonaire.

Pup on back of boat Bon 1

After being “disconnected” for a few days, we were extremely concerned over the way Irma escalated and the path with which she ended up taking.  We were praying it would turn out to sea, but it didn’t . We have really good friends in St. Martin and the BVI’s on boats and are devastated by the pictures of destruction Irma has brought to those islands.   Thankfully, after a few worrisome days, we were able to find out our friends are all safe, but their homes/boats are not.  We are heartbroken for their losses.  And, then, soon after, Irma ripped over Cuba, through the Keys and throughout Florida.  It is hard to believe all of the destruction from this storm .  Again, thankfully, our friends are safe, but some of their homes have been destroyed.  Some of them were hit last year in St Augustine by Matthew, and now, again, by Irma. It tears the heart.

It really has made us ponder what we are doing here, still in the (newly charted, thanks to climate change) hurricane zone, according to our insurance company.  Hopefully, we will be able to enjoy Bonaire before we need to run from a storm heading our way again.  The fear and concern that we had when threatened by Bert, Don and Harvey are nothing now, after seeing what Irma has done to our friends’ homes. We are going to have to run like hell if one starts towards Bonaire. If anything, Irma has shown us that “hurricane holes” and “safe harbors” gave us a false sense of safety. Something we will have to remember for a very, very long time.

Sunset over Klein Bon 1

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