Oct 13, 2017
While hanging out at the Million Dollar Bar (located next to the sailing school) Friday night, we met one of the locals that raced in the 2nd Bonaire Regatta. He is 87 years old and had great stories. You could see the spark in his eyes when he was remembering the old days. Back then, they raced for beer, nobody could cheat because there were no rules, and any boat that sailed was allowed (motors couldn’t be mounted in these boats due to the rudder/steering arm location, so naturally, no motors). We were listening to true Bonairian history. He left the bar before anyone else at the table, but on the way out tried to “pick up” or “catch a ride” from a female friend, but had to settle for a ride from a relative.
We also met a sailing racer who is a local legend. He has won numerous Regattas in the past. He ended up going to Holland to work on his other great passion, music. He became a famous musician, and eventually ended up back home on Bonaire. We even heard him playing his guitar the previous Friday, when we visited the bar for the first time. We had no idea who he was then. What a great night to remember!
Our favorite Bonaire fishing boat was one piloted by the grandson who finished refitting/rebuilding his grandfather’s boat just days before anyone else’s. And, after a few shakedown races, was joined by his grandfather for the next. All in all, we had a great time, with the best seats in the house, moored off the start/finish, and had great races to watch. They meant even more when we actually knew people who were out there doing it.