Day 91, Year 1: Day Three of Passage to Bonaire
Date and Time: Monday, January 16, 2006, 1630 AST
Weather: Perfect Sailing Conditions, Winds E 10-20 knots
Air Temperature: 80 degrees F
Water Temperature: 80 degrees F
Latitude: N 12 degrees 24.36 minutes
Longitude: W 66 degrees 58.66 minutes
Location: Interior Caribbean Basin, N of Los Roques, Passage to Bonaire

We just finished listening to the weather with Herb on Southbound II and he says the weather will hold as is all through tomorrow. How nice. For this entire westward passage we have had winds out of the East never exceeding 20 knots and not going below 8 knots. We have also had a current going our way most of the time that has given us a knot and a half boost. Right now we are trying to slow ourselves down as we don’t want to get to the east coast of Bonaire during the night. We are sailing with just the mainsail up and we are still going 6 knots with the current. That will get us to our waypoint just north of Bonaire around 0400 where we will turn south. It will still be dark, but we can stay well off the east coast until daylight. We will then sail around the southern end of the island and back up the west coast to Kralendijk. Bonaire is part of the Netherlands Antilles so the names of towns, streets, etc., that I mention in the log will be sounding very Dutch. The southern end of the island is salt flats and almost impossible to see until it is too late. There is also a current pushing toward that eastern shore, so that is why we have to be extra careful. Our guide books tell us many yachts have gone astray here.

Last night was another beautiful night with the light of the almost full moon making it seem light daylight. It was a little cloudy, but that moon found its way through. We only saw one sailboat during the night and another cargo ship today. Not much traffic in these parts.

Day three of a passage is just about the time you are finally settling into a routine. We tried 3 hours watches last night instead of the 4 we have been doing. I was on from 0200 until 0500 and found that I had to put on a long sleeve shirt. A LONG sleeve shirt! I had almost forgotten that these things exist. It was 78 degrees F, but the humidity level made it feel cool. I apologize to those of you in the north lands, but 78 can really feel cool here. Since I was on until 0500, I then slept until 0800. That is when our day begins. Breakfast during passage is usually cereal and banana or boiled egg and toast. Today was the latter. Sun showers are next and then I headed below to do some of those things that I mentioned yesterday—cleaning out the refrigerator, cleaning out the spice drawer, making a cole slaw that is supposed to keep without refrigeration, preparing a stew for dinner. By the time I finished all of this it was about 1300 and I heard Mark call out, “Dolphins!” I grabbed the camera and went on deck. There were really hundreds of dolphins all around us. They stayed with us for about 20 minutes and put on quite a show jumping and frolicking all around. I find it very difficult to get good pictures of fast moving wildlife, but I did get a couple that I will post. I used the digital camera to try and get short videos and that worked much better. I don’t know if I can post videos, but I will if that is possible.

It was time for lunch and then I usually spend some time answering e-mails. By the time that is done, it is time for the weather, time to write and post the log for the day, and then time to relax before dinner and the watches begin. We did set out a line and lure today to see if we could catch some fish. No luck so far.

So goes a typical day during a passage. Tomorrow all of that will change and we will go into ”tourist “ mode. As soon as we arrive in Bonaire, we will prepare to go to town to check in with Customs and Immigration and to begin exploring a new island. Thursday and Friday will be days to explore underwater and then we will decide whether to move on to Curacao or stay in Bonaire for more underwater fun.

060116 Day 91a Passage to Bonaire–Dolphin Videos
060116 Day 91b Passage to Bonaire–Union Island to Bonaire