Aruba – Haustiere und sonstige Neuigkeiten

Unglaublich aber wahr unser Kühlschrank ist eingebaut in die selbst gefertigte Arbeitsplatte angeschlossen und kühlt und ein bisschen Stolz sind wir schon auf unser Werk; ja nach einigen Schwierigkeiten mit dem Zoll – denn ein Wassermacher und ein Kühlschrank kann natürlich auch vom Militär genutzt werden somit eventuell Waffen ??? Nach dem das dann aufgeklärt war konnten wir endlich unser lang ersehntes neues Boot Equipment in Empfang nehmen und einbauen. Leider fehlt vom Wassermacher noch ein Teil und somit werden wir nach unserem Heimat urlaub weiter mit Bastelarbeiten beschäftigt sein.

Aber jetzt geht’s zur “Erholung” erst mal zurück nach Deutschland um Familie und Freunde wieder zu sehen; Wir haben unsere Artemis in der Marina Varadero gelassen und können nun guten Gewissens fliegen nachdem wir jetzt zweit Tage hinter einander ein Haustier bekommen hatten. Ja kein gewöhnliches – nein nein. Aber ich erzähl es euch von Beginn – wir hatten am Montag 5.8. Besuch an Bord von Bob einem Belgier, der mittlerweile seit 20 Jahren als Cruser unterwegs ist. Ich rutschte die Kissen im Cockpit zurecht und ordnete die Seile, als ich ein braun grünes Seil auf dem Platz fand, wo Bob saß und ich dachte er hat es liegen lassen und wollte es aufheben als es mir plötzlich heiß und kalt wurde – es war eine SCHLANGE!!!!!!!! Völlig aus dem Häuschen rief ich nach Neill damit er sie entfernen kann – aber nachdem wir nicht wussten ob es vielleicht eine giftige Schlange ist befragte Neill Richie unseren Dockyard Manager und er meinte nein giftig ist die nicht aber er mag auch keine Schlangen und somit suchte er einen Arbeiter, der uns von unserem blinden Passagier befreit. Als er die Schlange in die Hand nahm meinte er nur ” das ist ja noch ein Baby ” nur eine Baby Boa deshalb war Neill nächsten Tag, als er die Zweite fand ganz cool und hat sie ins Wasser geworfen. Wir staunten nicht schlecht als die Boa zu schwimmen begann und zielstrebig wieder in Richtung Boot schwamm – aber wir haben sie erfolgreich abgewehrt denn heute war keine mehr da.

Aruba – Life with a boat is never boring.

Yesterday we read a blog entry by a German sailor we met a few months ago, just to keep up to date on where he is and what he is up to. After fifteen minutes we knew that he felt his boat was falling apart and that he was totally depressed. He sailed to the Caribbean in his fourteen year old yacht and is very unhappy that the high temperature, hot sun, high moisture and salt water was eating everything.

And what did we think when we read of all his woes? “Been there, done that!”

Just because a boat has worked perfectly in Northern Europe for fourteen years – or in our case over a quarter of a century – that does not mean it will continue to do so twelve degrees north of the Equator. The climate here eats boats.

We have written a complete list of repairs and improvements and it really does look like we have rebuilt half the boat. Our advantage is however that – most of the time – we don’t get too depressed about it and just treat working on the boat as an intrinsic part of sailing; although the anchor winch motor did get to both of us eventually, luckily on different days.

working where others go on holiday – in Aruba

We have decided we need a new fridge and a device to make fresh water from sea water. Both are ordered and “somewhere in the DHL world” waiting for “something” so we have time for a few other jobs while we float just off Aruba.

Continue reading “Aruba – Life with a boat is never boring.”

Aruba – Exotischer Platz für Reparaturen 🌴☀️

Aruba ist die kleinste der drei ABC Inseln und außerdem steuerfrei; wir haben geplant unsere Artemis noch schöner bzw. wieder genauso schön herzustellen, wie wir sie gekauft haben.

Mein größtes Projekt war den Lack im Innenraum zu erneuern bzw. auszubessern, denn an all den Stellen, die mit “Salzwasser kontaminiert” sind, ist die Lack Schicht angegriffen und nicht mehr schön.🙄🙄🙄 Ich nenne es deshalb “mein Projekt” da Neill große “Projekte – Wassermacher, neuer Kühlschrank, Anker winch usw.” zu bewältigen hat. So ist es gut wenn immer einer der Chef ist und die gesamte Planung übernimmt.

Lackreperatur: bedeutet in erster Linie ganz viel schleifen und schleifen und nochmal schleifen; 😩😩😩aber es lohnt sich und hinterher ist der Erfolg deutlich sichtbar. Außerdem hat sich in unserem Dinghy eine Boden Diele verabschiedet und jetzt haben wir Zeit und reparieren auch das. Ich hab noch nie mit Epoxiharz gearbeitet aber wie gesagt “noch nicht” und für unsere Küche brauchen wir nachdem der Kühlschrank eingebaut ist eine neue Arbeitsplatte und für den Wassermacher eine Rückwand . Mal sehen wie wir diese neue Herausforderungen meistern – dass wir sie meistern werden steht außer Frage. 🤭🤭🤭😊Aber jetzt warten wir erstmal auf unser Paket aus England mit den Ersatzteilen.

Fortsetzung folgt……..

Anchoring – a complete overhaul

When we bought Artemis, we changed to a Rocna anchor and it has been doing a fantastic job of holding the boat each night – the statistics are here.

But there is more to anchoring than just the anchor. There is:

  • the anchor
  • the chain
  • the anchor winch with it’s gearbox and motor
  • the switch that you press to work the motor

The all important switch rusted and fell apart in Grenada but we managed to clean it up and put it together so that it worked (mostly) until friends brought a new one to the Grenadines. The new one fitted perfectly after we modified it a bit.

repairing the anchor winch
Continue reading “Anchoring – a complete overhaul”

Aruba MTB trailing

Round the cacti, over the rocks, through the sand and avoid the thorns. If you can do all that while still enjoying the view and keeping an eye on the GPS, then you are ready to go trailing in Aruba.

A six o’clock start meant we were well on our way by sunrise and had the first trail – Tribu Trail – finished before we met any one else. On the far side of the island there was sand, wind and a loan fisherman casting into the breaking swell.

On the second trail we actually met a few other mountain bikers and Neill got a huge thorn straight through tire and inner tube but that is just part of the fun if you leave the tarmac here.

We finished the tour with a fresh coconut and two beers and were home before it got REALLY hot.

Our track is at GPSies.

Bike and Hike

In Aruba gibt’s viele (zumindest mehr als drei )Mountainbike Strecken – aber bevor du die Tracks aufs GPS laden kannst, musst du dich registrieren lassen und ….. bla, bla, bla😩😩

Wir wollten eigentlich nur zum Radeln aber wie gesagt ist das nicht ganz so einfach; dann fand Neill im Internet den Hooiberg (662 Stufen laut Wikipedia) und meinte da können wir nicht Radeln und ich meinte aber rauflaufen können wir😀. Gesagt getan erst mit dem Fahrrad hinradeln, andere Schuhe anziehen und weiter geht’s; für uns Sonnen gewöhnte oder verwöhnte Allgäuer ist des koi Problem bei 30 Grad und 77 % Luftfeuchtigkeit ☀️☀️☀️die 165 Höhenmeter zu erklimmen. Da wir ja nicht alles gleich glauben,🤭🤭 haben wir die Stufen gezählt und um ganz sicher zu gehen gleich zweimal und haben es nur auf 579 Stufen gebracht.

Aber Mädels wie heißt es so schön: Treppen steigen macht einen knackigen Hintern 😆😆

– ich hoffe dass es was nützt, denn als wir wieder unten waren haben nur meine Knie geknackt.

Desert Biking

Wikipedia says that Aruba has a hot semi-arid climate. But when you are cycling along a dusty track what you are thinking is “desert!” Maybe it is the dust or the cacti, the whiptail lizards scuttling everywhere, the rattlesnake lying on the road or just the baked rocks? Maybe it is the temperature of above 30°C or the humidity of nearly 80%?

Arikok National Park

Finally we have found an anchorage where the waves allow us to land the bikes and a possibility to store them safely on land. So we are now once again bikers and life is good. Shops, gas suppliers and ice cream parlors are now all easy to reach, at least on the downwind leg. The wind blows constantly at 30km/h from the East so upwind legs are great training and really test your stamina at the end of the day.

Serious thorns!

Today we got up early, rowed to land and headed (upwind) to the Arikok National Park. We entered along a track and were immediately “in the desert”. The park authority had laid two thin strips of concrete for 4×4 vehicles to drive along. Cycling up a steep hill trying not to wobble more than fifty centimeters took some practice. The views were stunning. As far as we could see just stone, thorn bush, cactus, sky and sea. The only rattlesnake we saw was dead which was a shame as they are a seriously threatened sub-species. Huge thorn bushes are everywhere with finger long thorns that wreck bike tires.

When we reached the north side of the island the vegetation was reduced even further by the salt laden air and we cycled through the barren landscape to reach the Quadirikiri Caves which were just being unlocked by a park ranger. We entered the cave and had it to ourselves – apart from the bats that live there and were flying around and the biggest “creepy crawly” we have ever seen. The back of the cave is dome like and has two holes in the roof. It is like a natural version of the Pantheon in Rome – just smaller and minus the crowds. Stunning!

Quadirikiri Caves

Soon after the caves we met the tarmac road and followed it back towards the visitor center where we took a quick diversion up the seriously eroded track to the top of Sero Arikok. Steep, dusty and rocky. At least the quad drivers we met applauded our stamina and cheered us on. At the top we had a panoramic view across the island.

It was now nearly midday so we cycled in to town and bought ice cream, cycled to a workshop to collect our repaired anchor winch motor and then returned to the marina for two ice cold beers. After 50km, 650 meters of climbing and half the way “upwind” we felt we had earned a treat.

The part of the track until the ice cream is at GPSies.

Curaçao kindness

I finished a previous post about the joys of clearing in to Curaçao with the words “I don’t think Curaçao is really trying to encourage cruisers.” It is a real shame because during our time in Curaçao we met some great people and they were all really friendly and helpful.

Robert at the Santa Barbara Plantation answered our emails within minutes – unheard of in the Caribbean, found us a place at the marina and drove us to the bus to clear in.

Jill and Joop were amazing but we have already praised them in English and German. But thank you once again for your friendship, the fun times and all the help you gave us.

scenes from “the party”. Ana cooking. Diana as DJ and everyone having fun

And then there was Ana and Dani and “the party”. We were out for a walk and strolling along the beach at Caracasbaai when Ana asked if we wanted to join the party. She runs a catering business and had invited a few friends for a barbecue on the beach. Her friend Diana was the DJ and together they know how to organize a party. She told us she had great empanadas which – due to our Spanish still being at the very basic level – we misunderstood as bananas. We were pleasantly surprised when we took the first bite. There was officially only beer so I don’t know why we were drinking tequila and vodka. Heidi was dancing in a lineup with Colombian and Venezuelan ladies but she fitted right in. Dancing, drinking, swimming and great food. What a great day in Curaçao.

Nurse Heidi working on the neighbor’s mosquito bites

Vernon was “the guy at the dock” who let us use his pontoon and organized us a guy to repair our jib. Luis was that person. He not only repaired the sail but then found us a motor shop to repair the broken winch motor. He taxied us there and the next day picked up the motor for us. You really appreciate such help when you are in a bay at the “other side of the island”.

And as our “payback” for all this kindness, we rescued Brigitte from the rocks with her windsurfer, Heidi nursed Wim’s mosquito bites and we showed a very tired Andreas and Cecilia how to clear in to Curaçao.

Kolumbianische Rhythmen

Wie kann man sooo lange in Curacao sein ? Das haben wir uns, nachdem wir das 2. Mal in Spanisch Water geankert haben auch gefragt; doch Curacao werden wir immer mit Jill und Joop verbinden, Wir waren gemeinsam schnorcheln, radeln, segeln und eigentlich wollten wir am 1.7. weiter nach Aruba; wenn uns der Motor der den Anker hebt nicht verlassen hätte – nein wir haben ihn nicht über Bord geworfen – noch nicht – nein er hat einfach nicht mehr funktioniert. Gott sei Dank sind wir mittlerweile fast Einheimische und haben jemanden gefunden, der ihn repariert. Also dann geht’s halt am Dienstag nach Willemstad zum ausclarieren – aber am Dienstag ist Feiertag – also erst am Mittwoch. Dann nutzen wir den Feiertag und machen noch einen Spaziergang zum Fort Beekenburg, am Strand war eine BBQ mit Kolumbianern und Venezulaner im vollem Gang und wir wurden auch eingeladen – voll lecker – örtliche Köstlichkeiten von Anna zubereitet und nebenbei bringt sie dir auch noch kolumbianische Tänze bei. Wir haben getanzt, gelacht, das ein oder andere Bier getrunken und versucht unsere Sprachkenntnisse in Spanisch anzuwenden und umzusetzen – bin ich froh, dass alle Englisch sprechen.

Am Donnerstag 4.7. machten wir auf den Weg; über Nacht segelten wir nach Aruba, wo wir die nächsten Wochen bleiben werden um von hier aus unseren “Heimaturlaub” anzutreten. Eine neue Insel mit bestimmt wieder vielen neuen Herausforderungen, Eindrücken und Abenteuern.

Guest Crew – Curacao Days

Jill Venema

As mentioned in another post, we met Jill and Joop in Curacao and had a great time with them. Here is Jill’s guest post about our adventures.

It was Joop my husband, who first happened upon Neil and Heidi. He works as a maritime pilot in Curacao port and came across them as they were trying to get an anchor permit having just arrived here. They were suffering from the usual frustrations of trying to make contact with the right people in order to do this and not getting very far, so he offered to help. I believe he wasn’t able to do much for them  as it turned out so he did the next best thing he could and that was to drive them to a supermarket so they could at least stock up on supplies.

When he got home, he told me about this intrepid couple who had turned up here on their round the world sailing trip.(they actually didn’t like to call it ’round the world’ as when they set out they were not sure how far they would get, but anyway they were here having set of from Scotland and it seemed pretty far round the world to me !  I was very impressed and hoped I could eventually meet them.

After a few weeks had passed, due to them  entertaining friends, we were able to meet up. We met for a beer or two and ended up almost switching off the lights in the bar as we left.  The night just flew by, such was the very convivial conversation and enjoyment of each others company.  We all had so much to say and Joop and I loved hearing all about the journey so far and the wonderful places visited. We were both so pleased they would be staying for a few weeks and wanted to show them the island . We were so impressed that they rode their bikes everywhere to see the sights of wherever they went , Joop  is a very keen cyclist so it was decided they come to dinner and the next day he would take them out for a sight seeing ride. (I decided to sit this one out as although I like to ride, I only had to look at how fit the three of them are to know I would probably embarrass myself !

So as planned both Neil and Heidi rocked up one afternoon and stay overnight . They were very complimentary about dinner and especially enjoyed the beers in the pool after riding over in the heat. Heidi enjoyed the shower she said as there was  no limit to the water and she could wash her hair and take her time, something I hadn’t considered to be a luxury but I suppose when you think about it…and the bed, amazing to think they hadn’t slept on land for quite sometime, we were so pleased to be able to have them stay and enjoy .

The bike ride took place the next day …..I should probably have  thrown in a warning ….Joop can be a bit of a bugger on the bike and if he detects a certain amount of stamina , he will beast you , and he did!  However I think they both enjoyed it and had a speedy tour of all the different environments on the land, coast and cactus road and track and back for another dip in the pool. Later in the week we took Neil and Heidi to Westpunt (too far to cycle) to swim with the turtles which I know they enjoyed.

Neil and Heidi then very kindly offered us a trip in their beautiful boat. We set off  to a lovely local bay  to swim and snorkel and have some lunch. It was a most exhilarating trip ! It all started out with Neil handing over the tiller to me  which was very trusting of him as I found i kept going in the opposite direction ….anyway I didn’t capsize  the boat and Neil was endlessly patient although my constant ‘SORRY!’ was wearing i think !
Once we got out of the bay Joop took over and he absolutely loved it , we were against the waves and I did rather cling on like a cat but that’s just me, the boat felt safe and I couldn’t help but feel OK knowing how far Artemis had come with both Heidi and Neil so how could anyone feel worried ? However, Heidi provided me with just the thing for a nervous sailor, a good slug of homemade Baileys in my coffee mug, I was totally fine after that!Lunch was splendid, I couldn’t believe that anyone could produce first of all four mugs of coffee on the ‘high seas’ and not spill a drop and then such a wonderful lunch including homemade chocolate brownies , the woman is a marvel !

Our final encounter with these two  lovely people was to be a few beers before we headed off to town to meet friends….oh well, best laid plans and all that…..we turned up to a local beach to meet them only to find they had become involved in a local beach party (it was a bank holiday) Heidi was ‘twerking’, that bottom thing with the local ladies and Neil was welcoming us with a beer when we arrived….and that was that, plans changed….I went to fetch my bikini  and on with the party ! What a great night, dancing eating and drinking, (it was all on your tab and I did want to pay something but was not allowed to ) thank you for your generosity .

There is so much more I could say, we really did have  some great conversations and laughs,  we are sad you have gone but as you said Neil, the world is round and so we will surely meet again. Safe travels on your beautiful Artemis and I know you will make friends wherever you go as you are just the sort of people that make it a certainty. there will be lots of others waving you off from the shore thinking they would have liked you to have stayed longer….or gone with you in Joop’s case. He is on about buying a boat more than ever now whahhhh!