Thursday, October 26, 2017


Painting by local artist Den Spotlait

BON BINI MEANS WELCOME in Papiamentu, and you see these 
words all over the large Dutch island of Curacao, located between Bonaire and Aruba. 
Papiamentu is a Creole language based on Portuguese, Spanish, Dutch and several 
African dialects. It's been spoken in the ABC islands for 300 years. Another phrase often seen is 
MI DUSHI and means My Love or My Sweetheart or just sweet

On the east end of Curacao is the colonial-style capital of Willemstad. Many of the ornate buildings were built in the 1700's, and are painted bright colors, creating a beautiful backdrop to the busy downtown port area. Most of Curacao's 130,000 residents live close to Willemstad, while the west side of the island is dry and desert-like. Curacao is less than 50 miles from Venezuela, and has an oil refinery, Isla, that produces 320,000 barrels of oil per day, operated by the Venezuelan state company PDVSA

Our favorite restaurant in downtown Curacao - The Gouverneur

Delicious Cuban Banana Soup
I ordered fried fish at a local restaurant and was served the entire Snapper,
                           much to my surprise! It was wonderful, served with sides of salad,
                                              fried plantains and black beans in rice.

Many of our friends were worried about us during Irma and the other storms that took their toll on our favorite Caribbean islands. In fact, we were in St. Martin 10 days before Irma arrived. Ricky met a guy who mentioned he was leaving to sail to Bonaire, and we decided it was time to go south and out of the hurricane belt. We hauled our boat out in Curacao and scheduled a trip home to visit family and friends, but Irma was going over Miami and our flight was delayed over and over again. We couldn't stay on our boat, as it was already out of the water, so we checked in to Lions Dive & Beach Resort. Our two-night stay turned into nine nights. Finally we were able to fly home, but our unplanned mini vacation was pretty special. The restaurants on the premises are all amazing, and the grounds are spotless. We recommend it highly to friends looking for a new place to vacation, especially divers.

Having a romantic dinner at Hemingway's,
an eclectic restaurant right on the beach

KLEIN CURACAO, or Little Curacao, is a small island located near Curacao. Day-trip boats bring loads of tourists over to explore the rocky, windswept island that maintains one of the oldest abandoned lighthouses in the world. The 66' high tower and red brick buildings were rebuilt in 1877 after a hurricane destroyed the first one built in 1850. The newer building sits in the very middle of the island, and has received some recent tender-loving-care, mainly a new roof. The two keeper's houses have been gutted, but you can still walk up the narrow staircase for fantastic views. In 1888, Germany established a naval base here, but storms finally forced them to leave. We enjoyed snorkeling, and saw a pod of 16 dolphins and several sea turtles.

We were the only sailboat in the anchorage - a rare treat!
A Plumed Scorpionfish, camouflaged to blend in perfectly with the sea grass and algae 
A Flame Box Crab being shadowed by a flounder

A strange looking jelly fish found washed up on the shore that I can't identify

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