Thursday, August 9, 2007

Family visited us in Bonaire

Some of the photos linked to this log are from some of the dives that Bill has done during the past couple of weeks.  It has been a couple of weeks since this log was updated and I cannot remember exactly what we have done, but I do remember that Bill did a few dives before our family arrived to visit.  Note May 28, 2013:  No photos added yet for any of these older postings moved from our previous website.

Our younger son Aaron arrived in Bonaire late the evening of July 31, along with 15-yr-old Sebastian, our 5-yr-old granddaughter Elisabeth (BeBe) and our 6-yr-old grandson Zachary (BeBe’s cousin).  Aaron’s wife Lynn arrived on August 2.  So we have a boat full!

The kids enjoyed paddling around in our inflatable sea kayak several times.  BeBe had been practicing snorkeling in the swimming pool at home before this trip; but the first time she got into the sea she experienced salt water in her mouth and that was the end of her snorkeling.  It was also the end of her getting into the seawater at all except in the shallowest edges at the beach.  She detests putting her face or head into the water.  But then, she also hated water on her face when she was an infant.  Zachary, on the other hand, absolutely loves it.  He is game to try just about anything.

Sebastian learned to drive the dinghy and handles it pretty well for someone who previously had never been on a boat of any kind.  He also takes to the water like a fish.  Zachary has also learned to drive the dinghy but definitely still needs supervision.  BeBe wants nothing to do with driving the dinghy.  After all, she is a princess, you know.  She much prefers to tell everyone else what to do and when to do it.  Poor BeBe takes after me; she is literally covered in nasty large red insect bites.  No one else has even one noticeable bug bite.

Zachary was sick with high fever and vomiting one full day.  Then Aaron caught it and was sick for several days.  The rest of us have avoided catching this so far.  Aaron wanted to learn to dive during this vacation but that won’t be possible because he is apparently allergic to the desert plants native to Bonaire and has too much nasal congestion.

Sebastian and Lynn did windsurfing lessons one day at Lac Bay on the windward side of Bonaire.  Winds were light that day so it was perfect conditions for beginners.  Both of them seemed natural to the sport and appeared to enjoy the experience.  But we turned in our rental car (truck) early so now they have no easy means of transportation from the boat mooring field on the westward side of Bonaire to the windsurfing area on the eastward side of the island.  We do have the phone number of a taxi driver who could transport them if they really want to windsurf again.

One day we drove through the Slagbaai National Park.   The northern third of the island of Bonaire is designated as the Slagbaai National Park.  This park was nothing like any of us expected.  It is mostly a dirt road through a bunch of cacti.  The road is one-way.   You enter on the eastern side of the island and pretty much just drive around or near the coastline until eventually the road cuts straight back across the island back to the entrance/exit.  It was something different to do for a day, so we were all glad that we checked it out.  We did see the Bonaire version of blow holes on the windward side.  These did not compare in even a basic sense to the real blow holes that Bill and I saw in Tonga, but these Bonaire blow holes were interesting to the kids and gave them an understanding of how the blow holes work with the surging sea. 

We also saw many pink flamingoes, a few parrots, numerous unknown birds, lots and lots of goats or sheep.  We even saw one hawk and one deer.  Didn’t know that deer were native on Bonaire.  We stopped at a nice little beach on the westward side where there were several buildings and had restrooms and picnic tables.  We had brought KFC fried chicken and apples and bottled water for our picnic.

We also stopped at Devil’s Mouth on our drive to the park.  This is an interesting rock formation on the westward side of Bonaire.  Unfortunately, the bugs were horrific so we could not stay long enough to take decent photos of this unusual place.

We had parked the rental truck behind the marina office.  This was the spot recommended by other cruisers as being the most secure parking place.  Turned out not to be true.  One night someone cut the fuel fill line so they could siphon out half a tank of gasoline.  They would not have had to cut the fuel fill line if the car rental company had not put a lock on the gas tank.  Three other vehicles also had the fuel fill lines cut, but they were parked in a more highly visible area across the marina from where we had parked.  Police reports were filed for the other vehicles but we opted to repair the truck ourselves rather than pay the rental company for their exorbitant repair costs.   Bill and Aaron were able to purchase the necessary parts to repair the fuel fill line on the truck, so they repaired it and we turned it in early.  Not worth the cost of repairing vandalism.

Today is cloudy with scattered showers.  Bill and I have routine dental appointments this morning.  Lynn would like to take the kids out to the beach on Klein Bonaire.  The kids are playing their electronic games so much that we adults want them to do anything except lay around inside the boat and play these silly games.  Maybe a forced march down the sea wall might be in order to force them to get more exercise.  Today is also Aaron and Lynn’s wedding anniversary.  Don’t think they will be doing anything special to celebrate.  Maybe drink a bottle or two of champagne in the cockpit tonight.

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