Sunday, September 16, 2018

Curacao Marine - Out of the Hurricane Zone

September 18 2018
Secure Customs yard
It is hot.  The good thing about hurricane holes is that they are usually hidden away, protected places.  The bad thing about hurricane holes is that they are hidden away, protected places aka little wind, and thus HOTTER than hell.  My phone apps says "89 today but feels like 101."  Yes it does.  Actually more inside the boat.
The maze through the boats
Here we sit at Curacao Marine on the hard at 12.1N and 68.2W - just above Venezuela and most important, out of the hurricane zone/box.  Unlike Trinidad, Curacao is primarily dry.  We did have a down pour the other night but that is it, otherwise it has been very dry.   Great for getting boat projects completed.  If you will remember, our past four hurricane seasons we put sv Honey Ryder in Trinidad for safe keeping.  But it rained nearly everyday and sometimes multiple times in Trinidad.  Not so great for boat projects.
I love that they paved around this palm

Anyway, I thought I would give you a tour of Curacao Marine.
One of the hire cars

We are in the work yard.  There is also a secure customs yard.  No one is allowed, not even us, once you boat is locked away in there.  It's a Customs thing.  That is where sv Honey Ryder was while we were away.  Even though we are out of the hurricane zone, the boats are still strapped down.  There is some question as to when this took place (recent) but they are strapped down.
Our lane - hey, whose big finger?

The work yard is gravel (a pretty white/pinkish color) with asphalt lanes.  This is nice because it cuts down on the dirt and dust and means no muck when it does rain.  Clean yard too.  Not a bunch of scraps and trash laying about. 
Gravel yard

The bathrooms are very nice.  Air conditioned, and clean with three showers with.....wait for it.....running water.....on demand.  *Coral Cove in Trinidad had major water issues as in NO water at times.  Nothing worse after a long, hot day of boat work than to turn on the water to nothing!  Argh!  And Curacao Marine has hot water.  I know it sound weird to want hot, well actually warm water when it is so hot outside.  But, after a long day of boat work, sometimes you need warm water to help your muscles relax and really scrub you clean.  Anyway.....nice bathrooms!  BTW - the yard has running water on demand as well.  *See the above.    
Tiki hut

Fire pit area - I am not sure how many fires get lit but it is a nice place to chill in the evening

There is also a nice community tiki hut area with fire pit (not sure how much this gets used), modern grill, couch and loveseat, bar tops and stools, two pop machines - including one that dispenses beer, a bar and stools and a community freezer.  The last item is really great while living on the hard.  We can store meats and chilly treats in there or quickly cool down drinks.
Tiki hut

Tiki hut

They have rental cars for hire.  One drawback is that we are tucked away from anything like a restaurant, grocery store or marine store.  However, one local grocery store sends a bus (mini van) each morning to the marina (except Sunday) at 9:30 am to take cruisers to the store for shopping.  It is next to the Budget Marine and ATM's so that works out well.  The other disadvantage is that there is no laundry on site at the marina but arrangements can be made to drop off laundry.
sv Honey Ryder strapped down

So this is home for a bit.
Stairs to the palace.  HA!  Yes, those are our dishes from breakfast

*Sorry, I can't seem to figure out how to put the accent under the second C in Curacao.  If anyone knows, please let me know.  I did Google it but the directions didn't work, or I didn't try very hard, or I didn't understand the directions or I don't really care enough to try harder.  Or all of the above.

Season 5 numbers

SV Honey Ryder waiting for haul out at Curacao Marine - June 12 2018

For those keeping track -
Season 5 total nautical miles = 773.9.  Trinidad, Grenada, Bequia, Martinique, Bonaire, Curacao.
For us, the numbers don't matter.  We are collecting adventures, memories and pictures as we slowly explore this big, blue marble.

Season 6 - What Is Next

OCC Burgee

Remember I told you we finally joined the OCC - Ocean Cruising Club?  Well, the OCC does some pretty kewl rallies around the world.  A sailing rally is like a driving rally, except there is no official racing.  So really, just a group of boats traveling loosely together.  The benefits include safety in numbers, special discounts, special events with locals (government officials, yachting clubs, tour operators, etc..) marina bookings, ease of checking in with C and I (in theory), and more.  The only other rally we have done is the Salty Dawg Rally in fall 2013 that brought us to the Caribbean.
This summer I made all the flags we would need for the rally 

A couple of years ago was the first ever OCC Western Caribbean Rally dubbed the Susie Too Rally, named after the hosting couple on sy Susie Too.  We knew four different boats that went on that rally and LOVED IT!  They encouraged us to go.  We were interested but unsure we could because of a family wedding.  Turns out others were interested as well.  Soon the rally was full.  However, long story short, it all worked out and we are going on the rally.
Susie Too Rally meet up in Bonaire

We will be in group two heading out of Curacao approximately December 7 2018 with 34 other boats.  Our route is Aruba, Santa Marta Colombia, Cartagena Colombia, San Blas Islands, Panama proper, San Andres Island, Providencia Island, Bay Islands of Honduras and finally ending in the southern part of Belize at the end of April, beginning of May 2019.

We are super excited about season six and our exploration of the Western Caribbean.  We've already met some wonderful rally peeps.