Arriving on a Mill Pond

Morning of Day Four. We just saw land. The trip to Bonaire has taken 75 hours so far. We are still two hours away.

Had a couple of visitor groups already this morning. Firstly, it’s as still as a mill pond, which I don’t think happens often here. The ABCs are known for having trees which grow in one direction. Aruba – the most easterly of the chain, is famous for kite surfing. Just beyond – the tip of Colombia which yachties round to reach Panama, is supposedly one of the windiest stretches of sailing in the world. We arrive in the region? Like a mill pond.

A cloudy mill pond. To be honest, it feels like a summer’s day in Wales. And with it, a pod of beefy, Welsh-looking bottlenoses bow-surfed with us first thing. We went to the front to watch. We could hear them squeak and whistle. The blow holes like snorkels reaching for breath. The bodies scratched and individualised. They must be like, ‘That’s Marvin, cause he has the row of scratches. Lisa’s got that remora fish always stuck to her tail.’

It was awesome, listening and watching them. As usual, they didn’t stay long. Caribbean dolphins always seem to have somewhere to go. We carried on along the smooth and dreamy water, making sure every once in a while to check the bilge pump was emptying the water from our leaky shaft-seal. All good so far.

I cooked breakfast – fried eggs with ham on bread. We drank tea and dangled our feet over Quest’s side. Love this boat so much. We are always left with the impression that she loves to travel. Motor or sail, it doesn’t seem to matter to her.

We planned our next two weeks. We are definitely going to be left with a clean boat at the end of this quarantine. Polish here, treat there. We took down the French courtesy flag and the remains of our Welsh Dragon. I have two more dragons – but am now saving them for special occasions. Instead, we hoisted the ensign of Bonaire – a chirpy looking piece of cloth.

In hindsight, the timing was good because five minutes later the Dutch coast guard flew over us. Very low and fast. I was hanging the wet weather gear back in the closet, but Jack and Lu were outside and gave them a wave.

By the time I came up, they were turning around. We waited for another fly-by. The plane never came back. Hopefully, they checked our AIS against a visual sighting. Maybe even cross-referenced with the harbourmaster that we have allowed entry. Strange times. We are the only vessel out here. On the mill pond.

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