Another Reversal

There’s an old saying in Bonaire. If you see lightening in the south, it says, then go and hide behind the little island of Klein Bonaire. This is a small nature island just next to Bonaire.

There would have been a lot of boats behind Klein last night. Being in the marina still, we didn’t need to of course. We are still attached firmly to the pontoon.

No one has left the mooring field for us to take a buoy – yet. This is despite surely, many stamped visas running out. Has everyone in the mooring field applied for an extension to stay in Bonaire? I don’t know. I do know that if you want an extension to stay, apparently you have to prove your reason to stay isn’t simply because of Covid. This means officially that it shouldn’t matter if adjoining countries are closed or restricted. You have to have a bigger reason to stay. A bigger reason?

To be honest, I was glad not to be out in the very open last night. We’ve discovered that Bonaire might not have many life-threatening hurricanes due to its southerly position, but it nonetheless suffers with sudden, unexpected wind reversals in the hurricane season. This could be due to its proximity with Venezuela and storms coming off the mainland coast.

This same reversal happened in Bonaire a couple of weeks ago – and it happened last night too. Patrice and I were coming back from Phillipe’s when we saw lightening in the south. Uh-oh. And that’s the thing. You only seem to get these scary storms at night time. At about 2am, the wind began to howl – from the south-west. The swell picked up alongside. Quest rocked in her berth. Lightening and rain followed and I ran out to secure the cockpit to find boats entering the marina again in the pitch darkness. Patrice was also outside. He was helping to tie up a boat opposite us.

We stayed with these conditions until about dawn, until it calmed down again. I swear Bonaire’s storms are like nighttime hallucinogens. The dawn shone a brilliant red.

It was my morning to go for a jog – but I didn’t go. I felt a little run down this morning. A couple days of rest, I told myself.

Shona went for hers – and she messaged us. Drama! A sailboat lay beached on the shore. A dive boat too. A few dinghies meanwhile were being fished out onto the promenade. All of this happened from the night’s storm. The rest of the boats rocked mercilessly in the mooring field, still attached to their buoys.

Later, reports came through of a sailboat found drifting with no one aboard. A boat came and tied it up to the buoy by Klein Bonaire. Where the old saying says you’re supposed to go and hide. The boat’s name is Gypsy.

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