Quest is Out

We moved! We are finally in Bonaire’s mooring field. I write this sitting in the cockpit, which I rarely do in the marina. It’s just too hot and mosquito-mad there.

Here, on the mooring buoy, the breeze is wafting past and the roosters are crowing on land. It’s still dark for another hour. I can see someone opposite us on shore, handling a fishing boat which has been pulled up onto the slipway. A dog nearby started barking and he quickly let go. He just walked off. Look at me. I’m neighbourhood boat watch. And the dog.

We squeezed past Cynthia the other morning. Driving the short distance over to the mooring field, we tied carefully onto our buoy. With the recent wind reversals, hurricane – i.e. flukey weather season is still not quite over.

With this in mind, we double-tied mooring lines onto the two buoys given for each boat. Instead of putting them round the port and starboard cleats, Jack slightly lifted the anchor and ran the lines through our bow roller. We have a spare roller next to our main anchor and a solid cleat inside our anchor locker. He developed this mooring technique in Martinique, when it was blowing the 40 knot Christmas winds. This technique gives us a stronger holding. We do swing a bit more. I think so. On a mooring you normally don’t swing as much as on anchor, lines being secured to both sides of your boat. Oh well. Potato, potato.

After we finished, we grabbed the girls and jumped into the sea. Delph had only just woken up and looked at us with her marina eyes. She groaned. ‘Go swimming now? It’s only 9 in the morning.’

Sage nod. Time to swim.

This mooring buoy positions us right on the drop-off. The front half of Quest is in shallow, 3 metre water. The other, back half perches over Bonaire’s fringing reef. It makes swimming round the boat interesting. It does make the ‘I wonder what could swim up from the deep’ kind of feeling. It definitely isn’t boring! But sharks aren’t often spotted on the west side of Bonaire. I’m sure they’re here of course. This being a healthy reef and sharks completing a healthy marine ecosystem. They’re just a bit careful here.

This stretch of coastline is built up with Bonaire’s capital, Kralendijk. In fact, we’re just opposite the Brazilian bar, which gets nicely busy at sunset. People sit on the prom in groups and the music plays. And going with statistics, sharks aren’t big drinkers or so keen on music. I hope I haven’t just created bad karma. I’ll have to take my chances.

We do have a huge gaggle of yellow and grey, stripy sergeant major fish under Quest already. I’m pretty sure SV Hope used to feed them. I got out the bread and tried the same thing. The sea boiled. Yay! Large, yellow-tailed snappers came too, as well as two cheeky-looking French angelfish. Fun for months to come.

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