Saturday, March 11, 2017


We are currently resident in the lagoon called Spaanse Water in Curaçao. It is a lovely protected anchorage, which is a good thing because the wind just howls most of the time.  We had to enter through a narrow passage way from the ocean and then it opened up into an amoeba shaped lagoon which has numerous shallow spots.  There are four different area for boats to anchor so there is lots of room.  During the day, wind surfers and sailors on little sunfish shoot around the area having a whale of a time and provided much viewing pleasure for us.  
The downtown area is a World Unesco Site so all the old buildings are protected and they are painted these beautiful lively colours.  The main harbour divides the island almost in two and the first bridge is a floating footbridge. When tankers come in the footbridge opens , it has it 's own locomoti n built into th end of the bridge. 

In the top picture the bridge is halfway open and the operator of the bridge is in the little hut at the end.  I was surprised to see that they allow pedestrians to be on the bridge when they open it.  If you are on the bridge you have to wait for it to open, a tanker to go through and then for the bridge to close before getting off. They are very civilized though and offer a free ferry service but as soon as the bridge has reconnected itself the ferry service stops and you have to walk around.  We saw this all the first day we arrived when we found Customs is on one side of the harbour and Immigration is on the other. The Immigration office is hidden away in the commercial port and you have to get written permission to enter the port and then walk past a site where they are fixing the big piers, they are welding and using big equipment to repair the docks and we had to wander past all the workers. Usually Customs and Immigration are located quite close to one another, this was truly strange. 
Yesterday we went to the north part of the island and visited a Marine Education Centre.  The former King of Holland was very interested in marine ecology and gave a bequest to Foundation here is Curaçao. They have used the money to establish a research centre for studying the life on the coral reefs and how pollution and global warming has effected the coral reefs.  They have perfected a way in which they can regenerate coral and encourage new growth in areas that die.  They also had a interesting display about sharks . To get to the centre we had to take a bus downtown, which only comes once an hour, then go across the bridge, find the bus station for the northern half of the country and take another bus.  I wanted to go and visit a big national park which is almost on the northern tip of the country but cannot face the buses again.  The bus that goes to the national park only runs once every two hours, I am sure that W would spend a good part of the day waiting on benches in the hot sun, so I think I will explore the lagoon in my dinghy today. 
We are heade to Aruba on Monday nights get.  It is close to 70 nm so rather than try and do it during daylight holidays hours we will leave here at dusk on Monday and arrive in Aruba on the morn no on Tuesday.