Leaving Curacao

November 12, 2001

I have just reviewed our last message to all of you and find that it was sent late in August. It may seem hard to believe (mostly to us) but we are still right here in the anchorage of Spanish Water in Curacao. We hope to be leaving and heading on to the west this weekend. We must sign out of Curacao by the end of the week and I will send this note from the cafi internet in Willemstad at that time.

Since our last note, Jane has returned to the states for a month's visit. Original tickets were for Sept 11th but scheduled for late in the afternoon. The delayed departure was finally Sept 17th. She had a wonderful time in the states visiting Mom and Dad first, then on out to Chicago to see the girls and back to Maine for a week's visit again before the return. While in the states there is always a shopping list to fill, as well, so she was very busy. The colors in New England were splendid and the weather cool and sunny. Just what the doctor ordered as a "fill" from the states.

During Jane's trip to the states, Sander stayed busy with all sorts of projects. Some British friends of ours who make Curacao their base of operations were kind enough to let us use their mooring while they are off to the Aves islands catching fish and having a good time in general. Photo #1 will show Satori and part of the view that we enjoy every day and evening.

We could title this summer's visit to Curacao as being 'stuck in Paradise' in many ways. The days are hot but the winds blow nearly all the time and make life aboard the boat comfortable. The bay is very active with small sailboats racing each other and tiny dinghy sailboats with children who seem no more than 5-6 years. Transportation is a bit of a problem as we must take a bus whenever we need parts, tools or food. OK, so we plan that into our day and know that not much else will be done except for the shopping on those days.

We have been lucky to make some very good new friends. One of the boats is Flashdance from Australia. Ron and Heather are making their way around the world (have been at it for four years now) by picking up charters along the way. Old friends from Australia fly to meet them in different locations and pay to be with them aboard for a period of time. We had hoped that we would be traveling on west with Flashdance but they finished up with their needed projects ahead of us and were on their way last Sunday. Photo #2 was taken as they headed on out the entrance to the harbor here. The gal with the pigtails is Isabel from Belgium who has hitched a ride with Ron and Heather. They do look happy to be underway, don't they?

It has not been all work and no play for us. One day Sander and I borrowed a cruiser's car and traveled north on the island. Photo #3 shows Sander at a high point and Santa Marta Bay in the background. Curacao is very much like Bonaire in terrain -- volcanic rock, mucho cacti, primarily flat, and primarily dry. The rainy season has been here since mid-October and it has made somewhat of a difference. The scrub is now green instead of brown. It is not a rainy season like that of the Rio Dulce. It may rain for an hour or so at night and we may have a stray shower during the day at times.

Another difference from our time in Guatemala is that we have been able to accomplish lots of projects from our list that have been over and above "disaster projects". We have installed a water maker and it works perfectly now. We have a new headsail made in Hong Kong which also fits perfectly. Sander has completed two projects for our future security. One is our "garden fence" -- we have electrified our top lifelines using a garden fence zapper of sorts. If someone tries to climb aboard without an invitation he will be knocked back into the water and be very surprised. The second is the installation of aluminum bars on all of our large upper hatches. In this way we will be able to keep our hatches open for the wonderful sea air anywhere we are at anchor. We also have a completely remodeled forward head (bathroom) with new sink-surround, refurbished toilet and a new floor. The last part is yet to come as things never work out quite as you hope. The old rotten floor was removed carefully so that it could go to the carpenter to be used as a pattern for the complicated new floor. The carpenter got sick and went home on leave, the shop floor needed to be painted and our precious old floor was thrown out as garbage! Back to Square #1 with that project. Sander built a pattern from wood slats and we are keeping our fingers crossed to receive the new floor this week.

We hope that the next message from Satori will come to you from an internet cafi in Cartegena, Columbia -- and we hope that it will not be in the too far distant future. One final word "Go Bears!!" Some things are really hard to shake off!

Love, Jane and Sander Aboard Satori