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World ARC Leg: quick stop in Bonaire!

Posted in : Starling

After a week of preparation, that incorporated a training sail to Marigot bay, with the crew, food shopping, paperwork and checking out, Starling was finally ready to start the WORLD ARC20-21 rally on Saturday the 11th of January out of Rodney Bay, St. Lucia.

Our crew Is formed out of round the worlders Gary and Tom, multiple legger Michelle, two legger Sofia and Wendy and Sue,Dave and Sofie who would step off in Panama once we would be through the Panama Canal. The mate for the first 4 legs is Arabella and the skipper for the first leg is Patrick.

The world ARC team organised various welcome and farewell parties during the week before the start and seminars about weather and other topics that could be helpfull on the 15 month journey around the world.

There was a strong breeze blowing during the start and the 30 yachts where swiftly on there way… The course was set with an extra buoy to round of the north coast of Castries harbour to display the boats along the coast before setting of to sea. All the boats will go straight to Colombia, but we will stop in Bonaire for two days before continuing our way to join them in Santa Marta.

The sea swell had build in the first hours leaving the island of St Lucia behind and is a constant 3 to 4 meters in the same direction of the waves. This means straight behind us as we are sailing a dead run with the sails in a goose wing setup, or also wing on wing called, were the main sail is prevented on one side of the boat while the Yankee 2 is poled out to the other side…

We are sailing like this now for one and half day and will be for another one and a quarter before arriving in Bonaire waters. We plan to come in there Tuesday early in the morning…

Fast forward to Thursday afternoon.. and almost the end of our stay on Bonaire

We arrived exactly at midnight on Tuesday the 14 and docked in the right place as well..

Next morning it was checking in with marina, customs & immigration before we could do the exploring bit… Sue and Arabella went for a discover scuba, Sofia and Tom went snorkelling Dave and Sofie where chasing iguanas and Gary and Michelle went to discover town..  everybody had a great time on their first day in Bonaire, at night various groups gathered for a meal, one in the lighthouse restaurant in the corner of the marina, the other in Toranquilha near the waterfront in town..

Next day was a lazy start, while the skipper did the last fresh shopping before he returned the motor scooter he rented to go for a kitesurfing session the previous afternoon.

At midday the dinghy was inflated and a double run to Klein Bonaire was made to have a snorkel session on this flat coral reef fringed island. Actually everywhere around Bonaire is coral reef and protected area, also every person who wants to dive need to do a buoyancy test before they can go for a dive…

Tonight is honey lemon soy pork with vegetables and rice for dinner…

Passage plan is on the way, so we should be good for an early departure tomorrow…