12:04.424N 68:51.511W Curacao

If Knot Y Knot
Patricia Day
Fri 7 Nov 2008 08:31
Nov 4 , Spanish Water, Curacao
I set off at 6am and the other 3 set off at 15 minute intervals after
that. I had a brilliant sail all the way and was right there 35+ miles
later with the others, which was really quite amazing. I only looked at
the Apparent wind (10-13) and not the True (16-20), otherwise I may well
have reefed and fallen behind.

Nov 5 - went to Willemstadt to check in. Bus to Customs, then walked over
the bridge and a fair way to immigration and then up to the harbour master
for an anchoring permit. We met Beth and Richard on Slow Dancing in
immigration. I wonder what the official thought as we hugged in his
reception. I did not expect to catch up with them, but they are headed
back to Trinidad after spending 9 months here.

The ferry runs across the estuary when the bridge is open for big ships
and so we went for a trip. We had lunch and the bridge opened again and
so we went back on the ferry. We had phoned the US embassy as lots of us
need a visa or passport renewal. We took a taxi and got as far as the
gate. Evidently the helpful person on the phone did not give us all the
information we needed. We had to download the forms from the Caracas
website and then phone Miami for an appointment, maybe in Curacao, maybe
in Venezuela - we were not amused. We were not going to fork out for
another taxi and walked back to town. We did have a good trip over the
high road bridge looking down on the bay and the town @ $4 a head.

I got some money from a cash machine, the first time in over two months as
it was not a sensible thing to do in Venezuela.

We went to the chandlers and I bought 3 new filler fittings for water and
diesel and a 500w inverter.

Nov 6
Spent the day installing the inverter with Bob and then I re-anchored. I
never, ever tow the dinghy, but it was in the water and I was only moving
a short distance. I dropped the chain down and was trying to reverse to
set it when the engine stopped. The dinghy painter was round the prop. I
had to get in and unwind it, it was very tightly wrapped. Now I remember
why I never, ever tow the dinghy and once again vow not to do it again.
The boat is in uproar, I have had nothing to eat all day and Jimmy came by
to give me a ride to Happy Hour, but I was not ready. I had a shower and
went in with Debi and Bob.

This weekend is the first Heinekin Regatta in Curacao and Jimmy wanted to
be involved. Debi knows the owner of the chandlery here and he knew the
person organising the event. They are trying to get cruisers involved as
they do not seem to want to race. Jimmy is driving a match race boat, so
he was happy. I wanted a goody bag, but you have to be in the race to get
that, so guess who is the crew on that match boat.
I was told it would be fun and easy, so why was the rest of the evening
given over to match race rules and tactics using cocktail sticks and
bottle tops.

I had to pay the boat insurance and the internet had not been working all
day, not that I had had a chance to try. I had to use the sat phone to
ring my bank, but I have an internet account and would have to log in. I
remained remarkably calm after the day I had had and was put on hold while
a supervisor was consulted. OK just this once they would do it. It was
10.30pm the day before the insurance was due, but that was already
renewal day in the UK, the broker has the same bank and I hope the money
is on time.

On a different note, my mouth ulcer has not got better, it has got worse
and I am going to the dentist. I am going to the chandlery tomorrow and
the owner is going to phone the dentist that he knows to try to get me an
appointment. Some chandleries do more than just sell boat stuff.

It is now 4.30am, amazing how you can get a wifi connection if you get up