Saturday February 20th 0615 Local 1015
If there are any Harley Davisdon afficionados
reading this I suggest you stop now and read your copy of "Agricultural
Machinery Monthly" instead.
Yesterday was a full on day for us. We wup at 0700
and fully wet suited up and in the dive shop after returning the hire "car" from
the previous day. We had two fantastic dives getting downo 20m along the NW
leeward shore of Bonaire. The diving is simply amazing here!
After diving we stopped into Le Bistro de Paris,
which despite its grand sounding name is a very rustic restaurant serving
delicious French food and is owned by Patrice a fellow Celt, ( " I doont
lak Paree, zer are too many French peeple zer" !!!) and a gentleman. We had our
second lunch of the week there and we would thoroughly reccommend any visitors
to Bonaire to visit this restaurant al least once during their stay.
We then had to visit the Post Office, the Customs
and Immigration to whih Patrice drove us.
Then the moment I had been waiting for and looking
forward to all day -off to hire a Harley Davidson for the afternoon. As a
verteran owner of some 40+ motorcyles of all types and having my licence I
was looking forward to the ride as I had not ridden a bike for some
The bike was a "classic" model with saddle bags and
all the usual Harley paraphanalia. I, in fairness did probably not look the
part with my flip flops and shorts and orange tee shirt but blasting off
would be second nature to me, I was sure.
Well - it handled like a rotovator, changed
gear like a Massey Ferugson and sonded like cross between a Matchless or AJS and
a single cylinder Lister deisel engine! Now if you ever hear those
guys riding Harley's in town the reason they
are blipping the throttle all the time is to disguise the incredible mechanical
clunk that comes with changing gear. I blasted her up to 90 at one point to see
if would hang together and if my wife still had any faith in road riding skills.
Affirmative on both counts and I can confirm that I never even received one
single dig in the ribs!
When driving down the road in my last V twin
bike, the Ducati 916, of which it was said, that the only sound that could be
heard above the gorgeous throb of the engine was the sound of nicker elastics
willfully snapping as the bike flew by, you felt you were on a finely honed
precision instrument. The Harley on the other hand felt like an agricultural
implement from the industrial revolution.
But guess what? I loved it, and touring Bonaire in
the sunsine I had a great time. Would I own one? If I had a farm -
Anyway back to sailing and sailing things. After
the Harley went back we met a couple of other cruisers who whisked us
off to an inpromptu get together that one of the other cruising yachtsmen
in Bonaire had arranged. It was a meal and a few beers with about 6 or 7
cruising couples all sharing "war" stories. It was a good idea, and we enjoyed
meeting the other cruisers and hearing there experiences, but unfortunately
we had to leave early as we were setting sail at
There seem to be two consistent reactions we get
from other cruisers. One they are facinated and perhaps amazed at the beautiful
yacht Rhiann Marie in which we are cruising and two they all seem to be unable
to grasp that there are more ways to cruise than the way they are generally
doing. That is that to be moving at our speed (2 years to go round the world)
seems alien to them.
It is however 2 years we have, and we would rather
see a little of a lot of places rather than a lot of a few places. One couple we
met had been in the Caribbean for 14 years. This seems aimless to me and
is not for me, as it would drive me insane and lacks the challenge I would
need. However I see that it is a life that perfectly suits many of the people
that we meet and it is fantastic that they can lead the life the enjoy. Why
however they feel the need to opine that somehow what we are doing is
not doing things properly I can only surmise. I guess they criticise
because it is not what they are doing and therefore cant be
right! Guys what I do, I do because it is my choice and what you do you do
because it is your choice. Simple! Get over