Bonaire

The Feature Image above says a lot about Bonaire. There is a steady current going east to west. The wind blows relentlessly at 15-20 knots and sometimes well above. Everyone sails with two reefs in the main. There is a shelf of about 60-70 metres wide around the whole island which makes for brilliant water colour and is pristine (Bonaire takes the environment seriously and passionately). It is home to an endless snorkeling ground of healthy coral and myriad marine life. Beyond the shelf, the ocean drops away into a black void. Snorkelling along the edge is a delicious mix of pleasure and mild vertigo!

We met up with the folks on Tall Cotton (bluegrass country term for being in great shape; when the cotton is tall and there will be a good harvest), Saul and Rosie. Saul is an ex-Saffer and Rosie is from Tasmania, which they call home.

We shared a hire car (well, a bakkie really) for two days. It was really pleasant to get a good perspective on the island.

The first day we did the southern half of the island.

There are vast salt pans, which were the original economic motivation for the occupation of the islands.

Every few miles there were groups of VERY small dwellings which housed the slaves that worked on the salt works. Some have been preserved in remembrance.

The salt pans are also home to a large proportion of the Caribbean flamingo population.

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Lunch was at a small local eatery in the old town of Rincon. It was called Kos Bon So (Papiamento, which is spoken by 75% of the islanders). The walls were delightfully decorated and the food was tasty and cheap.

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The second day we went to the Northern half of the island. This was where we really did need the high clearance of the pickup truck as the roads were a tad bumpy.

An interesting stop was a rocky area with early Indian rock carvings.

The windward side of the island had a rugged coast with spectacular views and a goodly blowhole that we stopped at.

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Like the Cornish coast, there is the odd protected cove as well.

 

From the marina where we are berthed, it is a pleasant stroll into town along a paved waterfront with the chock-a-block moorings all taken alongside.

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