Sunday, June 29, 2014

Curacao Break

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We’ve been in Curacao for two weeks now. About time I posted a pic. This is the entrance to Willemstad Harbor. We are passing through the open pontoon bridge that separates the two sides of the colorful city. We had to sit outside in the rolly swell for about a half hour waiting for a large tanker to exit the harbor. When small boats like ours come through they just move the pontoon bridge about 20 feet open. For the tankers it has to be brought all the way to the far side. This is a major refining port, where oil from Maracaibo in Venezuela flows in and out and the gas flares of refineries shine at night.

Bonaire is the easy, cruisers island to hang at. Curacao is more the cruisers place to do work on the boat and for hurricane season storage. It is located south of 12*30 N – which is considered out of the hurricane belt. Although there has been hurricane related damage here over the years, it is typically due to heavy rains and large swells. This will be the first time in 4 years of cruising that we put the boat on the hard for storage. We’ll be gone for a little over two months. A month up in Washington to make sure that Meghan goes through with her wedding plans and Tyler behaves. A month down in Southern Cal visiting Chris’ relatives and then a quick stop in Florida to see my Dad. 

curacaoDSCN1057 The big tractor cometh.

We got hauled at Curacao Marine. This yard has a good reputation for service and security in their storage yard. Two large Doberman Pinchers work the storage yard. Yachtie relatives of junk-yard dogs.

curacaoDSCN1062 Georgia getting her bottom cleaned off

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   While still on the trailer, I dropped the rudder. When we are going downwind in heavy seas there’s always a little squeak that you can hear from the upper end of the rudder post. Since rudders are handy things to have on a boat while at sea, I wanted to inspect the upper bearing. Here I’m re-installing it. This time with 3M 4000 white bedding. Prior to this it only had 6 bolts securing it in that would continually work themselves loose. We’ll see on our passage out of Curacao if the squeak has quieted down.

Paul

Thursday, June 26, 2014

The Colonel

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1930-2014

Chris’ dad, Colonel Hunter passed away last week. He’s going to be missed by a lot of friends, co-workers and most of all family. For me, he wasn’t an easy guy to get to know. He held his United States Marine Corps military career adventures close, only letting out a few stories of his times in Korea, Vietnam and the Pentagon. You could tell he always had a deep respect for the military and those he served with and strong feelings about the country he lived in. The feelings were strong enough that I wasn’t allowed to talk politics with him.

He raised 3 kids along with his wife Barbara – the Colonel and 4 women. I’m pretty sure that was one of his toughest challenges.

col2 He held onto that look even in retirement.

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Going to work

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To a life well lived and to man you had to respect!

Paul

Monday, June 9, 2014

Eel Spotting

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Bonaire is truly a diver’s paradise. The entire island’s coastline is national park. There is no anchoring allowed – only moorings. There are probably 15 dive shops. We’ve snorkeled every day, except the days we did  a refresher course for scuba and a two-tank boat dive out to Klein Bonaire. This is the flat island 3/4 mile off the mainland that is surrounded by dive sites. This post is just a collection of gratuitous underwater porn shots.

bonaireDSCN1013  This is a spotted moray eel. He’s buddies with the green moray in the pic above. They live under ledges in about 6 feet of water just in front of the mooring our boat is on.

bonaireDSCN0875 Jumping off the back of the boat for an afternoon snorkel.

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Staghorn Coral with some fishies.

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A little trrunk fish hiding under the coral ledges. These little guys hover and swim like helicopters.

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Part of the aquarium.

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Dress blues- a surgeon fish.

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Chris communing with one of the big French Angel Fish that are common here.

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Chris heading deeper

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A comfy spot for the afternoon for this little porcupine (puffer) fish.

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A big guy passing by at 40 foot depth

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These 4 feet tall tube sponges were lavender in the filtered deep water. I tried to correct colors in Photoshop – didn’t come too close.

bonaireDSCN0942  The cement block that makes up the dive moorings. This thing probably weighs a thousand pounds. It took a lot to roll it on its side.

bonaireDSCN0944 My dive buddy letting me know all was OK. Ears cleared, mask not fogged, plenty of air left in the tank and the underwater experience a feast for the eyes.

bonaireDSCN0948  A spiny, spiny shrimp hanging at about 50 feet.

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We dove Carl’s Hill on Klein Bonaire. It is a steep cliff that goes to be about 100 feet. We ran along it at about 60-70 feet. This diver was in paradise and wants more.

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If you look close at this pic you can see that this watch is good for 330 feet depth of water. If you look closer you can see the water under the crystal from diving at 60 feet. Argh, another watch down the drain.

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Back to snorkeling…

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This gal would not stay still long enough for me to get a pic in focus, but the glowing blue is still impressive.

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Another Trunk Fish, just trunking around.

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Its a little hard to see this guy in the pic – and in the water. A fairly large octopus, in about 15 feet of water, tentacles on the left and eyes upper, right, center. Well camouflaged.

bonaireDSCN0994 A ‘cuda patrolling his acreage.

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A bouquet of filter tube worms.

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Lion fish hiding among the rocks- bad guys here in the Caribbean.

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Back to the eel theme- a tiny sharp tailed eel.

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Spotted moray eel coming out for a late afternoon snack.

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Another moray- I’m not sure how they back into these little cave holes.

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Another moray, showing off his teeth for the camera- really just breathing. Leave me alone!

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A big French Angel fish ignoring a little Lion fish.

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Colors found in nature- a beautiful anemone.

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A peacock halibut well camouflaged in the sand.

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Check his two eyes on the top side!

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Nobody seems to know which way to go…

Paul