July 1-31, 2003 -- Friends and Then Off To The Aves

Friends from where I (Bryan) used to work decided to come to Bonaire for a diving vacation. This is one of the best diving locations for clarity of water, easily accessible reefs and bountiful fish in the Caribbean. So, I received an email from them saying that they were on their way and where were we.

We exchanged emails with them to get all of the details. So, they came down and we saw them in town and organized a cocktail party on Nightwinds. Mind you, the total population on Bonaire is less than 9000 people, so town isn't terribly large.

Anyway, they came out to the boat, and we had an enjoyable evening catching up on what is going on back in the U.S., what is going on with mutual friends, etc. It was a lot of fun seeing everyone again.

Then, we turned our focus to getting the boat ready to move again. We were headed to the Aves, the closest Venezuelan out islands to Bonaire. It is approximately 30 miles to weather once we clear the island.

So, we prepared the boat for what looked like a weather window. It didn't happen. After another week, we checked out and headed for the Aves, anyway. It was a lumpy trip, but well worth it for the rest and relaxation in the Aves.

Before we left, I made Mike promise that we wouldn't do any work while we were there. Well, after we arrived there, Mike commented to me that it would be a great place to repaint the non-skid on the deck the next time we came through, since there is no dust, no dirt, in an extremely well protected anchorage. I looked at Mike, and suggested we start it now. Flabbergasted, Mike agreed and we spent the next 3 days prepping, taping and then painting the non-skid on the fly bridge and entrance to the interior of the boat. Yes, we did manage to paint ourselves in and had to go through one of the main saloon hatches to get into and out of the boat! Can you say I Love Lucy?

After a wonderfully relaxing week in the Aves, we headed back to Bonaire. It was a wonderful trip with light winds and relatively flat seas. The weather window had finally showed up and we were headed the wrong way!

We spent the rest of the month, pretty much in the same mode we were in, in the Aves.