May 1-31, 2004 -- Leaving Curacao and Going to Aruba

On May 1, we had Willem and Thea from Elvin, Lutz and Krina from Topaz, Ulbe and Lucana from Panache and Nichholas from Ticha over for cocktails. It was another great evening.

On May 3, the last of the parts we had ordered finally arrived! We completed two small repairs on our starboard engine (we had 2 saltwater leaks that had to be fixed), and we were set to leave. So, on May 4, we went downtown and checked out.

On May 5, we left Curacao for Aruba. Leaving this time was so different from our last time. We found, as we thought about it that there was just a touch of melancholy. We had made friends with some wonderful people that we were really going to miss.

Initially, we were going to go up to Boca Santa Cruz and anchor overnight before making the trip to Aruba; however, the winds were light, and it was a good day, so we headed straight for Aruba. We had hoped to sail, but with the light winds we wound up motor sailing until we got to the southern tip of Aruba. The wind swung on to our beam and increased to about 20 knots. We sailed the last hour and a half! We cleared in with customs and immigration and then went and anchored by the airport.

We spent the rest of the month getting reacquainted with the area and with friends.

Near the end of the month, we experienced something of a surprise about 8:30 am. We were woken up by a heavy rain, which is unusual enough in Aruba. We didn't think much about it, we closed the portlights and then went back to bed. We were just getting comfortable when we felt the roll - thud - thud that mean that we were aground. We quickly got up to check things out, and sure enough, the first wind reversal of the season had hit, and sure enough, we were aground. Well, Mike got in the dinghy to push on the side of the boat to keep it from going further aground while I started the engines to try to jocky the boat around so we could pull forward (into the wind) and drop our second anchor. We finally got completely settled around 10:30 in the morning. So much for that day!

Wind reversals occur for several different reasons. The biggest reason is that during the summer months, the trade winds drop down to nothing, and thunderstorms along the Venezuelan coast build up and cause the wind to blow out of the west. Of course, when tropical systems go by, they will also cause wind reversals. This wind reversal was because of no wind and thunderstorms.