Monthly Archives: December 2017

Bowden Harbour, Jamaica 15/12 – 31/12

After a few days in Ile à Vache we sailed to Jamaica, the wind was in the good direction and we didn’t have to use the engine that much. Bowden Harbour is at the south-east coast of Jamaica and not touristic at all. All farmers here. Customs, immigration and quaranty is very easy, you just call the coastguard and they will arrange everything for you and a good thing is that during the week it cost you nothing at all 🙂 . From here you can go to Morant Bay which is a bigger place where they have everything, you can go by bus or route taxi for the same price. The route taxi is more comfortable as they put 19 people in the bus where they have only 12 seats, but it is possible, you don’t fall over in the turns 🙂 . Internet is also available if they have simcards, they were out of stock at Digicel but Flow is also a good provider and they had some left. 2.250JA$ for 3 GB is not too much, 100 JA$ is only € 0,70. There is a big market with lots of vegetables and fruit and the people are very friendly, not a bad place to stay for some time and lovely food.

Now we can arrange for Volvo to send the MDI and a spare one over to Jamaica with FedEx to Kingstown. The parts are very fast in Kingstown but there is a problem with the clearance at customs. You have to fill in a form to authorise FedEx to do the clearance for you. But first it is Christmas and we are going to the square, a crossing, we have been told that there is music all day, food and drinks. Well we are miss informed, the village is very quiet, we heard the beating music last evening until early in the morning, so everybody must be still sleeping. Our Christmas food is chicken and beef with rice and beans in a plastic box, well after that a little hiking is a good plan.

When we arrive in Old Pera, the surrounding is lovely, they are building up the music boxes for the Christmas Day party, you know one thing if you stay you won’t hear anything for another day.

After Christmas we go to Kingstown to see how we can manage to get our package. Route taxi to Morant Bay and then the bus to Kingstown, normally you’re sitting with 20 people in this bus but in Jamaica you can sit or hang with 35 in the same bus. Taxi to the FedEx office and they send us to the airport maybe we can arrange something to get our package but it will be difficult. Mr. Stewart our taxi driver is so nice too wait for us at the FedEx office and it appears that he will going to be our rescuer. As we don’t have a Jamaican tax number the customs officer asked Mr. Stewart if he will be so nice to let us use his so we can do the “short” procedure 🙂 . And so it happens, starting at ticket window number one: filling in the forms and sign them, window number two: deliver the forms, back to window one: pay, go to window number three and waiting, waiting, waiting till it’s your turn. Open the package and then you know what you have to pay. Window number four: pay, back to three to collect your package and then window five: give the woman the form that you have collect your package and show her the goods. After two hours, well it is the short procedure, we are ready and short of money. We have to go to an ATM because else we cannot pay our taxi driver.

In Orange Street, a very busy market street in Down Town Kingstown, see of you can find me on the picture, we can take the bus back home. Next day we mount the MDI and … sh.. now power, but after disconnecting and connecting all the connections the power is on and with a push on the button the motor starts.

Happy New Year to everybody and all the best for 2018.

Ile à Vache, Haiti 7/12 – 14/12

When Wild Bird and Ari B did tell us that we could sail from Bonaire to Ile à Vache in only three days we wouldn’t believe them. We never did more than an average of 5,5 knots in 24 hours. But yes, they were right, with 20 – 25 knots and wind behind the beam we did 170 miles the first 24 hours a record for us. Our wind pilot did help us a lot as he steers directly at any wind change, better than we can do and as the electric steering system can steer. When the wind was building up the second day we wanted another reef in our mainsail for the night but when we put on the engine to be standby it didn’t react at all. It always happens just before dark and we didn’t have a very good night of sleep that night. Well the other nights weren’t that good either but that was because of the waves 🙂 . Next day it appears that the MDI controller is broken, the rest of all the electricity was oké. Luckily we had contact with Wild Bird and Ari B over the SSB and Ronald could do a little bit of brainstorming to have an extra check. To start the engine directly with a cable which has power on it was thrilling but it worked, the engine was working 🙂 . When we arrived at Ile à Vache it appeared that we already had a warranty case pending at Volvo Penta thanks to Stuart and Wild Bird. We will get a new MDI when we are on Jamaica just have to let them know where they can send it to.

Ile à Vache is wonderful, its poor and everybody rows to you in a cano made from a tree and asks you if you have something to do or just have something for them. We have some pencils and paper to give to them and especially with the fishing gear they are very happy. The people from Ile à Vache are very friendly and we buy some fruits and fresh lobster from them which is really a delicatessen.

We also lent someone’s simcard for a few dollars for a day so we have recent weather prognoses. We want to be with Christmas in Jamaica and if you have to clear in in the weekend you have to pay for your clearance during the week it is for free. So we don’t clear in in Ile à Vache, pay the “harbormaster” US$ 30, US$ 10 for anchoring and US$ 20 for not clearing in 🙂 .After a lovely fish curry and evening on Ari B with Wild Bird it is time to say goodbye, we are going to Jamaica and Ari B and Wild Bird are sialing to Cuba. We had a wonderful time together.

Kralendijk, Bonaire 24/11 -06/12

Our English friends call him Ronald the mule as Ronald flies to Holland to get our inverter without we cannot leave for Cuba, Haiti and Jamaica. They know that he will arrive from Holland with at least 50 kilos of parts which we will need now and well …..  in the future 🙂 .

Even 12 meters of fabric to make a cover to have more shade on our boat is in the suite cases and a lot of pilots, we like to have a paper book in our hands. In the period that Ronald is in Holland, I am waxing the hull, the blue was not shiny anymore, and doing some painting jobs and go for a dive to Klein Bonaire. And our Sinterklaas arrived on the tug with his black knights, he brings the children presents if they are sweet and put them in a bag to take them to Spain where he lives, if they are not sweet. They can put there shoe in front of the chimney and the following morning most of the time there is something in it, a sweet or something they have asked for.

When Ronald is back we install the inverter and do a few little jobs before we go to Ile a Vache, Haiti. This is plan X and the plan is to go to Jamaica after we have been in Ile a Vache. We plan to go tomorrow the 7th of December but even if we already have checked out we postpone it by one day. De day we should arrive at Ile a Vache has very bad weather in the predictions with lots of rain so we decide to go one day later. But first say goodbye to Bonaire, a beautiful island, we definitely will come back 🙂 🙂 .