Saturday, March 24, 2007

March 23, 2007 - Las Aves to Bonaire

Fish on! We caught one tuna, two barracuda, and two mahi mahi on passage today. The second mahi was so big - over four feet long - that I had to hold the handline while Sten gaffed the thing to get it on deck. And it was a bleeder. Mata'irea looked like a scene from a horror movie with red blood running down the transom and both of us splattered with it. I really wanted to take a picture, but both of us were too bloody to touch the camera. Wasn't it just the other day that I was bemoaning how long our mahi drought had been? Now we've got more than we know what to do with.

We were also joined by a big pod of dolphins, playing in our bow wake. You know those marine park shows where the dolphin walks on its fins to the delight of the audience? I thought this was just a trick that they were taught to entertain humans. Unless one of the pod recently escaped from Sea World, they apparently do this without training. One feisty guy reared up out of the water and did his impression of Michael Jackson's moonwalk just off our bow. And like little kids at the aquarium, we were both laughing with surprise and pleasure at the sight.
Bonaire doesn't permit anchoring. Their marine park regulations require everyone to use the moorings that they provide, as a measure to protect the coral reef. We were all set up to pick up a mooring, but the cruising guide failed to mention that the float lines were ridiculously short - as in so short that there is no way one can get a line led through them from the deck. Three different cruisers offered to help us out, but the quickest on the draw was Trevor from the Tayana moored behind us. Almost before we realized that we needed help, he was in his dinghy and headed over to help us. For his efforts he'll be getting a few pounds of mahi mahi in the morning.

We had been worried about how customs and immigration in Bonaire were going to respond to us, seeing how we left Grenada 10 days ago, had no paperwork to document our "barco in transito" status in Los Roques, and our stop in Las Aves was completely unsanctioned by any Venezuelan authority . . . and we'd heard some warnings about immigration in Bonaire being difficult. But it was a breeze, so that's a big relief.

We're moored right off of a strip of restaurants and bars. As much as we loved the isolation of Las Aves, we were thrilled to tuck into two big plates of BBQ this evening and not have any dishes to do.

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