Wednesday was a break from maintenance jobs on Joy, we were treated to a day out on Ta-B, a catamaran owned by Russell (Kiwi) and Jane (British) who now live in Vancouver. We had a great sail southwards to the Salt Pier, still used by ships today to load the salt. Jane and Russell have been here before and really wanted to come back before they leave the island.
The mooring buoy was a short distance away from the pier itself, so we had a fifteen minute swim against current to the pier but boy it was worth it. The fish are in abundance here, the corals forming on and around the pier structures are quite stunning and host a huge variety of fish and critters. Two large tarpon fish passed us by inquisitively on several occasions, and a group of half a dozen barracuda circled one of the pier structures with their teeth glinting in the sunshine bursting through the water. The dive is not deep, at only 25 to 30 feet the light reaches every part and the visibility was excellent.
We had lunch on board Ta-B, Jane had made a delicious carrot soup, and then it was time to head back to the mooring off Kralendijk and we arrived back in town as the sun was slowly going down. Jane and I laid on the trampoline listening to the sails humming and the water swishing between the hulls, and of course some girlie talk whilst the boys helmed and trimmed sails. A fabulous day all round.
Ta-B leave tomorrow, Sunday, so a group of us went for a beer at the strange little outside bar opposite our mooring (strange because when it shuts in the evening the homeless come out of their den behind it and occupy the seating area, one old boy even sleeps there on occasion – it can get very entertaining of an evening as we sit up on deck cooling down before bed). It was packed with locals and tourists, a little too early for its other visitors. Then on to the infamous Bobbyjans BBQ ribs, a takeaway for us all to eat in the park on the seafront with a bottle of wine and some beers. A lot of laughs, we will certainly miss Jane and Russell as they are full of life and adventure and they are known for doing the ‘haka’ (an ancient Maori war dance/cry now used by the NZ rugby team) at other boats as they cruise past with it blaring from their stereo and often over the VHF. Seems we have been saying a lot of goodbyes lately, many yachts are heading west towards Columbia and Panama. All moorings are full here now, as soon as someone leaves their buoy is snapped up by a new arrival. Some boats are on moorings that are in a very poor state of repair and if/when we have another wind reversal I am pretty sure there will be trouble. The weather is still reasonably settled, very hot at about 32 degrees with a gentle breeze. We have had a few cloudy days and yesterday it rained a little, but this didn’t seem to lower the temperature.