The island is just large and modern enough to offer up most everything we need. There's been a refreshing diversity of snorkeling, restaurants, groceries, and boat supplies. We were quickly welcomed into the cruising community and after we moved into the marina we formed our own sub-community there and freely shared rides to events and markets, tools, and windfalls such as the night we split the giant tuna the local fishermen gave us when they couldn't find a way to stuff it into their cooler. That fish fed several cruisers on A dock that week.
|Much of Willemstad is covered in murals and this is one of my favorites.|
We imagined we'd be doing lots of scuba diving off the boat when we got here, but the tanks haven't escaped their locker much. Mostly it's a logistical issue. Moving the boat requires permission from the government and a small fee paid each time, getting to the government office is a hassle. The diving is not where the boat is, which means loading the gear into the car or hitching rides with others for long dinghy slogs, and there always seems to be something else to distract us from making all that effort. Someday we'll anchor Minerva where the diving is and fall off the boat and dive there. Wherever that is.
|We found respite from the heat in regular snorkeling trips and afternoon cooldown swims at the local beach. Adding this to our routine became something we looked forward to each afternoon.|
We arrived with a long To Do list for Minerva, and tackled it with fervor, making every effort to balance out the laptop work with the boat work and a healthy dose of fun. The ungodly heat definitely threw a wrench in the schedule though, carving out hours in the middle of the day that defy any action at all aside from laying on the floor and just trying to breathe. Although we didn't get everything done, we did get the important things done. A dive boat captain in Monterey once told me "it's not IF something on the boat is broken, it's WHICH of the broken items needs to be most urgently fixed that is the real question." Wise words from an experienced captain I respect; I put the rest of the To Do sticky notes away for another day and will do my best to suppress the shame of not conquering it all before departing.
|Another great mural in Willemstad|
|The Winter 2023-24 lineup|