Our first 3 nights/4 day overnight passage!
A bit nervous but we had the most perfect weather conditions to sail from St. Martin to Aruba. We made ad shift scheme which we thought was good for us. We started at 18.00 – 22.00, 22.00 – 02.00, 02.00 – 06.00, 06.00 – 10.00. During the day we looked at each other and if someone needed a nap: just do it! . Most of the meals we ate together. This was the first time I could actually go to bed and just sleep. So after 4 hours I always felt good and relaxed for which ever shift to come. Same with the Captain. So this scheme worked out fine for the 2 of us. After a perfect crossing from St. Martin to Aruba we first had to the see the Covid doctor at immigration. She was taking the temperature and asked us some questions and voila … that was it! Then we went to immigration and customs, all in the same terrain, and we were ready for our quarantine period of 14 days minus the sailing days.So effectively we needed to quarantine for 11 days.
Quarantine time, 11 days
We arrived in Aruba when there were 2 other Dutch boats already. Merrimac from Guadeloupe and Fidelis from Martinique. Fidelis already had provisioned to cross the Atlantic back to the Netherlands when Robbert told them about the opportunity to go to Aruba. They were there even before we arrived! We were the third boat. We all had to anchor right in front of the office so they could see us all day long …. we were not allowed to leave the boat at any time. We were allowed to swim around the boat though … On arrival Marina Varadero brought us a bottle of bubbles! We felt so welcome by everybody in Aruba. Great! We met virtually with Marion and Kees of the Merrimac and Jeroen and Jeanette of the Fidelis. The first day we made an app-group and from there the fun started! Everyday at 5 PM we honked and we started to have a virtual drink together! We organized virtual music nights, I baked a cake and send it to Kees and Marion with our dinghy etcetc. This way it was not a punishment at all to sit out the 11 days in quarantine. After 11 days it was time to haul out the boat and put her on the hard. And after that we had to ‘dismantle’ her for our long term stay of about 3/4 months in The Netherlands. Want to know what work we did on EIGHT to leave her behind safely. Click on the link! … (work in progress)
While the boat was on the hard we all slept in the b&b of the marina. Not luxurious at all but there is a bed and a shower. And a big outside place with BBQ!. Exactly what we needed! After 11 days of fun we finally could make fun on land. And boy …. we did! …. Drinking, dancing, eating, talking .. it never stopped. And in between working to make the boat ready. But is was exciting as well going back home after a long long time and see Annieck & Serhat again! We all flew the same day back to Holland. But then bad luck struck. Kees went top on the ladder at their boat and fell off. Unconscious for some time. He recovered but was talking nonsense … they brought him to the Hospital immediately. And unfortunately he had to stay in hospital. I think you call it a concussion and he was not allowed to fly for a week. Very sad for Kees and Marion. So finally, June 6, 2020 we left for the Netherlands. At that time the Covid-19 pandemic was developing seriously …
Aruba, ONE HAPPY ISLAND
For the week we spent on land in Aruba we rented a car to see a little bit of the island. Aruba is one of the three ABC islands in the southern Caribbean, miles off the coast of Venezuela. Aruba is an independent country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands and has a population of approximately 100,000 inhabitants. The island is 21 miles (33 km) long and has an area of about 75 square miles (193 km2). The island is relatively flat except for the hotels at the ‘Golden Mile’ these are HUGE. The beaches are endless and many as well. But the island is very very very American. The island has a lot to offer. Of course watersports as sailing, diving, swimming are popular. The rough side of Aruba is also beautiful. We were in Aruba during lockdown time. Not many visitors and to be honest not our favorite island. We don ’t like the high rise hotels and the many people who will be there when the island is open … The center of the town is very colorful and you can find all the big brands around. Aruba is also very crowded because of the many cruise ships which are there every day. We stayed for a few more days and October 29, 2020 it was time to move on. Curacao here we come! The place were I spend my childhood!