05/23/2010, 30 nautical miles West of Aruba
We made a whirlwind stop at Aruba. However, maybe it was enough
time spent there. The Rough Guide and Lonely Planet are right; shopping
malls, casinos, package tourism and high rise hotels. It wasn't very
endearing, but life here is a curious mix of original Indian, Dutch, US
and South American influences. However, we had up a berth in the middle
of downtown Oranjestad; more central it couldn't be, and the pelicans
sitting on the quays added some atmosphere.
Yesterday, we got some satisfaction from repairing the things broken on the generator. Sven fixed the fuel leak and managed to rig up a temporary solution for the broken throttle screw with a piece of hose. The days continue to be VERY hot and we long for the slightly cooler evenings. Everything is humid.
Before reaching Aruba last night, we spotted a pod of dolphins that played at the bow for a while. Darkness fell as we made our approach. The marina manager at Rennaisance Marina, whom I had called up on the satellite phone, was very helpful with his instructions. We first had to proceed to Haven Barcadera, which is the commercial port, for customs and immigration. We made our approach very carefully through the opening of the reef. Some sailors on a ship carrying fruit helped us with the lines and chatted to Hans and Sven, as I dealt with the authorities. The sailors got a beer each from our boat as a thank you.
Today, the morning was spent on provisioning and practicalities such as laundry and cleaning, while we took Princess Ransom for some snorkeling on the reef just outside the harbour in the afternoon. After dinner at a Dutch "Eet café", we set off, once again passing immigration and customs towards Pta Gallinas as the Cape on the Venezuelan / Colombian border is called.
I can see the moon through the skylight; getting more pregnant for every day. It has just passed one o'clock at night and I have another hour of my watch. I am pushing myself to stay awake. We are crossing Golfo de Venezuela. Aruba has disappeared behind our stern.