Who needs gears?

          We round the end of the island and, in the lee of the land, cease rolling. For this reason sailing off Bonaire is supposedly some of the best in the world. Great butterflies seem to weave in and out of each other just offshore, but on closer inspection people are hanging from them, kitesurfers.

Passing the boarders (how do they jump so high?) we come head to wind and drop sail. Due to it’s virtually perfect reefs Bonaire imposes a strict no anchoring policy, less they damage the reefs. For this reason we motor up and moor on a buoy. This is the only spot where yachts can stay so we are joined by perhaps twenty other boats.

Although tired from a long days sail we pump the dingy up andCooling off at a handy set of taps, fed from a wind pump head ashore to handle customs and immigration. Then we go and sample the shops, finding all sorts of delights that were impossible to buy in Venezuela, butter being a key one of them!

Keen to explore the island we hired some bikes the next day. Bonaire is a Dutch Dependency and it has the Dutch bicycles to go with that name, gearless, brakeless and with rather dodgy wheels (which is just perfect in Holland, virtually flat with smooth roads, but when taken to the hilly terrain of Bonaire and ridden over rough coral roads it generates a problem…flat tires) We brought along snorkelling gear and took advantage of the many beautiful underwater spots along the way. Bonaire is a hugely popular diving destination and after a couple of looks beneath the surface  we realised why. The coral is amazingly unspoilt and the water life is colourful and thriving. The island itself is very pleasant, very tropical and, standing lazily in a lake, we saw flamingos!

Unfortunately we didn't stay long in Bonaire, we wanted to take advantage of the favourable winds and small swells to set sail for Colombia. And that we Flamingos!did...