Klein Curaçao

We are currently anchored in Spanish Waters, Curaçao. We just returned from a lovely 3 day stay in Klein Curaçao, a small, uninhabited island composed of exposed and eroded coral.

Just recently, we saw flamingos flying and while en route and while staying on Klein Curaçao, we saw flocks of greater and greater size flying toward Bonaire. If you have never seen one flying they look like a long stick with some bright pink fabric fluffing towards the middle. We have seen flamingos on all of the ABC islands (Aruba, Bonaire, Curaçao)

Upon our arrival, Duhkxy was beside himself when he saw the beautiful expanse of white sand beach. After racing back and forth on the beach, he set to digging up ghost crabs. He rarely injures a crab as his intent is only to whisk them onto the sand so he can chase them to the water.

Duhxky will dig sometimes until nothing but his back legs stick out from the hole
Referred to as ghost crabs, they are perfectly camouflaged for their habitat

This ghost crab sat perfectly still and Duhkxy quickly lost interest.

During the day, the uninhabited island is visited by vessels ferrying people from cruise ships and resorts for a day of snorkeling, swimming, sunbathing, drinking and eating in this idyllic setting. Come around 4:00 or thereabout and the vessels all depart for Curaçao. Other than a couple of caretakers, visitors with overnight passes have the island to themselves. As one tour boat prepared to leave, the captain asked if we would like some pasta salads they had leftover from their lunch. Never to turn down a free meal we said “Sure” and he returned with large portions of two pasta salads; one of ziti, pesto and arugula; a second of couscous, beets, and a minty dressing – both quite lovely. He also supplied us with a massive amount of barbecued chicken skewers and spare ribs. What a treat – a gorgeous island to ourselves and, delicious food and no need to cook for several days!!!

We used our Hookah, that delivers air to about 20 feet to explore underwater. Like scuba diving, the Hookah allows you remain underwater slowly taking in the details.

Green Sea Turtle
Tube Sponge
Rope sponge
One of a small school of Permit following in the wake of a ray to capture food thrown up from the bottom
Flamingo Tongue – a mollusk often found on sea fans and in this instance a type of feather star (crinoid). This Flamingo Tongue has only part of its soft body extruded over its shell.
Sargent Major (damselfish)
Likely a sea plume
Giant Anemone
Lionfish (invasive and dangerous predator for reef fish – often divers requested or given permission to kill whenever possible)
Three-rowed Sea Cucumber
Tube sponge
Christmas Tree Worm (will quickly disappear into its calcareous tube if disturbed)
Spotfin Butterfly Fish
Ocean Surgeonfish
Conger Eel – Brown Garden Eel. Found in colonies. Extremely “shy” and disappear into sand burrow if approached
French Angelfish
Yellowline Arrow Crab
Grooved Brain Coral with burrowing Christmas Tree tube worms

We walked the perimeter of the island along the white sand beach and round the “back side” with crashing waves and sea wrecks.

Sadly the winds and waves carried masses and masses of flotsam (debris carried in from near and far). It would take scores of people scores of days just to pick up the large litter and within a few years you would likely not see a great difference. I am certainly not advocating for NOT picking it up. George and I always choose at least one shoreline to clean, but this was far beyond our capabilities if we spent months here.

To give an idea of how far this litter can travel until it meets a shoreline, George and I found 5 hamburger beans that floated all the way from Africa.

Hamberger Bean

We visited the lighthouse that is operational, but no longer inhabited.

Between the coasts the coral rock supports an array of plant species with a palette of oranges, greens and browns, as well as lizards and hermit crabs.

We enjoyed sun-filled days and periodic squalls, as is characteristic in these islands in January.

and one of the most beautiful sunsets ever

We look forward to visiting the island again with our daughter Allison, her husband Mike, and their children Riley and Tristan in February.

Getting Acquainted with Aruba

“Aruba, Jamaica, OOH I wanna take ya to Bermuda, Bahama, come on pretty Mama”. Beach Boys “Kokomo” released 1988.

We expected to spend a week or so in Aruba before heading to Curaçao

Aruba, as well as all of the ABC islands were having unusually frequent, heavy rain, even given that it was nearing the end of the wet season. These winds were accompanied by squalls, and given the fact that a sail from Aruba to Curaçao, entailed unfavorable wind and current under the best of circumstances, we knew it could be some time for a favorable weather window. We expected to spend a week or so in Aruba before heading to Curaçao.

In the meantime we had two planned projects: 1) to have the salon upholstery cleaned and 2) to replace our anchor chain (although the existing chain was only 5 years old, it had become so rusty that flakes of rust had bridged a gap between part of the stainless steel windlass and the aluminum hull and the resulting electrolysis had begun to create pits in the aluminum. NOT at all acceptable!!

We had done our research before we left Aruba last spring, having found a dry cleaner who indicated they could do the upholstery job, we had removed the old chain, and ordered a new one. The chain was ready and waiting when we arrived.

Surprise, surprise, unexpected, frustrating setbacks

Salon Cushions – We dropped the salon cushions off at the dry cleaners, having already been assured by the owner they could do the job. A week later, having heard nothing back we revisited the cleaners and the were told by the manager they could NOT do the job. The pieces were too large for their machines. After pointing out the covers zipped off, she said they could do the covers. We paid and were told they would be ready the following Monday. Checking back in on Tuesday, they said they had not gotten to them yet and would have them ready the next Wednesday. We asked for the covers and our money back. No one there could cancel the payment on our card and we would need to come back the following day. We did so and were given a cash refund. We then checked out several alternative cleaners, found one, put the covers back on the cushions and Happy ending – 2 weeks start to finish.

This cleaning company had adopted a few stray dogs. They always had them neutered and gave them shelter, love, and affection. Members of the community, unfortunately, know this. Quite regularly, new dogs are dropped off to join the menagerie (16 dogs at present).

Anchor chain – George painted the new anchor chain with different colored stripes at 25 foot intervals so he knows the length of chain he puts out is correct for the depth and conditions of the anchorage.

When he began to pull the chain up by the Windlass, it jammed after a few links. Following consultation with the owner of the marine store who obtained the chain, we discovered the anchor chain had two different “specifications” for the size chain we ordered. After a few links passed through the Gypsy (part of the windlass that accepts each link of the chain while winding it in or out), it would jam. We had ordered the wrong chain. Easier, and far less costly, was to purchase a new gypsy that would fit the new chain.

Search for a new gypsy took just shy a week. Purchase and shipping from Germany to Miami took another couple of weeks. UPS air delivery from Miami took another week. Just shy 4 weeks start to finish.

Silver Lining – unexpected time to explore Aruba

With more time in Aruba than expected we kept our rental car and set off to explore beyond the vicinity of the marina.

Oranjestad, the capital and largest city in Aruba is on the west coast of the south side of Aruba. It is teaming with shops that sell everything between inexpensive souvenirs to very high end jewelry and designer clothing. Passengers on enormous cruise ships disembark in Oranjestad to explore and shop unless they have elected for one of the pre-arranged excursions they can take. The majority of large resorts and beach bars are nearby. The vegetation in the city and vicinity has been coerced into lovely native landscaping.

Aruba has preserved 20% of the island as a National Park. We were unable to enjoy the National Park as dogs (including Duhkxy – go figure) were not permitted.

Nonetheless, there are extensive areas that are wild and uninhabited where man and dog can explore and enjoy.


The Northwest tip of Aruba

Aruba’s California Lighthouse
Rustic waterfront near the California Lighthouse


On the south end the most popular beach with refreshments, shade, and lounge chairs is Baby’s Beach

Baby Beach rents chairs and shade

Thatched roofed structures, sometimes with a center table is frequently found on large and small beaches – available for first who come, as far as we could tell.
Baby beach Concession/Refreshments

Just to the north side of Baby beach we found Roger’s Beach. No accoutrements, but quiet, beautiful, and no chance Duhkxy would be of concern, we soaked for a time while Duhkxy ran on the beach and looked for ghost crabs.

Just north of Roger’s Beach – the vestiges of an oil refinery business. Peppered around the ABC islands, these refineries, in the past, worked to capacity refining Venezuelan crude oil.

A Hidden Gem of Aruba, is the town of St. Nicolas. Our experience there and its charm will keep to another day

Update – Sea Turtle Rescue – 22 December 2022

Sadly, the injured turtle we were able to hand off to members of a Curaçao conservation team could not be saved. They also confirmed our suspicion that her injuries were definitively characteristic of an engine propeller wound. Watercraft-rated injuries and deaths of sea and fresh water turtles are not uncommon and correlate with the number of registered craft in an area. Studies of stranded sea turtles indicate that as much as a third of the turtles had been injured from an encounter with a vessel. The overall incidence is likely much higher as many die in the water https://wildlife.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/jwmg.21665

Sea Turtle Rescue

Mid-morning, while relaxing in our cockpit with steaming hot tea, George spotted a turtle. It doesn’t matter how often you see them, it is always a treat.

Mural in Curaçao capturing the charm and our fascination with sea turtles

In this case, unfortunately, it did not take long to see the turtle had some serious damage to its shell and appeared to be lifeless.  The turtle shell bobbed along, being propelled by the current, waves, and wind for half an hour, or so.

At times I saw a flipper above the water.  Each time I hoped perhaps it was still alive, but the flipper would fall back and again, and all that was visible above the water was it’s damaged shell.

Then, just for a moment, I thought I spotted “her” raise her head.  I kept watching and was certain of what I saw the second time. She was breathing.  George and I quickly hopped in the dinghy and slowly approached her.  As we neared, she left no doubt that she was alive, albeit very weak, as she attempted to dive below the water to distance herself from us.

Approaching a boat anchored beside us, we asked if they knew if there was an animal rescue center on the Island.  Jimmie and Judy on Poppycock responded that they didn’t, but did offer there was a large aquarium.  A quick Google search later we found a phone number and a gentleman from the aquarium took our phone number and offered to connect us with a wildlife conservation team.

The turtle was now drifting closer to shore and we feared she would be pushed by waves into the rocks along the shore.  George approached her again in the dinghy and successfully guided her further out.  Shortly afterward, we lost sight of her and, although George searched very carefully for her, she appeared to be gone.

It had been about an hour since we saw her last when a member of the conservation team called and advised us that it could be several hours before they could get out to our boat.  George was just explaining that we had not seen her for at least an hour when there she was again.

The conservation team member let us know they could come immediately if we could capture the turtle and bring her to shore. Concern that we would lose her again encouraged us to try to catch her.  We knew the dinghy engine would spook her so George agreed to attempt to paddle to her.  If we could get close enough to her, I would try to catch her in our fishing net.

IT WORKED!  She was a big turtle but we managed to get her in the dinghy. The only issue now was that the wind and tide was pushing us further and further from our sailboat, Ice Floe. Under the best of circumstances it is difficult to paddle the dinghy, we could not get there against the wind. in our haste, we had forgotten to get the dinghy engine key.

Her shell was very badly damaged and her right front flipper was torn on the underside
She offered no resistance

I hailed a boat nearby and a man approached us to offer assistance just as George remembered he had had hidden a spare key for the dinghy engine. Felt a bit foolish, especially as George has been quizzing me repeatedly over the last week to make sure I remember where he had hidden the key.

George wet a towel and draped it over her and we brought her to shore. The rescue team told him that was exactly the thing to do (he always knows what’s best)

This marvelous turtle is now in the hands of a vet and members of the conservation team.  They said they will keep us apprised of how she does.  We’ll let you know. 

Varadero Aruba Marina and Boatyard – First rate yard for Sailing and Motor Yachts

Of the ABC islands (Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao) Aruba is not the most frequently visited by the sailing community. Last April we began to explore putting Ice Floe on the hard in the Varadero Aruba Boatyard for a number of very practical reasons. We knew very little more about the Varadero Aruba Varedaro Boatyard other than that it accommodates both motor and sailing yachts.

First and foremost, we have been flying Jet Blue since we began cruising in the Caribbean and our experience traveling with our miniature poodle, Duhkxy, has never been questioned. While Jet Blue has joined most airlines in no longer recognizing emotional support animals to accompany passengers on flights, having Duhkxy join us in his carrier, under a seat has never been an issue. Duhkxy is our steadfast companion.

Beside the comfort of knowing Duhkxy would be accommodated, Jet Blue Flights to the US are very affordable in comparison to flights on any carrier from Bonaire or Curaçao and Jet Blue flies direct from Aruba to JFK, one of the only airports clear a dog into the United States from another country.

Duhkxy is a great sailor

We knew very little more about the Varadero Aruba Marina and Boatyard other than that it accommodates both motor and sailing yachts. We can now say, with no reservation, that the Marina and Boatyard provide outstanding service and safety for routine boat work and to store a sailing vessel on the hard. Rishi manages the boatyard and he rivals the efficiencies we enjoyed with Judith, the office manager. Captain Paul, the dockmaster is charming, available, and knowledgable.

Approach to the Marina

Facificiously, George commented, “Aruba is the only island, in my experience, that uses sunken boats as navigational aids for both customs and the Marina”. There are few channel markers, but the charts are an accurate guide to the marina entrance.


Upon arrival following a two and a half day sail from Bonaire, we anchored immediately south of the entrance to the boatyard to take sails down in the unprecedented high winds being experienced at the time. Since that time, several sailboats have anchored in the same area for weeks. We too, anchored there when we returned this spring while waiting for a boat part. Good holding and calm waters.

Boat Storage and Services

Rishi manages the boatyard and he gets the highest marks for the reliability, timeliness, and quality of services. He is almost always available and he and his team are collegial, responsive, and competent. The yard did a fine job checking on Ice Floe through the summer months, removing and replacing a boat cover if a storm approached and making sure no mildew, insects or critters found their way aboard. When we arrived, her cover was off and the outside of the boat washed and before we left the dock we got a fantastic waxing by hand.

The haul out and launch of Ice Floe was completed with very capable staff showing up on time and without issue. Once in the water, stiff winds presented some challenge to docking and the Dock Master – Captain Paul, left nothing to chance with a well articulated plan and two men and himself on the dock to assist. Good thing too, as George who is especially expert in dicey wind forgot to put our dagger board down and once Ice Floe turned broadside to the wind she was off like a kite.

Transient Slips

We like to stay at the dock a day or two before Ice Floe is hauled out and after she is launched. If you want a slip upon arrival or before departure, be sure to book a good time ahead. There are very few slips that are not taken and unless you have secured a reservation, the few open ones may not be available. A reservation will guarantee that a slip will be open for you when you need it.

Should you elect to visit here, don’t be put off that the marina is located very close to the airport. Flights in and out stop shortly after dark. Also, initially disconcerting was that the garbage dump (mountain/landfill) was on fire when we arrived and continued to smoke for several days. However, prevailing winds carried smoke swiftly away from the Marina).


We routinely take a room for several days upon arrival and before departure and Judith booked us into a very affordable, comfortable, and convenient room across the street from the yard. The air-conditioned room is equipped with a comfortable bed, very nice bathroom including shower and hot water, small fridge, coffee pot and microwave.


The Fish House is a very pleasant dockside restaurant on site with very good food and free internet. We enjoyed fish tacos, fish and chips, wings, shrimp linguine, and of course, happy hour. Their menu is quite extensive.

The staff is collegial and efficient and presented George with a complementary flan desert on his birthday.


There is a lovely beachside restaurant just a dinghy ride away that we enjoyed on several occasions. We have it on the authority of Captain Paul that it serves the best pizza on the island. We can attest to the fact that the pizza is very good, as is the service and atmosphere. Happy hour is from 5 to 6, just be sure not to order a minute early or late.


Showers are available, but they are in the boatyard with a locked gate after dark. When requested, you can usually get a key or make sure you shower in the daylight hours.

This boatyard may not provide some of the services you often enjoy such as a small market or laundry machines. Speak to Judith, at the front desk for anything you need. She is a treasure and the marina’s orchestra leader. Nothing escapes or fails to get her attention. She, Rishi, and Captain Paul work in synchrony.


Judith, at the reception desk, arranged taxi rides to and from the airport, as well as car rentals. You will need a car for any shopping or sightseeing as the boatyard is not within a short walking distance to much of anything.


There are many well-equipped supermarkets. Ling and Sons turned out to be our overall favorite.

Next post – Getting acquainted with Aruba

Bonaire, What’s Not to Love

The following partial introduction to Bonaire was written during our brief, 2-week, visit in Bonaire at the end of last season. I had not finished regaling the many wonders of Bonaire before we needed to depart for Aruba, where Ice Floe would spend the spring and summer months, and we would head for our home on land.

We have now returned to Aruba (November 14th, 2022) and are readying Ice Floe for extended visits throughout the ABC islands (Aruba, Bonaire, and Curaçao).


We arrived to Bonaire on April 10th, 2022. Our stay was short as we were near the end of our season and would soon head to Aruba to store Ice Floe on land for Hurricane season. We were there for a short two weeks but it did not take long to fall in love.

The developed portion of the island has a European presence. Extremely little litter, bicycle paths on busy roads and wide pedestrian walkways, many made with stone pavers. Many personal residences and other buildings conform to lovely mustard yellow stucco walls and tiled orange roofs.

However, these colors are by no means exclusive – the color palette is very extensive.

Construction materials are almost exclusively concrete block (stuccoed and painted) with metal or tiled rooves.

Graffiti is very rare and beautiful murals are prominent on exterior walls of shops and restaurants.


Bonaire has is warm, and windy, with high humidity and little annual rain. The average year round temperature varies from the low to mid 80os F. Average annual rainfall is only 20 inches (520 mm), most of which occurs in October through January. The constant wind amply compensates for the humidity, but it is essential to drink large quantities of water every day.

Bonaire lies outside the hurricane belt, though its weather and oceanic conditions are occasionally affected by hurricanes and tropical storms. The ocean temperature hardly ever drops below 80oF or above the mid 80s.

There has been quite a bit of cloud cover and several significant welcome rainstorms during our stay which we understand is not characteristic for April. Wind has been persistently higher than normal throughout the ABC islands throughout our stay.

Blue arrow points to the ABC islands, Aruba (green dot), Curaçao, and Bonaire.

Southern Region

The southern part of the island is nearly flat and barely rises above sea level. A significant portion of this southern region is covered with sea water in process of evaporation for salt production.

The semi-arid climate is conducive to a variety of cacti and other desert plants.

Homeowners and some places of establishment have taken advantage of a pervasive cactus species to establish lovely, impenetrable fencing around their properties.

Bonaire is an extremely popular destination for snorkeling and diving

Much of the waters, reefs, and marine life surrounding Bonaire is carefully managed as a marine park. It has been five decades since I (Susan) have seen such healthy reefs teeming with the kind of gorgeous diversity of sea life I first witnessed during a marine biology course I took in Bimini. There is so much more to fully describe what a remarkable island Bonaire is, but short for time I will leave you with a sample of the beauty and diversity of the reef life.

A Whirlwind of Change, Challenges, Despair and Hope

Go With The Floe is not intended to be a political blog. I write it for Family and Friends who follow our sailing adventures. I write it for George and myself, to read down the road and help us relive these adventures. That said, there are times when situations in the World are so impactful, so momentous, so seemingly impossible, that I cannot help but put into words my emotional reaction. The last several years have delivered realities that each, and collectively were not even faintly on my radar. To steal a phrase from the iconic “Hitchhikers’ Guide to the Galaxy”, “Who turned on the Improbability Drive?” Whoever it was, Please turn it off.

The 2016 Election

Donald Trump’s election in 2020 rocked my world. I could not imagine a more unlikely choice given the popularity of our prior President, and, in my opinion, how ill-suited the Nation’s choice was, both in experience, and character. But so it was. Even more outside of my expectations was the fact that Donald Trump’s popularity did not dissolve under his presidency, and his policies were not checked by members of the Republican legislative branch. It revealed, and fueled divisions in opinions and beliefs I never could have imagined were so prevalent in our society.

November 10, 2020 – Divided Nation

A Worldwide Pandemic

Covid 19 spread rapidly to all corners of the earth. Every aspect of our lives was disrupted and many millions of lives have been lost and continue to be lost. Our Medical and Scientific communities’ were unimaginably swift in discovering the ways this new coronavirus simultaneously attacked multiple vital organ systems. This knowledge rapidly improved approaches to treatment. The development of several of the most specifically-targeted, efficacious, and safe vaccines ever seen before is an accomplishment that cannot be over-rated.

On November 11, 2020 concerns that dominated my thoughts were lifted. My sentiments then were summarized in https://Celebrating Biden’s Victory. Even my unease from seeing the anticipated third wave of Covid 19 take off was assuaged. I felt hope that with medical-science-based direction and vaccines on the horizon Covid would be vanquished.

November, 11, 2020 – Hope for our Democracy

Hopes for the New Year were sullied early on with the Jan 6th effort to negate the election results. The New Year had delivered a process whereby some of the safest and most effective vaccines ever made could be quickly administered, but the embrace of ludicrous conspiracy theories deprived a great fraction of our citizenry of their protection. The prevalence of misinformation continued with never-ending reasons for sadness and unease – hate crimes, police brutality, vigilanteism, bigotry, each in my mind, evidence of the failure of our educational system. 2021 ended and 2022 started with no discernible abatement from my perspective.

And now, Vladimir Putin’s invasion of the Ukraine. So often we try to see two sides to a situation. No clear right or wrong. Not this time. I see evil self interest with disregard for human suffering. However, our country, our President, and much of the world is faced with concerns that this mad man’s actions could not only lead to a Third World War, but a World War with nuclear weapons. So no White Knight, no happy ending, and no justice. It is hard for me to see the light.

Today – Disappearing Democratic Way of Life

Mayreau Rocks! – St Vincent and the Grenadines

A short aside on Provisioning

Not all islands within St Vincent and the Grenadines are well equipped for provisioning. As such we filled our larder well in Bequia before visiting the Tobago Cays, where, outside of their famous Beach Barbecue, there are no restaurants or food for sale. After our five days in the Tobago Cays we moved to Mayreau. We were still in pretty good shape, but after spending a wonderful week there, we were falling short on fresh vegetables and fruit. Mayreau is a beautiful island, with many, many attributes that I will describe in a blog devoted to the island, but a rich source for provisioning, it is not. It’s a short hop from Mayreau to Union Island, which we had not yet visited, so we decided to set sail.

A Welcome Surprise

Before going we took Duhkxy to a small beach to do his business. The cliff face behind this beach surprised us with its beauty. It is comprised of an amalgamation of many type of rocks with extraordinary range in color, and texture. One type is often separated from another very different type by thin veins of still another type.

Earlier, on a hike around Mayreau, an overlook drew our attention to a shore line of beautifully colored and smoothed stones. The shape of the beach provided a hamlet for continuous wave action to tumble the rocks that had been dislodged from the cliff face. We spent an hour or two assembling a representative collection for our memory and to share with you.

There are so many delights in life and in Nature and we encourage all to take pause to see them, appreciate them, and be thankful for them.

Sailing in Retirement

Our post-retirement choice to spend much of each year sailing has to be one of the best decisions we have ever made.  We love to travel while learning about the culture, cuisine, lifestyles, flora & fauna and history of our destinations.

Our daughter, Marilla, says we look like we photo-shopped ourselves into this scene. NOT TRUE!!!

We treasure the opportunities to meet new people who appreciate events from uniquely different perspectives than ours.  This takes time.  Bringing our second home along affords us endless destinations and our own timeline.

Duhkxy attracts a great deal of attention

We also love being under sail – the quiet, wind-powered, motion of sailing on tranquil days and the challenges afforded on blustery days and high seas.  Neither of us get seasick (knock on wood).

Be advised, boat maintenance is part of the package.

In addition to endless cleaning and polishing, boat malfunctions and repairs are as much a part of the experience as the excitement and leisure.  Get together with other cruisers and the conversation will invariably touch upon each other’s current boat problems and often great stories of past mishaps and near disasters.

Once again, our refrigerator, on its coldest setting, is struggling to keep the temperature near 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 degrees Centigrade).  This after having the refrigerator on three occasions found to be low on coolant, re-charged, and checked for leaks (none found). We also installed a new compressor and ventilation.  A funny thing about this is that two cruisers we have become friends with are meeting with the same refrigerator serviceman after us on consecutive days for exactly the same recurrent problem.  A third sailing couple we have befriended managed this same recurrent problem for two years by recharging the fridge themselves until the leak became large enough to be found and repaired.

Best to know your way around electronics and computer technology

Our plans this morning were to sail beyond Petite Martinique into the great depths of the Atlantic Ocean and catch some mahi mahi, tuna, or what have you.  We are approaching the end of our monthly WiFi data allotment so George decided to “quickly” install a couple of updates to our navigational software (wind, speed, direction…).

1.  Find thumb drive and move data to other device

2.  Download software updates – Monitors do not recognize data 

3.  Troubleshoot – solution, must use Foxfire to download

4.  Download Foxfire and software updates.

Here is where it gets interesting

5. B&G monitors in the cockpit are glued in.  Access requires disassembling ceiling in head; invariably this type of work disrupts most areas within the cabin.

6. Install updates – One USB port did not have enough space for thumb drive.

7. Download to smaller thumb drive (thanks Herbert) and complete data installation – Success!!

8. Instruments show no data – Troubleshoot – on phone with B&G technicians – 3 in total – success!!!

Decide to replace ceiling clamps broken by over zealous workmen who installed traveler

Discover ceiling clamps are glued in. Replace with alternate type of clamp and put ceiling back in place.

3:30 pm – We will go fishing tomorrow.

It is sometimes frustrating, but for the most part it is all part of the “adventure”.

The refrigerator is still not working properly.

Trigger Fish and Fishing Bats

Trigger Fish

After spending a fun-filled week in Tyrell Bay we returned to Sandy Island and were astonished to find that our most favorite, as well as everyone else’s favorite, mooring was open. Life is good.

Getting ready to swim to shore I was dangling my feet off our swim platform and felt a very painful stab on my ankle. I caught a glimpse of the culprit – a trigger fish darting to the underside of Ice Floe. As many times as I put my hand or foot into the water, the fish darted out in attack-mode. I took a couple of photos from above the water.

My attempts to get a shot under water were met with immediate and swift attacks and many failed shots save these below that I managed to get before he/she banged headlong into the camera.

Silly triggerfish

There are 40 varieties of triggerfish and most are strikingly beautiful.

George and I have observed many over the years, but this is the first time we observed the characteristic aggressive behavior they are known for. Generally, it is felt to be associated with their defense of a breeding territory. This territory is conical from the bottom to the top so it is advised that if being attacked you move horizontally, rather than vertically.

Fishing Bats

One evening George was lifting our dinghy for the night. It had gotten quite dark and he had his headlamp on. As the light shined over the water he caught a glimpse of something large flying over the surface of the water. He called me to the bow and we both watched as several darted back and forth presumably scooping up the many small fry that frequently jump from the water. At the time we knew of no night fishing birds, and the flight pattern was typically bat-like so we immediately Googled “fishing bats”

It was a challenge getting a photo of the nasty triggerfish, but it was impossible to get my own of the Greater Bulldog Fishing Bat we observed that night – so I borrowed one from the internet.

They are decidedly not cute and if that is not enough, they are a very large bat. Their bodies are just shy 5 inches in length and they have a wingspan that can exceed 2 feet. They use echolocation to detect water ripples made by the fish and use the pouch between their legs to scoop the fish up and their sharp claws to catch and cling to it. They are found from Mexico to Northern Argentina and also most Caribbean islands.

We have been living in Grenada since December 5th, 2019 and rarely a day goes by that we do not observe or learn something new.

Celebrating Biden’s Victory in Grenada

If you could see it through others’ eyes

As the United States Presidential election approached, conversations in Grenada frequently strayed into opinions about the candidates, and speculation about who would prevail. We have not met many American cruisers who support Trump, although they do exist. When we spoke with a like-minded American, various outrages were voiced and then someone would suggest the unpleasant topic be dropped. The most interesting discussions were those with Grenadian citizens and people visiting from countries other than the US.

The electoral college was a frequent topic when speaking with non-Americans, and many people were incredulous that the presidential election would not be decided by the popular vote. My explanation was that the electoral college was intended to give a fair share of voice to each state. Many would concede that they could understand some value to the process, but still far preferred their country’s use of the popular vote as the sole determinant.

As to the candidates and who would win – the great majority of non-Americans thought Trump to be without morals and foolish. They were confounded by his continued popularity in the Unites States and judged the US harshly, as a result. A disappointing number of opinions shared were that Trump would win. Disappointing, in that the view expressed was a condemnation the intelligence and morality of Americans.

Ice Floe and we are back in the water

Ice Floe was returned to the water bright and early November 2nd and we spent most of the day stowing things we brought back from our apartment, and otherwise getting her ready to sail. To be truthful, George spent most of the day in this pursuit. I made contributions when I could tear myself away from the pre-election news and texting with my brother and sister.

George and I slept well on the boat on the eve of the election with near certainty that Biden would win. The following day and for the balance of the week I was consumed by the need to follow the frequent changes in who was ahead in key states, and fretful over how close the vote was turning out in key states.

Saturday – The Grenada Hash and a new president is elected.

George and I hopped on the bus taking us to the Grenada Hash (a rigorous run or walk through the hilly interior of Grenada) with light hearts as shortly before, the results in Pennsylvania had just been called for Biden, thereby securing his successful run for president. We completed the Hash, and if not for a very steep slope toward the end, we would, for once, not have come in last. George had tied Duhkxy’s leash to a stump at the top of the incline that helped getting down the embankment and those that followed were pleased to use it, as well.

We took the bus back to Whisper Cove for a lovely dinner to celebrate the outcome of the election. We could not help but notice a young woman (American), who we learned is a full-time cruiser, dressed in such a way as to leave no doubt to the joy she felt in Biden’s election.

The lovely, lively, delicious, restaurant at Whisper Cove Marina

As we shared our happiness at the outcome of the election I mentioned that I had told George we would not put up a new American flag at Ice Floe’s stern until we had a new president. The young woman said she had made the same pronouncement to her shipmate.

We saw no cheering crowds, no dancing in the street, fireworks, or other displays of celebrations. Just a quiet sigh of reiief, a joyous sense of hope, shared by a couple of Americans who found themselves in Grenada for this historic election, It was more than enough,