Martin and I are so happy to be back at Sunshine and David's in Westpunt, Curacao! We came here last year in June and stayed for 10 days. We had such a wonderful time that we knew we'd be back - though we didn't think it would be this summer! We arrived yesterday on Insel Air. We rented a car and headed for the house. The whole gang was here, Sunshine, David, the pups, and the cats. Andreas came by later in the evening and we had a nice dinner on the back patio. In the morning Martin and I checked in at Ocean Encounters West (OEW) dive shop and opened an account. Then we went to town to the grocery store (35-40 minute drive) and got provisions for the week. In the afternoon David joined us and we went down to Playa Kalki for our first dive of the trip.
Oops - major equipment malfunction - not a good thing. Martin had a bad O-ring in his 1st stage regulator. OEW's manager Brian was able to replace it. Then I tested my set up and my BCD got stuck in "inflate" mode. Um - not good! Thank God it happened on shore and not under water. The schrader valve was corroded and once again, Brian was able to fix it. We like Brian a lot! So after an hour and a half in the sun we got our gear on and jumped in. David is a very patient man! The reefs are incredible here. Much larger and more populated than the Bahamas. And of course - no sharks. Apparently there's a hammerhead that passes through from time to time but he's rarely spotted, so much the better. We spotted several trunk fish, a drum fish and a small eel among many other critters. I've taken a few pics of the apartment and the pets - I'll be posting many, many more! Once we're back comfortable with diving Martin will be taking lots of fish pics too.
In the evening there was a birthday party at Sol Food for Julie, who works at the dive shop. We were invited and had a great time. We got to know everyone a little and hear fun stories. We have a reputation for being the "24-pounders" from last year (long story of messing up on the weights we thought we'd need.) All the new people we meet say "Oh - you're the 24 pounders"! :)
It feels so good to be out of the hotel in Fort Lauderdale and "outside" as well. The house is totally open - windows, huge sliding doors (see pics). There's air conditioning in the bedrooms but we seldom need it. While it's hot here, the trade winds blow constantly and make it comfortable. It also blows the mosquitoes away so you can enjoy being outside in the evening. Yesterday I thought I spotted a bananaquit (the "sugar birds" from Warderick Wells, Bahamas). We put a bowl of sugar out and sure enough - they're eating away on our balcony!
This morning I woke up to lots of birds singing and roosters - lots and lots of roosters. They sound like a stadium crowd when they get going in the morning. Now I'm sipping coffee, watching the bananaquits have their breakfast and enjoying a nice breeze while Mart sleeps in a bit. It's gray and overcast so the temp is cool(er). I think the rainy season is normally July so maybe we're going to have some late showers. The clouds reduce visibility but I don't think we'll have to cancel our diving today. We're planning on 2 mellow shore dives, at least one again at Alice in Wonderland (the OEW house dive). We want to be very sure that our equipment is working well before we head out to a remote area to shore dive! Rain or shine, it's another wonderful day ahead, life is good.