Friday, November 28, 2014


We've been in Curaçao for more than a week, trying to complete our chores list so we can head for Bonaire.  The process has been slower than we planned, because Curaçao is experiencing an outbreak of the viral disease Chikungunya. This is a mosquito-borne disease that causes very high fever, and intense muscle and joint pain.  The fever generally is over within a week, but the muscle and joint pain can last for weeks or even months.

Many workers in the boatyard have suffered from this disease, so the yard has been very short-handed.  We had a refrigeration expert, Louis, working on installing a new freezer system for us.  He came down with Chikungunya with the job half completed, so we are stuck with a not-quite-functioning freezer for now.  Not sure how we will sort this out, since we expect to leave for Bonaire early next week.  Louis actually came to the boat to let us know his status.  We appreciated the gesture, but he looked very ill and you could tell he was mentally not up to par yet (from the fever, I assume).

There is no vaccine, and no treatment available.  The only workable approach is prevention -- which means lots of DEET-containing insect repellent and diligent use of the screens on our hatches and companionway.  According to the Center for Disease Control, Chikungunya hasn't (yet) reached Bonaire.  If we can hold out for a little longer, we should be OK.

We celebrated Thanksgiving by launching Callisto and moving her the short distance to a marina slip.  We had been living aboard while she was still in the yard, and found the nights very hot for sleeping.  Maybe things would be a bit cooler when we were in the water?  Nah, just as hot and more humid.  Oh well, only a few more days.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Heading South

The days in Switzerland are getting short, and even at noon the sun is low on the horizon.  Lots of fog, and many rainy days.  Time to head south!

We fly to Curaçao via London and Miami.  Our flight out of Zürich leaves before dawn, so we are spending a night at a hotel near the airport.  We have an extra bag with us, full of fishing gear for our trip to Patagonia in February.  We'll see what the excess baggage charges come to.

I think we will be in Curaçao for about two weeks, perhaps a bit less.  We have the usual list of commissioning chores, plus we need to install our new wind generator and new freezer compressor.  We are planning several days in a hotel while the boat is still in the yard.  When Callisto is launched, we will spend some time in the marina before heading to Bonaire.

The plan so far has us sailing much less this season than we have in the past.  There is the trip from Curaçao to Bonaire, and then the trip back in March.  Period.  I guess it is possible we will do some daysailing just to keep our hands in.

We have guests committed to join us in December (Gretchen's niece and her friend), and in January (our old friends the Antals).  There are a couple of "maybe's" as well.  So we'll be entertaining a fair bit.  Should be fun.  We are also looking forward to seeing which of our boat friends are back on Bonaire this season.  We are excited about seeing Jill and Rod Hearne, who will be arriving in January.

Since we will be in one spot for so long, we are going to be looking to see if we can buy a couple of used bicycles.  Kinder on arthritic knees than running, and a chance to explore more of the island than we could on foot.

We'll post again soon to talk about the commissioning work list.