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Show MapAruba - January 2005


After the "night of the long spew" (see Curaçao), we dropped anchor off Oranjestad, the main port of Aruba, the westermost of the ABC islands and part of the Dutch Antilles.

Sue slept most of the next three days, coughing like a 60-a-day smoker when she was awake. When she was feeling better we went ashore and wandered around the shopping malls and streets of Oranjestad.

Aruba is without doubt, unashamedly dedicated to being a holiday destination, particularly for those from the USA. Flights arrive several times a day, cruise ships come and go and the island is dotted with luxury resort hotels. Oranjestad was described to us by a resident as "the southernmost suburb of Miami" and we could see why with its casinos, four different MacDonalds, fancy restaurants and up-market shops.



The Renaissance Hotel has a nifty water taxi for its guests which comes right into the hotel foyer!



While in Curaçao we had bought a new single-side-band radio (an Icom 718). This is a ham radio and is widely used by cruisers to talk to each other and to download weather faxes. Tom installed it while Sue was convalescing. We spoke to Sutamon from Aruba when they were more than 500 miles away in Panama.

Our neighbour in the anchorage was an Isreali called Yoel. He is the first person we have met with a piano on his boat! It's not a superyacht, just an ordinary sailboat about the same size as ours, but he decided music is more important than eating and ripped out the galley to fit in the piano. He's a talented pianist and plays in one of the fancy hotels in town, three afternoons a week. He was very kind and gave us a lift to the supermarket in his old car, which has it's own resident ant colony.



Nechtan at the airport anchorage. Yes, it was noisy, but we preferred plane noise to the jet skis and late night blaring music found near the hotels further north.

Nechtan in the marina ... briefly, and dwarfed by the superyachts!

There is a marina in Aruba but at around 40 pounds sterling a night, too pricey for us pennypinchers, although we did visit to fill up with water and diesel.

With Sue well again, we checked the weather forecast every day for the next passage to Cartagena in Colombia, 400 miles away.

Before we left however, we enjoyed the pre-carnival lighting parade - like a dry run of the main carnival parade, done at night with fairylights.

Eventually, on 3 February, with a good forecast for the next few days, we pulled up the anchor and headed west towards Cartagena in Colombia.





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