Seaside Escapades

Island Notes 68

We are at a chique art opening at Kas di Arte, our local art exhibition center.  You know it is a special event when Tutti Frutti is playing, the local band from Rincon.  There are wonderful paintings from ­­­­­­­­­­­Ronald Verhoeven of island life on display.  These canvases, however, are probably more than the price of a small boat.  I just enjoy looking at them, talking to locals, drinking a Polár and grabbing a sate covered with spicy peanut sauce when the food tray glides by.

Tutti Frutti takes a break and I get to speak to the drummer, Francis Domacasse, who has a day job as tugboat captain.  Kas di Arte fronts the sea and a sliver of crescent moon breaks through the clouds on a dark, black sky.

“Nice moon tonight, huh Francis?”

“Yeah, but they are getting beat up over at Curacao.  I just spoke with my tugboat buddies there and they are closing the harbor.  A bad storm is coming and it’s headed our way.”

“I probably should get my boat to the marina.  It’s on a mooring not far from here.”

“Oh, yeah.  I gotta go.  Tutti Frutti is about to start again.”

We bid ayó.  I down the Polár and head home.  No more chique art opening for me.  Trunks on, I swim into the night to my boat.  Already the surge of the storm is hitting Bonaire and the waves toss Kontentu to and fro.  I was just in the boat a few hours ago, trying to sail in very confused seas.

I get out the fenders and dock lines.  The motor starts right up.  I release the mooring line and I’m off into the night.  No running lights, but I know this coastline well.  Five minutes later I enter the safety of the harbor.  A dockside party is taking place aboard Aquaspace, a day charter sailboat that used to be part of Jacque Cousteau’s fleet.  As I put-put past in the darkness, Kontentu draws looks.  The dreadlocked captain knows my boat and waves.  The partygoers just stare in rum-soaked stupors as I steer the tiller with my bare foot.  Island boy coming in late.  You never know what that means.

I glide in next to a local fishing boat and raft up to her port side.  Three lines, three fenders and Hettie appears.  We head home for a shower, Mount Gay, and pizza.  We eat dinner from the balcony watching the yachts in front pitching in the water.  The sound of the crashing waves dominates.  I will sleep without worries tonight.  Seaside escapades.

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