Posts Tagged ‘Honesty’

Curacao: Land of Many Faces

Saturday, December 4th, 2010

While Immigration did their best to ensure we never wanted to return to these shores, other residents in the country hadn’t yet received the memo. The natives were pleasant and willing to help, ensuring our visit was as enjoyable as possible.  The market is

Strolling the Willmested Market

Strolling the Willamsted Market

beautiful and full of goodies, general services were a plus and transportation via the public system was quite manageable.

In between days of struggling with Ma Nature and her relentless onslaught of liquid

Sunshine escaping  from the heavens we were able to garner a couple of trips to the grocery store, marine stores, the market,  and the tourist mecca. In the am we dropped off the laundry, and hit the International Clinic. IB and Becca needed to score some Yellow Fever shots for traveling to Columbia and W/ had decided that her ear wasn’t healing fast enough (from diving in Bonaire) so she too wished to consult with the Dr. There we paid $15 US for the doctors visit / consultation and a recommendation to see an ENT.  He indicated that one ear was (sorry) full of wax and the other had some blood behind the ear drum but the drum itself wasn’t damaged.  During lunch I started calling the ENT and we ended up with a scheduled visit in the afternoon. There the Doc removed copious amounts of wax from her right ear, looked at and showed us the problem with her left ear and prescribed some spray to open up the ear canal passages. This would then let the body heal itself. She had instructions not to dive and to avoid flying (no problem on her part). She could however swim and snorkel (only on the surface) all she wanted. Cost for the ENT $85 US.

Willemstad, Curacao

Willemstad, Curacao

The historic town of Willemstad was dotted with colors right off a Paint by Number picture. The buildings on the waterfront looked as if Disney had put together a new waterfront set for an upcoming picture. To cross the waterway people had two options: a people moving bridge and when ship or boat traffic caused the bridge to open then ferries took up the slack.

Moving Footbridge

Moving Footbridge

While we’ve been cruising I’ve quite often been amazed at the limited rules and regulations other countries seem to have.  When the bridge opened there were gates that fell; but no guards, and  no long obnoxiously loud sirens. People jumped on and off the bridge while it was opening and closing. I guess they actually figured that people could make their own decisions on what they could or couldn’t do.

IB and I made a leap of all about 1 meter to get on the moving bridge and then once upon it we marveled that here we could actually leap onto the bridge and not receive a lecture from a petty bureaucrat.  We strolled across the foot bridge as it moved aside for a ship to pass. On the other side we had to jump down off the bridge as it no longer matched up with the exit / entrance ramp. No big deal here.

There we connected with our women and had a meal on the second floor overlooking the town front. The food wasn’t exceptional here but just good. We strolled along the water front and made our way back to the rental car we shared with IB and Becca. Then hit some of the grocery stores to stock up on what we’ve depleted during our wet stay here.

Um Um Good

Um Um Good.

When we went to the grocery store I asked about my sunglasses. Approximately 3 days ago we had taken the complimentary taxi to the grocery and exiting the van I left my sunglasses. All thought they had now been lost but I figured i would ask anyway. I found one of the store managers and asked him. There I was pointed to an office and they asked which van we were in. Next, the office staff asked the driver  I was taken out to the van. He opened the glove compartment and removed my glasses. After copiously thanking him I passed him some money for evening libations. Walking back into the store I had a smile on my face. No need to pay for some outrageously priced sunglasses yet.

The following day IB and I drove into Immigration early to complete the formal clearing out. We arrived back at the boats and pulled our anchor from the bottoms, and slowly motored out of Spanse Waters.

Go Slow
Sail Far
Stay Long



Caribbean Magic

Tuesday, August 17th, 2010

When we hiked the Appalacian Trail one summer we heard tails of true altruism. One such tale involved a hike along the ridge in the White Mountains. We heard this from the horses mouth; oh, I mean hikers mouth. The hiker was walking along on a beautiful clear day and 5 minutes later the weather had changed to a  white out. A cloud had ascended and made visibility  almost nil. Nothing to do but continue on. He was following the cairns and an hour or so later slipped and was about to go sliding down the very steep side of the mountain. Out of whiteness reached a hand, hauled him back up the the trail and the hiker that had saved  him simply kept on walking, while he caught his breath and took a moment to calm down. He never met that hiker, the hiker never stayed to be thanked. That IMHO is altruism.

In Grenada, friends of ours on Passport had gone on a day hike. Having completed their hike  they arrived back at their boat, paid the driver, removed all their gear and retired for the evening.  A few hours later, the driver came by the marina asking where Passport was. He had their wallet.  Somehow, IB had paid the driver and the wallet fell out of his pocket into a seat in the Taxi while they were removing their stuff.  He received  the wallet back with everything in it. And I mean everything!

In Trinidad we’re ordering supplies. There are 3 girls that do the work at a place called MarineWarehouse, they have contacts all through the US and we order what we need, then they combine the items and ship it to Trinidad by ocean freight. One day a cruiser had come in to pay for his supplies. He charged them on his credit card and during the transaction began to ask about a health club he could go to before he flew out of Trinidad the following day.  Unbeknownst to him, after the transaction was completed his  CC had worked it’s way under some papers on the desk and off he went to sweat and pack for his trip home.   The girl at the desk came upon the card 30 minutes later and knew the owner wouldn’t be a happy camper if he ended up  at the airport and discovered it missing and not even close to a happy camper should he have made it back to the continent and found it gone.  She chased him down at the health club, returned his card to him and I’m sure made a life long customer out of him.

Now we’re not hiking on any trails. But I would call either of those stories  “magic”, selfless acts of islanders making sure visitors experience their islands  as a little bit O’ heaven.

Go Slow
Sail Far
Stay Long