07.30.2014 - 07.30.2014
We slept in today and woke up to spend a lazy morning watching the boat traffic and eating crackers and Boursin cheese for breakfast. This is one of my favorite snacks and I was surprised and excited to see that Centrum had it for sale. One of the ships in front of the house was The Ocean Mariner. It had been coasting around back and forth, back and forth for days for no apparent reason. It had no course listed on Mike's marine app. We had a little joke going that the Captain was drunk and couldn't figure out where he was going.
The pilot boat was busy doing its thing.
A few fishing boats were tooling around as well. We compared the eco-factors of two of them while we watched. There were these two guys who just had a little rowboat and they would fish as they drifted along.
Then there were these two guys who had a motor and actually dropped anchor out on the reef!
Here comes the biggest environmental impact of all.
Around late morning, we packed up all of our empty tanks and headed over to Blue Bay for Mike's last dive and to settle our account. I was not even going down that road today, just planning on snorkeling. I wanted to enjoy the day without the diving stress I had endured all trip. We started with pina coladas and lunch at Azzuro, as usual. Afterwards, Mike went deep and I went snorkeling. Blue Bay has a rocky pier that goes out to a point and then horseshoes into a little bay area around the left side of the main beach area. There was a group of guys fishing off the end of this rocky pier on this day. I'm not sure this was even legal but it was sure annoying to try and dodge their casting hooks. Worse than that, apparently the cruise ship we'd seen earlier had dumped off a bunch of people here and they were flailing about in the water and standing on the reef. So frustrating! I'm not sure why people seem to think that knowing how to swim is not a pre-requisite for snorkeling. I had a nice time anyway and saw lots of marine life. This is a good snorkel site when it's not crowded as lots of fish like to hide in these rocks.
Mike took the camera diving.
Fish inside tube sponge.
Mike's dive watch at 202 feet.
I've never seen anything like this before and cannot figure out what it is. Some kind of eel, maybe?
After Mike's dive, we met on the beach and I found out that he had gone to 219 feet, by himself, on nitrox. Now I wasn't happy about this but I learned a long time ago this was not a fight I would win. Mike is an ex-commercial diver with LOTS of dive experience and he does what makes him happy and he does it responsibly. It may not seem so to others but the buddy system doesn't work for everyone. Unfortunately, the dive shop did not agree with this philosophy and when we went to pay for our tanks for the week, they were pretty unhappy to learn we had used an odd number of tanks. This made it pretty obvious we hadn't been buddy diving. They were even more upset when Mike opened his mouth and told him about his dive today (I had told him not to). He got an earful about solo diving and deep diving on nitrox. In any event, I don't think we're welcome back at Diveversity at Blue Bay anytime soon.
One divemaster from Austria that did seem to understand Mike's position.
After that experience we decided to cool down at the bar with a pina colada before heading home to clean up for dinner. It was a long drive across Curacao and into a part of town we'd never been to before. So much so that Mike thought I had screwed up the address and that GPS was wrong. It was not. We were dining at El Gaucho, an Argentinian steakhouse nestled on top of a large hill, which overlooked the city of Willemstad.
View from our table.
We started with El Gaucho's wonderful salad bar. I ordered the hanger steak and Mike ordered the beef short ribs. Both were outstanding. We had a dinner guest who wandered through while we ate, down below us on the hill. But he was polite and didn't beg.
After dinner we made the long drive home and hit the bed early.