As some of you may already have noticed, we have made our way south in the Caribbean, and are currently in Curacao. Why did we end up here? Many reasons, and we will try to tell you some of them.
After we arrived in the BVIs (British Virgin Islands) we made a final conclusion not to go through with our original plan to go to Florida for the hurricane season. So we started contacting various marinas, all the way from the BVIs in the north, to Trinidad in the south. Hauling out in the BVIs would mean that we could have started the next season on the path we were already on. But, that would also most likely mean leaving Tango on dry dock storage for the whole hurricane season, from June to November. This because the northern part of the Caribbean is subject for hurricanes. And of course, price also plays a major role. If you are to store your boat in the BVIs during the season, the best option definitely is out of the water, while in the southern part many leave their boats at anchor or at a marina slip. Seeing the demand of taking boats out of the water is higher in the northern parts, this also affects the price. We therefore started leaning more and more towards heading back south.
There are however many option in the south as well. Many choose to stay/store their boat in Grenada or Trinidad, as it is easy to start sailing the windward and leeward islands again after the hurricane season. Many go there year after year, and hence they have created communities for the sailors staying on board.
When we were back in St Marteen after we left the BVIs, we talked to many others heading south for the season. At the Shrimpys Cruisers Net on VHF 10 in the mornings there were announcements for meetings for south-bounders, which we obviously went to in order to meet up with and discuss with others. We met many heading for Grenada and Trinidad, but also a few that were heading the same place we had by then decided; Curacao.
A major reason for us ending up where we are is the fact that we are here out of the hurricane belt. This means we can return to Tango earlier than the almost 6 months the hurricane season is going on. Another good reason; flight connections to Aalesund. So easy from Curacao, with daily flights via Amsterdam. Being out of the hurricane belt also means that we will be able to sail to nearby islands and harbours, such as Aruba, Bonaire, Colombia and even San Blas/Panama. We haven’t done any proper research for where it is safe to sail during hurricane season yet, but as far as we know by now, these should all be fine.
So, this is our «plan» now (written in the sand on a nearby island): We are hauling Tango out of the water here in Curacao, and he/she/it (depending on who you ask) will be securely stored ashore here. So, we have spent the last few days taking down sails, cleaning, securing, packing etc. Now Tango is all set, and we will fly back to Norway for a while, before we return and see where the winds will take us next season. We have to admit, we do have a bit of mixed feelings at the moment though. We are of course looking forward to to seeing friends and familiy in Norway again, but it is also a strange feeling to leave our home (as Tango has become to us) for such a long time. See you soon Tango!