Topping my to-do-list on Saturday was to find a place to watch the Georgia Bulldog game at noon. It was God’s divine mercy that ESPN (in Aruba) was showing Portuguese football rather than the expected college game. Georgia was blown out, and having not witnessed the slaughter, no doubt made for a better frame of mind. Rather than fret over the loss, we headed over to the private, Renaissance Island for a couple of hours of sun and fun on the sand and in the water.
The evening was filled with more Jazz. Friday evening clearly had a heavy dose of funk and R&B, while Saturday had a more Latin/Caribbean flavor. The Frankie Yanga trio kicked the festivities off. We were then treated to the captivating saxophone playing of César López accompanied by the Cuban sound of the Habana Ensemble. Next on the big stage was the wonderful Curaçao native, Izaline Calister, whose vibrant singing touches the soul. She sang most of her songs in the local tongue, Papiamento, although she introduced each of them in English. Her music was definitely my favorite of the night. Perhaps the least favorite was the next to last act of the night, a collaboration of Livi Silvan and Randal Corsen, which had a heavy dose of rap. I think they were clearly pushing the limits of jazz. Finally, we were treated to Unity: A Latin tribute to Michael Jackson with Peruvian-born, Tony Succar featuring the famous Cuban singer-songwriter, Jon Secada. The performance was great, although it was a little strange hearing Michael Jackson’s songs with a strong Latin flair.
On Sunday morning, Kenneth showed up to assist me with the windlass. After about two hours of joint-effort, we succeeded in breaking the old windlass free — literally, as we had to break the flange off the motor beneath the deck in order to remove it. It was clearly a two-man job, so I didn’t feel too bad about my previous capitulation. We were able to install the new one with minimal difficulty. It works fine although we’ll have to finalize a few wire-connections on Monday morning. I’ll let you know how it actually works when weighing a few hundred pounds of steel from the sea floor.
Sunday afternoon was designated for provisioning. We took a bus the several miles to the grocery store and a taxi for the return trip. Why did we travel so far to the grocery store when others were nearby? This wasn’t an ordinary grocery store, but it was “Super Food!” I expected a lot given the name, and we were not disappointed. The store was awesome and had quantities and varieties we hadn’t seen since the states, and then some. It was the most fun I’ve had at a grocery store in months!
On Monday, we are planning to leave Aruba for a 400-mile passage to Cartagena, Colombia. We might have stuck around for a couple of more days, if it were not for the high-probability of a hurricane or tropical storm making its way through the ABCs toward the end of the upcoming week. It is very rare for storms to affect the islands this far south, but this appears to have the makings of an unusual event. A weather forecast site I frequently use for passage planning predicts 40-foot waves and winds over 100 m.p.h. in the western Caribbean over the weekend. So, we are leaving Aruba tomorrow morning with plans to be safely anchored in Cartagena by the end of the week. We’ll obviously be watching the weather while underway, but feel confident that we will be well clear of the worst of it before it arrives. We will pray for our friends whose boats are in the southern Caribbean right now waiting our hurricane season.