Monday, December 3, 2012

Travel Blogging III

At Sea, between Bonaire and Grenada: Some thoughts about Bonaire, after today’s visit. First thought: I like it. Bonaire is uncrowded, devoted to The Netherlands, and less “Caribbean” than A and C – all good things.

Bonaire has only three exports: salt, suntans, and memories. There are extensive salt pans at the south end of the island, and piles of harvested salt ready for export. Everything else the island imports, at some cost, although local fishermen provide a reasonable share of the diet. People come here for the diving, said to be very fine.

It has become a “winter mooring” spot for a good number of live-aboard yachts home ported in the States. They pay, we’re told, $10/day for mooring privileges - no boat or ship “anchors” in Bonaire as hooks damage the coral.

I wonder where the yacht’s sewage and garbage are taken? Boats that size don’t have treatment facilities aboard. Perhaps ten bucks buys a weekly “pump out” of their black water tank and access to a dumpster? It would be to the advantage of Bonaire to provide such facilities, to keep their legendary water clear.

We were shown two resorts virtually side by side, one charging $100/night and busy, the other charging $800/night and deserted. What I saw was the market in action, reasonable prices = customers, unreasonable prices = no custom.

The expensive, unoccupied resort was described as a money-laundering scheme of a Venezuelan oil baron. That may have been rumor.