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Easing things off

Pam's SandalsCuracao has basically gotten back to “normal” – minus the tourists! While most restrictions have been lifted, and restaurants and stores are open again, tourists are not yet being welcomed. Flights are not wide open, and cruise ships are not welcome, yet.

A couple of cool little guysIt was nice to go out and enjoy a dinner cooked by someone else. I was getting tired of eating my own cooking. The beach restaurant has renamed itself, and gotten a new menu. The food was pretty good. It was just good to be out on the beach enjoying the evening.

Just hanging aboutThe flamingos have returned to the lake just off the first hole here at the golf course. They seem to leave at odd times, then return. We have not spotted a routine to it – sometimes they are there, and sometimes not. There are quite a few here this time, usually ten or more at a time.

Chasing a stickWith the lifting of the quarantine we were able to get Bailey down to the ocean. She loves to chase sticks out on the water. We can throw it as far as we are able and she’ll still chase it down.

The golf course has re-opened and I’ve played a few rounds. That’s also been very nice. Before the lock down we were out playing at least twice a week, and it’s a big part of our routine. We’re glad to have that back. Here is a short movie of my “hole of the round.” It’s a lovely par 3 across the ocean. You need  a nice drive, because the swirling winds can easily send you into one of the many bunkers protecting the green.

Now that’s a BIG chicken!

Why...Our resort here on Curacao, Blue Bay Golf and Beach Resort, has added a lot of public art over the years we have lived here. They just turn up with out much fanfare or announcements. Sometimes they have a sign explaining the artist, but not always. The latest is a pretty big chicken! I actually like it.

Feel free to insert your favorite chicken crossing the road joke, but in days like we’re living now, it’s obvious it was crossing the road because it was practicing social distancing. And let’s face it, Chuck Norris crosses any damn road he wants, and no one questions his intentions!

A great egretHere is a pretty neat picture of a great egret, sometimes called a white heron. And no one questions them when they cross the road either!

Here is a video of our last time on the Blue Bay Golf Course before the government imposed lockdown. Hole 11 is a tricky one. You need to get your drive to the left side, to avoid having to shoot over the water. But of course, I hit it to the right! But I managed to snug the ball in tight to the pin, for a short birdie putt.

Eagle!

Cara caraThere are lots of birds here on Curacao. Full stop. The island is on the migratory route of over 5000 birds, so we see lots of wonderful looking birds, often for just a short time.

We have an indigenous hawk called the cara cara which is a pretty big predator around here. We’ve seen it take out some of the local cats even!

But my bird news is getting an eagle on the par 5 hole number 17 at our Blue Bay golf course. It’s one of the longest holes on the course so a good drive is important. I hit a nice ball, right in the center of the fairway, and it rolled nicely to within 175 yards.

I took my hybrid 4 wood and put it nicely on the green. The putt was 14ish feet or so? But I put it straight down the middle. Pretty thrilled with that!

In praise of golfing

Nasty skyWe have had a lot of fun playing the golf course here at Blue Bay. Lots of afternoons you will find Pam and I on the course, me losing the balls, Pam trying to find them!

We met a couple from North Carolina basically the first week we moved in the building, and Jeff and I have played a lot of rounds together. They don’t live here full time, but when they come to the island we definitely fit in several rounds.

The first greenThere are a lot of beautiful vistas on the course, none more spectacular than the par three, sixth hole. (That’s the featured picture of this post.) It plays at about 170 yards and your tees is up on a cliff. You drive over the ocean, and hope your ball catches the green. The green is quite a bit lower than the tee box, but still up on another cliff. You don’t have a lot of margin for error!

The fourteenth holeJeff and I both really like the par four, fourteenth hole though. It’s a dog leg right, with beautifully landscaped fairways, and a terrific undulating green. You don’t have a lot of margin for error on this hole either as there is heavy rough with cactus to the right. To the left is heavy brush with lots of prickly bushes.

Boxing Day in Curacao

Boxing day - 1st holeBoxing Day in Canada is a big day for shopping. Get out there and spend, spend, spend!

Here in Curacao, I’m starting a new tradition. Hitting the links! That’s right, today I went golfing.

The Blue Bay golf course is a fun course. I like playing it, it suits my game. Not too long, but lots of water and challenging with all the wind.

The big bIf you notice, in the picture of me warming up, there is a big blue B in the pond over my left shoulder. We’ve lived here for quite a while now, and only today did we notice that the B is filled with blue bottles! You can see them clearly in the picture to the left here of the bird perched on the sculpture.

Here is a video of me playing the 18th hole. It’s one of the longest par 5s on the course. Today I managed a nice birdie. It’s important to keep the ball on the fairway on this hole. To the left is a water hazard and to the right is some really ugly rough. Your second shot needs to keep to the middle as well. The left has water down the whole fairway. I think I made a pretty nice putt to finish the round!

Merry Christmas

Christmas TreeChristmas in the Caribbean is pretty low key, compared to the shop, shop, shop ethos of Canada. We don’t watch much live television, so we rarely see all the ads.

We spent a relaxed day on the beach. Saw some turtles. Not really too exciting.

We put up a small tree, but didn’t even get each other a present! Totally low key.

Anyway – wishing you all a Merry Christmas!

Here’s a Christmas song we’ve been listening to quite a bit – a little out of the ordinary.

Snorkeling at the Sea Aquarium Beach

Some coral at the SeAquarium BeachIt’s been quite a while since we’ve down to the Sea Aquarium, so today we decided to make the trek. It sure was nice to see all the healthy coral! It’s still quite a snorkel to get to the really nice stuff, but definitely worth it. You need to snorkel down a long channel, then head across a rough opening to get into the open ocean. But once there, it is truly spectacular.

We saw lots of fun stuff, including green moray eels, black durgons, barracuda and some really huge chubbs. The coral is plentiful and in very good shape. It does not suffer from the bleaching so common in many bays. We used to stay at the Royal Sea Aquarium all the time. I would recommend it to you highly.

Getting late at the SeAquarium BeachWe didn’t stick around and have dinner or lunch there, but it sure has gotten busy. Lots of restaurants and bars and snack shops on what is now called Mambo Beach Boulevard. You can find everything from sushi to ribs, East Indian food, Italian, Mexican, even a Starbucks. If you can’t find something to interest you, you’re way too picky