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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

 

Boka Sami

Moray eelToday we tried out a new beach called Boka Sami. It’s in a small fishing village just up the coast from Blue Bay. It’s also referred to as Snake Bay, and for some reason Pam has been leery of trying it. But with Mike in town, we decided to give it a go. It’s a nice sandy beach, with a super easy entry into the ocean.

Lion fishThere are lots of fishing boats around the bay, and there turned out to be lots of fishing traps in the bottom of the bay. I find it tough to see the traps with all the fish stuck in there, knowing they are going to be someone’s dinner. sigh Wish that didn’t happen, but what can you do? If humans didn’t eat them, they’d wind up as dinner to some fish or bird.

Flying gurnardAnyway – it was a nice snorkel. Lots of flying gurnards  in this bay. I think we saw at least a half dozen. I think it’s alternatively called Snake Bay because of all the moray eels we saw though. They were everywhere! (Even in some of the traps.) We also saw turtles, some ceros, and a coronet fish.

This is definitely a beach we’ll be back to visit. Nice and peaceful.

 

Playing with turtles

Lotsa turtlesWe headed up to Westpunt to check out the turtles in Playa Piskado. It’s always a great favorite of ours, and most of the island as well! It can get crowded out there. There are so many turtles in the bay, and everyone loves to snorkel with turtles.

There were literally dozens of turtles today. Usually we can count fifteen or sixteen, but today – wow! Again, usually the fisherman come into the dock and offload their catch, while gutting and filleting the fish. But today, this boat stayed out in the deeper water, and I’m not sure if that attracted more turtles or what. But what a show they put on!

King NeptuneThere are lots of things to see in this bay besides the turtles, but you wouldn’t know it by the pictures we take. I took about one hundred pictures, and ninety are of turtles! haha They certainly catch your attention. The one picture I always have to take is of old King Neptune. He’s in fairly deep water out near the drop off.

Crab and flounderOne other thing we saw that is quite cute. There are a lot of these little crabs wandering around the bay, and they seem to pick up a buddy. We often see flounders bumping into the crabs. We’re guessing the crab stirs up the sand and some micro food, which the little flounder gobbles up. It’s really quite cute.