I’ve lived aboard Yahtzee my entire life and at this point we’ve sailed as far north as Alaska, south through the Panama Canal and now into the Caribbean. Along the way, I’ve been to so many memorable places and met incredible people, but Curaçao will stick out as one of my favorites. We had a lot of work to do to our home, which took time, but Magnus and I found a wonderful community at Flipside Skatepark. We made great friends there, the owner was a super rad dude, and I learned more skateboarding tricks than I ever imagined.
Yet, as it goes with our sailing life, we got Yahtzee running and were ready to leave. Due to some rough crossings we’ve had in the recent past, though, I was feeling anxious for the three day, 400-mile passage ahead of us from Curaçao to Puerto Rico. I felt sad to leave such a wonderful place, but we had to rip the bandage off and go.
We aimed to leave Curaçao around 7 a.m. but it was pushed to 8. We had trouble getting the engine started, which was not a surprise. When we were leaving, the water was a very beautiful light blue and I was at the helm until we got out of the channel. After that, it didn’t start great. The waves were bigger than we expected, but it didn’t stop us. We knew it would get better.
When Yahtzee got around the southern point of Curaçao and we started to head northeast, it actually wasn’t that bad and we had a light lunch of sandwiches and drinks. We ended that first night eating chicken sandwiches and finding shapes in the clouds. I slept through the night just fine, but when I woke up I heard that the night watches were bumpy and wet. I was ready to do some sailing because the water was a stunning deep blue. Also, the waves had calmed down quite a bit and we shut off the engine.
Settling into our passage routine, we had a lovely lunch of sandwiches, chips, sodas, and fruit for the whole family. Then Dad went off to bed downstairs, Magnus and I played on screens while Mom hung out upstairs. It was so beautiful and the wind was perfect for sailing — 10 to 15 knots and the waves had fizzled out. But it had to end sometime and the wind piped up and went on the nose, and then the waves increased quite a bit. We turned the engine on, rolled up the jib, and started to make our way upwind to the east. Our night ended the same as the first, by finding shapes in the clouds, and eating chicken sandwiches. I read a lot that night and so did Magnus.
I woke up with the engine on and I stayed in bed to keep getting some rest. Then my stomach didn’t feel well and I knew I needed fresh air. I had a yogurt and so did my brother, then he threw up, so that made me throw up too. Although Magnus felt better, unfortunately I didn’t, and I threw up again… and again… and again. Finally, I felt a little better so I took a nap and I woke up energized! We had chicken sandwiches for dinner again. You’re probably getting a chicken sandwich theme here, yes, we love them — especially on big sailing hops like this. Before I went to sleep I said, “I will always remember this passage as a positive one.”
When I woke up in the morning we were getting near Puerto Rico and Mom told me we had run out of fuel in our port fuel tank, so we sailed through the night. Yahtzee has two fuel tanks and we got the engine working on the other tank and made it to the marina in Ponce. We checked in through the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol ROAM app and waited at the fuel dock.
It took a little bit for the fuel dock guy to get there, but I helped Mom and Dad clean up the boat after the passage. After we got water and fuel, we sailed to a small island 6 miles south called Isla Caja de Muertos. We anchored and the water was so clear you could see the bottom. When the anchor was set, we took the dinghy to the beach and it felt so good to touch land again — it was a good passage.