Final days in Curacao

Tuesday morning and we were up and out early…. Climbing back on board and we were amazed by how glossy the floors were….

Varnish on

We had researched the different types of varnish we should use – and clear varnish is allegedly much harder wearing than the satin finish version. To achieve the satin finish we want it is recommended that you build up the layers of varnish with the clear stuff and only use the satin stuff for the final coat. So that’s what we are planning to do – just hope it works out that way!!!! Anyway…. we settled back into the hot and hard work of rubbing it all down again….

Varnish off

before cleaning up and then applying another coat…..  and we left Morphie promising ourselves some restorative pool time to cool down.

Richard enjoying the pool

Another pool!Enjoyed a few hours and then retired to a quiet night in front of the TV. Our duplex apartment is quite spacious and we are enjoying staying here….

Kitchen area of our apartment Sitting area of our apartment

Wednesday morning and back to Morphie. The floor looked fantastic but unfortunately was a bit tacky and we didn’t want to ruin what we had done already and decided to leave it another day to dry. So we got busy doing other boat jobs. Some examples of the types of things we did: cleaning bilges; fridge and freezer cleaning; vacuum packing clothes and bedding; disconnecting gas bottles; storage maintenance on our diesel engine; taking off all the canvas; servicing the generator; replacing the zincs etc etc etc…. Makes me feel tired just typing the list!  It was a long day, and we retired for another early night leaving Morphie looking incredibly naked!

Looking naked 1 Looking naked 2

Thursday morning and the varnish had fully dried over night. So it was time for the final rubbing down session, followed by the clean up, and then we carefully applied the final coat of the satin finish varnish. Phew – that’s the job done. Fingers crossed for the end result!

We went back to the apartment for a rest and then on a little pub crawl around the Pietermaai area, visiting Rock Beach first. It wasn’t very busy so we didn’t stay long, although enjoyed the sunset out to sea. Then we headed to the Bluebird Cafe – which was lovely – but the bar was empty and the music was way too loud LOL. Feeling old….. Finally we ended up at Miles which is a quirky jazz place. Had an enjoyable few hours back for dinner and another early night.

Rock beach Bluebird cafe Inside bluebird cafe Sundowners at Miles

Sunset out to sea

Friday morning – and yay, the floor does have a satin finish and it looks fab!   Very happy…

Job done !!!!

So we started the final push to getting straight. Mostly cleaning the wood and fibreglass and flushing fresh water through the systems…. Our owner’s cabin looks a little full now!!!

Packing up

It was a long day followed by another quiet nigh and spectacular sunset over the city.

Beautiful night sky

Saturday morning and Richard went off to Morphie on his own while I stayed behind to get my hair cut. Feel almost human again now!!! Richard came back for me and we both returned to Morphie. Come 2pm we were finished – so the final jobs in putting out damp rid (in an attempt to avoid the build up of mould while we are away) and we ‘bombed’ the boat with a strong insecticide aerosol.

Damp rid & bomb the boat

We said goodnight to Morphie and promised to return on Monday… Leaving the working yard behind we had a look at the Customs area in the top yard where Morphie will spend her time on the hard. Glad to see that it is protected by the best security system – huge vicious Dobermans!!!  A large yard – and all very clean and tidy – with hard standing and no mud to wade through, unlike last year in Grenada….

Customs yard Customs yard 2

Back to our apartment and we tried out another pool…. Nice place this!

Our apartment

Jan in the pool

In the evening we headed back to Ginger for dinner and had some fantastic Asian fusion food – with a very enjoyable white chocolate cream brulee for desert. Yum….

Ginger food Ginger food 2 Ginger food 3

After dinner we went to Mundos again to listen to the Cuban band. Enjoyed ourselves but I peaked too early struggling to stay awake past 9pm!!! So we headed back to bed…..

Cuban band at Mundos

Sunday and we are having a day off…. so are going exploring. We wandered around the Pietermaai area again enjoying the sights of the street art; the renovated buildings; the ruins awaiting investment; the stunning church and an old derelict cinema which looked like a decrepit Odeon!

Pietermaai area Pietermaai area 2 Richard's new girl friend Pietermaai area 3 Pietermaai area 4 Wall art Waiting for renovation

Looks like an old Odeon Cinema

The first place we wanted to visit was the synagogue – Curacao has the oldest synagogue continuously in use in the western world. It apparently has an amazing interior but, to our disappointment, was closed. Hmmmm….. never mind.


We ended up walking to the edge of the river in Willemstad and enjoyed a nice late breakfast on the river’s edge. The place is teeming with Japanese tourists today – and we spotted their ship anchored outside the city.

View across the river whilst having breakfast Willemstad selfie

Walking across the pontoon bridge and the alarms went off so we “rode” the bridge and enjoyed the view of the pilot boat coming through before crossing over to the Otrobanda side.

Bridge opening Open just enough to get through Made it!

Selfie on the pontoon bridge

We were looking for Kura Holanda. Having admired the huge university building we wandered into the streets behind the river and were stopped by this huge guy who told us he was doing a security role and that we should return to the main street. We think he was giving us the heads up that this was not a safe area – we were very grateful for his intervention!


Kura Holanda is a world heritage site and has been painstakingly restored to its earlier beauty and now houses a hotel, spectacular pool area, combined with restaurants and some great sculptures / artifacts. It also incorporates a slave museum. The owner is a Jewish man who was parented by a holocaust survivor and has been inspired to tell the un-sanitised truth about the lives of the slaves who were transported through this part of the world…. Unfortunately – despite the website saying that it was open 7 days a week – the museum was closed too!!!! Grrrrrr…… Never mind – we enjoyed wandering around the area anyway.

World Heritage site Kura Holanda Kura Holanda 2 Kura Holanda 3 Kura Holanda 4 Kura Holanda 6 Kura Holanda 7 Kura Holanda 8

On the way back across Willemstad we spotted a 3D art installation on one of the walls….   Very nice!

3D wall art in Willemsted

Did a bit of shopping and then headed to Rock Beach – which is a strange place with an old VW camper van taking centre stage!  We ended up sitting on the edge of the rocks with our feet in our own personal bubbling pool as the waves pounded in.

Rock beach 1 Rock beach 2 Rock beach 3 Rock beach 4 Rock beach 5

We enjoyed getting a few rays and watched one of the day trip boats return to Willemstad and then saw the Japanese ship – the Peace Boat – depart. Not the traditional cruise ship and the ship’s website is a bit weird too “promoting peace around the world”. How does coming ashore, eating, drinking and buying souvenirs promotes peace I’m not sure?!? Seems like the ABCs definitely attracts some ‘unusual’ groups on ships!   After Rock Beach we went to Miles for happy hour – had a nice time chatting to an American medical student – and then had another early night.

Getting the sails down

Goodbye to the Japanese tourists

This morning we got up early and returned to Morphie. The boat yard was supposed to prepare the hull and topsides with an Awlgrip product on Friday but didn’t make it – every boat yard is the same, it would seem!   Anyway – they were working hard on her this morning when we arrived before 9 am. So that was good…. This is to give Morphie protection from the sun while we are away. We then went into the office to return keys and get our customs letter – stating that Morphie is going to be in the Custom designated area while we are off island.  All sorted and we caught up with Rocky the guy who drives the huge boat lift.  Unfortunately they are not going to move Morphie until tomorrow as they plan to prepare her hull for antifouling on our return in November – so we’re not going to see her move to her final home today.

So sadly it is time to leave her in the working yard.  And, of course, I’m an emotional wreck again. Never seems to get any easier this!!!!  Morphie has had a good season – she has safely carried us over 1600 miles, done some long voyages and tackled some horrible conditions.  A good job done and time she had a rest…. We’ll see you in November Morphie – be good, love you!!!!

Working yard Bye Morphie! Our rent a wreck is still going strong

Back to the apartment – I’m blogging, Richard is surfing, and we need to return the hire car soon. I’m also heading back to reception to reconfirm our taxi for the morning and then we need to pack. We are being picked up at 3.45 am for the airport so an early night beckons – after a planned steak dinner as we succumbed to the lure of the big supermarket one last time!

Tomorrow we are off to Wisconsin – via Miami, Chicago and Minneapolis. Very sad at leaving Morphie behind but we are also excited about our forthcoming US holiday and our reunion with Dan and Ruth before we return home to our UK family and friends.

Bye for now