One of my goals on our trip was to get on a boat – not a packed, double-stacked booze cruise with a sweaty life jacket strapped on, but something more along the lines of a private, leisurely, even a classy, cruise. This seemed like a very high mark to aim for, but that was my goal.
Nearing the end of the trip and having so far not had an opportunity to test out our sea legs, I started fretting. The resort staff stared at me blankly when I declined their overpriced booze/snorkel adventure combo that left on the hour from the beach, and then forgot their English skills when I asked for off-resort recommendations. Foiled, I figured I’d have to help myself and navigate TripAdvisor. I wasn’t prepared for the mind numbingly slow lobby wifi, so I grabbed a screenshot of what I could and went to use my room phone. Foiled again by the exorbitantly high phone rates, I squeaked out a few super quick calls on our cell phone, only to find out most of the local boat operations held salon hours and were closed on Mondays.
A captain answered on my last ditch call. We ended up exchanging a few texts confirming he could take us a private sunset cruise. With wine. And Italian snacks. We’d need every last bit of cash we had (a mix of dollars and guilders) but we were going to make it work. That afternoon we piled into the fanciest taxi we’d seen so far and gave him the marina address. We pulled into the drive of what looked like a house with a naked man showering in the side yard. This was about the time we all got super concerned about my decision and the taxi driver asked us again to confirm we were in the right place, so he didn’t leave us stranded. This was also about the time I realized I’d neglected to bring any other details with me about our upcoming boat adventure – not the name of the boat, slip number, name of the captain…nothing. We were also there 30 minutes before our agreed upon departure time, and the place was deserted. Actually, there was one Dutchman who wandered out eventually and asked who we were waiting for. We told him we honestly didn’t know, and he wished us luck and wandered off. And, of course, on account of the pack of ferocious guard dogs and swarms of thousands of chickamunguya-carrying mosquitoes, we weren’t really alone. This was a low point on the trip.
However, I was gloriously vindicated when our boat, The Galaxie, eventually arrived full of repeat passengers who were yelling to us about what a wonderful time we would be having before the boat even got fully tied to the dock. In short, The Galaxie was captained by Matteo, an Italian marine physicist (“boat designer”) with a penchant for sharing his views on the politics of the region, why of all the Caribbean islands he chose to call Curacao his new home (“it is the best-very European”), and why his boat was named The Galaxie (“it was already named, why change it?”). Ask me sometime to share Matteo’s thoughts on the similarities of the women on the island with cars and hermit crabs with their shells.
Here are photos of our private, relaxed, sunset cruise with Matteo – including too many of the sunset and of my handsome Husband:
Here’s Husband the Thinker, pondering with us over whether or not the photo below shows T. Swift’s vacation home. See the swan float? And the LOVE artwork?