Then I remembered it was the day I had pledged to introduce a splash of colour onto my blog!
So forgive me; here are some photographs of the beautiful Bonaire to make up for my temporary lapse in concentration.
Bonaire’s earliest known inhabitants were the caquetio indians, a branch of the Arawak who came by canoe from Venezuela in about 1000 CE.
Caquetio rock paintings and petroglyphs have been found preserved in caves at Spelunk, Onima, ceru,pungi and Ceru Crita-cabia.
The island is ringed by a coral reef which is easily accessible from the shore along the western and southern sides.
Furthermore, the entire coastline of the island has been declared a marine sanctuary, preserving local fish life with several of the coral reefs being homes to seahorses.
Bonaire is also famed for it’s flamingo population and it’s donkey sanctuary. Flamingos are drawn to the brakish water, which harbours the shrimp upon which they feed.
Estimated distance to Barbados from here is 534 nautical miles.
The departure from Bonaire saw the whole ships population congregate on the upper two decks.
With the sun beating down and the bars in full swing, we were then all issued with Union Jack flags; and provided with colourful if somewhat generous rum cocktails.
This was to be Ventura’s finest hour; it’s renowned ‘Great British Sail Away’
As we left the port we began to cruise slowly up towards our American cousins who’se ship at this time was conveniently berthed opposite. As we got closer to them, we were all encouraged to get over to one side of the ship and raise our Union Jack flags.
As soon as our ship was almost alongside the music from the ships speakers boomed out with the introduction of ‘Land of Hope and Glory’
At which point the entire ships company and it’s passengers passionately screamed out the words at the top of their voices!
With hundreds of flags waving vigorously and passengers jumping up and down on the spot; there was absolutely no way we were going to allow our departure to be a quiet uneventful or dignified affair!
Then as ‘Land of Hope and Glory’ drew to an end and almost without drawing breath came the powerful throng of “Rule Britania”
I have to tell you; it was an absolutely incredible experience!
The nearest I could relate the charge of emotions to, would be standing in the crowd singing ‘Jerusalem’ at ‘Fortress Twickenham’ for the Rugby Internationals!
With our throats burning we sailed on and out to open sea, leaving Bonaire in the distance. The ships entertainment crew though, continued to dance like lunatics belting out a variety of good old sing-alongs from England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales!
It was loud, it was colourful, it was joyous. It was something that personally I will never ever forget!
All credit to the ships entertainment crew who amazingly kept the whole thing going seemingly without pausing once for breath!
I am not exagerating when I say that every passenger up on deck that particular evening remained there and partied on! Several large rums however, many realised that they hadn’t yet dressed for dinner and quite frankly couldn’t have cared less either!
It was a classic case of ‘Que Sera’
This was a truly a fabulous event; and one which definitely provided some genuinely happy memories for us all to reflect back on.
I can thoroughly recommend it… Hic!!