We Are Sailing to Bonaire

Sava will be sailing to Bonaire

After a lot of deliberation, we changed our minds and our plan. For hurricane season we are sailing to Bonaire.

Cancelling on Grenada

A few weeks ago we signed up to go to Grenada, along with our group of buddy boats. As the date approached, our doubts grew as to whether that was the right choice for us. We don’t want to do-over last summer, no matter how much we loved Grenada.

While we planned for Grenada, we were also researching the other options for hurricane season. We also talked to a few friends and authorities, and changed our minds. Bonaire is calling!

Why Bonaire

Bonaire was always our goal, Covid-19 just messed things up, just like it probably did for your 2020 plans. Bonaire is a marine park with excellent diving, and we love to dive. Plus, the island serves as a jumping off point for Colombia, Panama and the Panama Canal, which we would like to visit and cross, respectively, once we can.

Like most countries, Bonaire was closed for a period, but they are slowly and carefully opening their borders. After contacting the marina and the authorities, we have an almost-confirmed arrival of July 1st in Bonaire.

Saying See You Later

Being a cruiser, living on a sailboat, means being nomads. It seems glamorous and exciting to pick up and go where you want when you feel like it. And it is, usually.

But we weren’t built to be nomads. We value community and friends, and it’s been a long time since we have gone without that. So I am tearing up thinking about what we are giving up by going our separate way from our friends who are heading for Grenada and those who are already there. Covid-19 lockdown wouldn’t have been nearly as fun without these fine people.

Because we are nomads we often have to leave our friends which means saying goodbye, or better, see you later. Many of our buddies are back home in the U.S. or Europe.

Here’s hoping we see these fine friends again in another harbor.

Antigua friends
Our cruiser community in Great Bird Island

Sometimes that’s the great thing about this nomad life. We do meet up with friends again. And we will make new friends in Bonaire. Brian is cheering me up by reminding me of that, but I will miss all the buddies we spent hard times with and had a blast with here in Antigua.

Getting to Bonaire

From Antigua, it’s an almost 500 mile sail to Bonaire, even further than Grenada. This will be our longest trip yet, but we were already planning for the 400 miles to Grenada, so another 100 miles to a place we really want to go seems worth it.

500 miles equals a little over 4 days sailing time on Sava. We estimate Sava averages 5.5 knots, but she can speed along at 7 if the wind is good. We prefer to underestimate, especially because you never know what will happen. The wind direction is better for a Bonaire trip than a Grenada trip, as it should be pushing us that way anyway. Hopefully sailing to Bonaire will be a breeze!

Planned route we are sailing to Bonaire from Antigua
The route to Bonaire
Getting Ready

During our extended down time in Antigua, we did a lot of work on Sava. We replaced her navigation lights for nighttime passages, replaced fuel filters and watermaker filters, and even got a new dinghy. Brian installed new charts for our new passage, and we are waiting on a new VHF remote so we can hear everyone on the radio.

New dinghy versus old dinghy

Everyday we try to prepare for the journey. Whether it’s stocking up on food, or cleaning the deck, we are constantly readying for the journey. We know many people who have crossed oceans, so 4 days doesn’t seem long to them. But it does to us, so we want to be as ready as we can be.


We have two weeks until we start sailing to Bonaire. There’s still time for us to change our minds again, but I don’t think we will. Yes, we are nervous, and sad to leave our friends, but we are excited for the next adventure.

Do you have any tips for the long sail or Bonaire? Share in the comments please. I would love to read them.

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Author: Mel

Living aboard a sailboat, blogging about the places we visit and the adventures we have. Love hiking, cycling, scuba, animals and adventure.

17 thoughts on “We Are Sailing to Bonaire”

  1. Wow! Awesome! Congratulations on your decision to go to Bonaire. True and brave Adventurers! Safe travels to you both. Can’t wait to see your photos! ❤️

  2. Your life sounds incredible ???? I have never sailed before but I’ve always had a dream at the back of my head to travel around by boat! Unfortunately, my fiance gets seasick so I think this will always be just a dream for me.
    It’s always hard saying goodbye to friends, no matter how many times I do it it never gets easier! But you’re right, you will make new friends in Bonaire too.
    Stay safe and happy sailing!

    1. Thank you! FYI I get seasick too and so do a lot of other sailors! We just work around it. ????‍♀️

  3. Have a safe sail, and enjoy Bonnaire when you get there – very envious of all the lovely diving!! Can’t wait to see all the pics and read the blog when you’re there.

  4. Wow! This sounds incredible. Fair weather sailor here so no tips. I would love to sail in the Caribbean one day. Would definitely want to go on milebuilder course as my sailing skills are safe beginner. Is it very busy, and which season do you recommend? Have a safe journey!

    1. Anja, If you come to sail in the Caribbean, you want to avoid July-October which is hurricane season. I highly recommend late November or December. After that everything is very busy and crowded. Safe travels!

  5. Bonaire must be absolutely amazing! I hope you have a fantastic time and get to see as much as possible.

  6. This sounds like an epic sailing adventure :). I am impatient to read your next post when you will tell us everything about your experience. What you like the most and what was your biggest challenge once you are on your boat ! Good luck :).

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