We woke at 5:30 and left the anchorage at Santa Cruz, following the earlier departures. We followed the trail of navigation lights, like ants in a row to our next destination, Oranjestad, in the dutch island of Aruba.

The wind was initially too light to sail but once we cleared the land and the sun came up we popped Pippa the parasailor up and away we went. A comfortable average of 8.9 and hitting 10 knots surfing down the waves. We were overtaking other boats and loving the sail to the southern tip of the island.

On arrival at the designated check in port we were turned away at the entrance and told to sail back upwind to a different port to check in there – rather frustrating.

By the time we beat back other boats had already docked to proceed with check in. The paperwork had to be collected from all the boats and driven to the main offices. We rafted up and joined the wait. Eventually the documentation was completed and we sailed back to the anchorage, right under the runway and by the cruise terminal.

The busy anchorage by the runway and close to the cruise terminal

After a couple of days we decided to find a quieter anchorage in the north of the island. Not however before we went as a large group to see the excellent film Bohemian Rhapsody at the local cinema.

In the northern anchorage we spent a few days diving and exploring the lighthouse and catching up with other rally participants.

A walk to the lighthouse with friends

We returned to the runway anchorage for check out. Much smoother as paperwork was collected for all of the boats, processed and returned without us needing to go alongside their awful docks – geared up for commercial ships not yachts.

From here, the next stop was to be Santa Marta in Columbia, with an overnight stop scheduled in the bay of Ensenada Huaritcheru, just around the Cabo de la Vela.

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