View from the water. Photo:
Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao, known as the ABC islands, are the last of the Caribbean islands that I would experience for now. My friends came over from Stockholm, a couple with a seven-year old pink-clad daughter, and we would sail the ABC for about a week. From Bonaire, to Curacao, and then the remaining 70 nautical miles to Aruba, from where they fly home.

We have seen flamingos, large iguanas the size of a dog, great underwater life. One day I almost run over a sea turtle while driving the dinghy to the beach – the flora and fauna are incredible. We are perpetually busy, but it's fun.

I had the possibility to visit an oil platform and write about living and working there - see the article on page 28-29. The captain there was Norwegian, and was very kind to show us all around.

Another experience I covered was the trip by a glass-bottomed Aquaspace which is a local celebrity. Read about it in Caribbean Compass - my article about this unique vessel bearing Cousteau's legacy is on page 24-25, including underwater photos!

We also paid a visit to a sailing boat that has a grand piano in it, met other sailors, drank the local liquor with blue color and orange taste, dinghied to remote beaches and walked long rocky trails. The pink-clad little girl got the taste for sailing and fishing, and basically wanted to be winched up the mast the entire time.

Together with the guests, who also were brought up in the Soviet Union, we ironically celebrated the 1st of May - all dressed in red, with Russian delicacies and all trimmings. There was guitar play and song, and great times. Apart from the fun, I was trying to make the logistics work, and do the research for the articles I was writing for the sailing magazines. And, of course, sail.

Sergej who was visiting along is a talented photographer. His photos capture the atmosphere on the island, something that I myself was increasingly relaxed about - the photos for the research would suffice, and some underwater fun, but not capturing the local spirit in photos. Very grateful for the pictures, a choice of them can be seen below.

Elk horns corals. Photo:
Boats on anchor in Curacao. Photo: Sergej Gratchev
Curacao coastline. Photo: Sergej Gratchev
Street in urban Cucarao. Photo: Sergej Gratchev
Street in urban Curacao. Photo: Sergej Gratchev
Today's catch. Photo: Sergej Gratchev
Customs. Photo: Sergej Gratchev
Transportation by water. Photo: Sergej Gratchev
The view from the deck. Photo: Sergej Gratchev