Friends of my Bonaire island sister, Liz invited us on their boat for a sunset cruise. I panicked at first for just a second, when I remembered that me and boats usually result in one or more uncomfortable and occasionally embarrassing moments. Confession: I get seasick. There, I said it.
However, the promise of great company, wine, food and the Bonaire sunset made me waive those doubts away. How could I possibly say no? So, we packed some coolers with tapas, beers and lots of wine and we were off to meet Captain Andre and his partner, Zwanette at the marina in Kralendijk.
Arriving at the marina we dragged the heavy coolers up the dock. There she was, an oddly shaped sailing boat with the name “Aquaspace” boldly in blue on her port side.
Permission to board
After boarding Aquaspace and exchanging some pleasantries, we immediately set to work and unloaded the coolers, making a spread on the table of olives, hummus, different cheeses, chicken wings, French baguettes, crackers and of course wine, lots of it. We were ready to sail. But first, a glass of wine for the girls and a beer for the boys.
As we left the marina and slowly made our way along the coast, it was impossible not to admire how beautiful Bonaire really is. The fact that we got to do this while sipping on a glass of wine, with the smell of salt in the air and while enjoying the great company, just made this whole experience that much better.
It was time to hoist the sails. There was a lot to see before the sun actually set. We sailed past the charming and colorful little town of Kralendijk, Bonaire’s downtown area and past the cruise dock, a few beaches, beautiful villas and hotels and the airport.
Bonaire’s sunsets are arguably epic but the weather was a bit strange that day and it did not allow us one of those stunning sunsets I grew used to seeing on this island during my trip. But nobody was disappointed. To be honest, we were too busy having a great time to notice or to care. Between Captain André’s hilarious stories and their dog Loca’s boat antics, there was enough to keep everyone entertained.
On Board the Aquaspace
Aquaspace was designed to be a research vessel and she does not have a large deck like the average sailboat but what she lacks in space she makes up for with one super spectacular amenity below deck.
Always the explorer, I extracted myself from the group for a minute to go explore the rest of the boat. My curiosity of course led me straight below deck, where there was a cozy lounge with a large window, where one could enjoy the view just above the water level, a sort of living area complete with small kitchen. On either side of the living area was a cabin. Then I saw another set of stairs leading even lower. Allow me to take you to what quickly became my favorite part of the boat. Aquaspace comes with an awesome below deck observation area offering the most amazing underwater views.
I became Fascinated with the underwater world and completely lost track of time. Fearing I may have somehow went overboard, Liz came looking for me. She had to bribe me with wine to finally get me to re-join the group on the upper deck.
Feeling like in Space while on the water
Once the sun had set, the wine kept flowing and the conversations got funnier. One by one the lights on the Bonaire coast came on and slowly directed us back to the marina. I was dreading having to say goodbye to André, Zwanette, Loca and Aquaspace.
But the girls had one more surprise for me. They took me to my now favorite part of the boat one last time. It was pitch black and I had to use my phone’s built in flashlight to find my way around. I took a seat and stared at the black water. “Turn your phone off” they said. I did as I was told and gasped. I felt as if I was in space. Tiny little lights lit up the dark water through the thick glass, the ocean of Bonaire suddenly turned bioluminescent and magical. So, you see, I did not just fall on my head when I came up with the title for this blog post.
Aquaspace carries up to 24 persons sans crew and offers sunset and tapas trips like the one I was invited on but also brunch trips, customized trips and snorkel and barbecue trips, the latter being the most well liked of all. André has had Aquaspace for 6 years. Previously with a partner and now alone at the helm, he truly enjoys the trips out on sea, showing off his beautiful island’s coast and her undeniably gorgeous underwater world. What makes Aquaspace special is not only her design and her observation deck below but also the fun trips André takes his guests on. Trips filled with sailing fun, snorkeling, food and booze. What’s there not to like.
I want to once again thank my friends Liz and her husband Hagen for dragging me on this boat trip and my new friends André, Zwanette and Loca for having me on their boat. I had the time of my life on board Aquaspace. Thanks guys.
*All opinion are my own and based on my own personal experience. This blog post was not requested and I was not paid for or received any compensation to write this blog post.