Why are we living in a boatyard? The simple answer is: great WI-FI.
Football fever! The whole island of Curaçao has this disease. The symptoms are such that for about 2 hours every day, sometimes twice a day, infected people must migrate to the largest TV in the area for treatment. If there is food and booze with the TV, this is a known surefire cure. We have this disease. The disease is reoccurring and requires treatment almost daily. People are never fully cured as relapses occur every four years. For us, it is nothing new. Cindy and I have been FIFA fans for a long time. We love the World Cup. Four years ago we had just retired and Cindy just sold her business. We watched every match, or just about. This was a real treat for us. Eight years prior, we were still in the rat race and had to record the matches watching them in the evenings. Our TiVo (remember those?) worked overtime. Twelve years ago… I don’t remember. But, I’m pretty sure we watched.
In the USA it is hard to watch the matches as Fox Sports has pretty much dictated viewers must have a cable or satellite package. Even the quarter-final matches were shown only on cable channels. Outside the USA, the matches are free and on over-the-air TV. If they weren’t over the air, quite frankly, there would be a massive revolution. Americans don’t really care about FIFA and I would bet most can’t tell you what it stands for (Fédération Internationale de Football Association). However, the rest of the world does care. The world comes to a standstill every four years as people need to cure themselves of the infliction. For our American readers: to give you an idea of the vast number of people in the world watching the World-Cup, in 2014 the worldwide viewership of the Argentina vs. Germany final was estimated 1.1 billion people (with a B). The 2018 Super Bowl drew a mere 160 million people (with an M). The TV audience watching a World Cup final game is larger than the entire populations of Europe and the USA – combined! Yes, you read that last sentence correctly. (Source: The Google machine)
Our problem is the local channels are in Dutch, Spanish or Papiamento. Papiamento is a Spanish Creole language with admixtures of Portuguese and Dutch, spoken on the Caribbean islands of Aruba, Bonaire, and Curaçao. It should come as no surprise to you that we don’t understand Papiamento. So, once again we have to be resourceful. We watch the matches on British TV. They are on BBC or ITV (over the air channels in the UK). But, in order to stream the games live on their internet sites, a person needs to reside in the UK. This is when the VPN Hola comes in handy. It is a Google Chrome plug-in tricking the BBC or ITV websites to think we are located in the UK. Watching the matches live requires a decent internet connection. And this is why we haven’t moved since we returned to Cream Puff. We have rocking Wi-Fi….well…most of the time. There were a couple of times when we got hung at the very end of a close match. A few choice words few about.
When you think about it, this situation is really quite pathetic. Here we are on a beautiful island and our plans were to return to Bonaire for some more aquatic adventures and sightseeing. But, no! We chose to scrub this plan in favor of watching sports. Can you believe we choose to sit here in a boatyard and watch football for three weeks? When we arrived back in Curaçao, we thought we would splash the Puffster and stay only long enough to buy some groceries. We planned to head over to Bonaire, a one day sail away. But the Wi-Fi speed in Bonaire was a little iffy when were there in May. We were unsure about being able to stream World-Cup matches.
We put some groceries on the boat and fired up our computers. Then, we noticed the Wi-Fi in this boatyard. It rocks! We talked to the owner of the yard and asked if we could stay a little bit longer. He was hesitant, and rightly so. This is their busy time of year. The boat slips here are mainly used for a short term stay while a boat is preparing to be hauled out of the water and stowed for the summer on the land. It is the eve of hurricane season and many boat owners choose to leave their vessel in Curaçao while they return home since the island of Curaçao is just outside of the hurricane belt. The slips are just about full and the owner was concerned about available dock space for arriving vessels. We explained we needed Wi-Fi to watch the World-Cup. We gave him the sad puppy dog eyes. Lucky for us, he appreciated our honesty and also is infected by the fever. He agreed to let us stay. [Happy dance]
So here we are, sitting in a commercial boatyard. We have gotten to know the staff, the stray dogs and occasionally another boater preparing to haul their boat. Our views are not of white sandy beaches or crystal clear waters. We are in a commercial basin surrounded by big ships, fuel tanks and the local Coast Guard. And, we are loving it!
Very proud of the English team for their stellar performance this year. Proud to be a Brit! Congrats to France for a well deserved victory.