While securing old documents of Stomvogel, we came across this yellowed-with-age document showing that in 1963 Captain Martins Felida had re-registered the boat in Curaçao as Over 150 people attended the first-ever Bonaire Maritime Film Festival last night (January 14th) at the Plaza Beach Resort.
The highlight of the evening was honoring six sailors from the original crew of Receiving lifetime achievement awards were Ismael Soliano, captain; deckhands Lucio Soliano and Balentine Frans, and boat builder Buchi Felida who also skippered the ship on its first test sail after being launched in 1951.
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The central room provides an overview using a 4 minute video projection and spectacular 20-meter-long timeline composed of drawings, photographs, dates and events.
“I’ve been pumping out water once a week for three years from Stormvogel (Storm Bird).
I was wondering if you could help me save this boat,” explained François van der Hoeven.
Six of the original crew, including a captain, ship’s cook and deckhands, describe a number of different topics from what was traded between the islands to life aboard a cargo boat; from how wooden boats were built on Bonaire to storms at sea, shipwrecks and smuggling.
Through these stories other topics are introduced including geography, science and economics.
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The only structures on the island are some ruins of slave huts (small, single-room structures dating to the region's period of slavery), and a small open shelter on the beach facing Bonaire.