Tuesday, 4 November 2014

29/2014 Colombia

Hi from Clare,                                               Monday 3rd November
Eye Candy under the Sierra Nevada

Anchorage off Club Nautico
We are now in Cartagena Columbia after having an excellent 360 mile sail from Aruba. We firstly sailed two nights to the Five Bays on the northern coast of Columbia near the township of Santa Marta. Here we meet Geoff and Alison on 'Saraoni' who we have been speaking to on our radio net for some time. We had drinks on their boat before collapsing into bed for a good night's sleep. The following afternoon both Saraoni and Eye Candy sailed eight miles to Taganga Bay just outside Santa Marta in preparation for starting out at first light the next morning to sail a hundred and twenty miles to Cartagena. This can be a very nasty piece of water with high winds, large waves and usually a counter current. The nearby towering Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta (see photo) also produces a spectacular lightning show at night. The icing on the cake is the dirt and debris coming out of the Magdalena River which turns the ocean water to muddy brown. It is recommended to cross the mouth of the river in day light to avoid tree trunks etc. Oh we can't wait; what a treat. Fortunately for us apart from the apprehension caused by the lightning disco lights we had an uneventful trip and arrived into Cartagena at 3am the following morning.
Cartagena city gates

Clares new hat outside the city walls

So now we are anchored in the busy port of Cartagena. The water is too dirty to swim in and very choppy due to power boat traffic. The weather is hot and humid and we experience heavy downpours; Eye Candy is sparkling clean. We have the British warship Argyll on the wharf not far from our boat. On Saturday, Prince Charles the Commander and Chief of the British Navy had a tour of the vessel. We watched the rehearsal and the formal event from the comfort of our cockpit. The only difference was the rehearsal was conducted in brilliant sunlight and the formal event was a complete washout. We watched an entourage of umbrellas shuffling around the deck whilst the navy guys in their immaculate whites stood at attention in pouring rain. Prince Charles also in full uniform delivered his speech from the podium with umbrellas aloft. I suppose it was a case of 'the show must go on' or 'stiff upper lip' and all that, but personally I think given the unpredictable rains, they should have had a fall back plan - anyhow for us it was pretty good.

A Church and another new hat

We have only just scratched the surface of Cartagena. We arrived early Friday morning and Saturday was Independence Day and today is a public holiday. I need to find a dentist and Andrew is chasing up AB dinghies as our newly purchased and still under warranty dinghy is bubbling along the seam at the bottom of the dinghy. Apart from emails to the respective businesses, we haven't made much progress.

No doubt he conquered something
We have friends here on 'Saraoni' and also an Aussie friend Keith on Sidiqi. Keith helped us get a sim card for internet access so we are back on air. Last night we had drinks on Eye Candy with Saraoni and Sidiqi and a fun night was had by all.

Earlier in the day we went for a walk to the walled city. We haven't discovered much about the history of the place as yet but as you can see by the photos, walking through the old city was reminiscent of our time spent in the Mediterranean. Lovely old churches, town squares, grand buildings, narrow streets, festooning bougainvillea, tourists and many touts. Andrew and I bought a hat each which are lovely and light and just the thing for this hot climate.

We are not sure how long we will be in Cartagena. Once our business is sorted we will venture on to the San Blas Islands to enjoy clean water and beautiful beaches.

Love Candy xx

At 10:54 AM1/11/2014 (utc) our position was 10°24.59'N 075°32.53'W

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