Greetings from the beautiful and historical city of Cartagena, Colombia. We arrived here from Aruba on January 11th. The trip started off beautifully with 15-20 knots of wind and a following sea that gave us great speed for the first 20 hours and then boy did things change. The winds picked up to a steady 40 kts with gusts over 50kts and the nastiest seas we have experienced to date. I guess everything that is written about this passage is true. Things in the boat that never move…moved! We had some waves breaking over the stern of the boat and washed Steven’s sneakers into the sea and rearranged everything else that was there. We arrived at the harbor at 5am and waited until sun up to enter through Boca Grande. The Boca Grande entrance is an under water wall that has a narrow hole marked by red and green buoys that allows passage in about 12 feet of water. The trip took about 48 hours.
We were fortunate to have our friends Mike and Sara onboard Wayfinder, a Nordhavn 47, here to direct us to the Club de Pesca Marina. Best of all they were so gracious to have two weary cruisers over for fresh fruit and croissants.
The city of Cartagena has a lot to offer. We did walking tours with a guide of the Walled
City and visited the Palace of Inquisition, the torture chambers from that period, beautiful cathedrals and churches, as well as important forts. At night there is always street entertainment of dancing and music in the various squares and the security is very visible and we never felt uneasy in the city. The restaurants are varied and very good at a most reasonable price. It is worth trying a new place every night!! Unlike Aruba there is a large cruising community with two marinas and a large anchorage. We have met up with many friends that we have met at other ports. There are happy hours, dominos at the marinas and best of all NFL playoff games aboard Seabird.
One adventure worth mentioning was a trip to the El Totumo Mud Volcano. This is volcano that is permanently active and is reported to be 2000 feet deep. Well we went there with Mike and Sara and other cruisers and climbed the volcano (150 ft) and took a bath while boys massaged you in the mud. Steven did not allow anyone to massage him!! He missed a treat. Next was the climb down and a trip to the swamp which was as dirty as it sounds where you are washed by women who try to remove the mud. It was a hoot and the pictures do tell the dirty story!!
Our two week stay was really too short. No time to shop for emeralds or other Colombian Crafts. We have a weather window tomorrow and we will leave early in the morning for a 26 hour cruise to the San Blas Islands. We are looking forward to the clear water, small palm treed islands and meeting the Kuna Indians.
Adios for now…….