After an amazing sail through the San Blas Islands we headed northeast, across the Gulf of Darien, toward South America and the fortress-city of Cartagena.
25 Mach, Friday At sea in the Golfo de Darien
Weighed anchor at 8.20 and headed off towards Cartagena, Colombia, South America. Perfect sailing weather, wind 15 – 20 knots off our beam, rolling seas, clear sky. We clicked off a 7 knot average. Sailed easy all day and into the night.
26 March, Saturday
I had the 3am to 5am watch. The big boat handles pretty well under sail. Real nice alone in the early morning, stars and wind and seas breaking. Really hauled ass in strong winds, sometime hitting 9 knots.
I first sighted Colombia, Punta Baru, around 9am. We were boarded shortly thereafter by Colombian authorities. They poked around a bit and then showed us the way to Cartagen. Then off they sped in their dull grey Bertram 25.
Pretty soon the seas and winds picked up quite a bit and we had a wild ride to the mouth of Cartagena Harbour.
Boca Chica. Fortified on both sides by ancient forts. Supposedly they stretched a chain across the pass in olden days to keep the pirates out. Quite a trip. Into the harbour. Lots of refineries and industry on the shore. Big bay. We motored past another small mouth, again fortified into the inner harbor. Then, in front of us, was the old city. Forts, domes, walls and spires. All right! COLOMBIA. All right again.
We pulled into the Club de Pesca and there we were. A-OK. Cleaned up and ate a real good supper of sierra and relaxed in another continent. Far-out.
R and R at the Club de Pesca in Cartagena over Holy Week and then under sail to Port Antonio, Jamaica where we stayed for three weeks in April repairing the engine. Sailed to the Cayman Islands for a few days of diving and then a wild and windy passage through the Yucatan Straits.
Pulled into Key West Yacht Club, on May 10, seven months after I left. Stopped by Mark’s for a beer and then sunset at Mallory Square.