The Yankee Doodle Regatta

YDHerbThe Yankee Doodle will be held Sunday July 1st. The skippers meeting will be at 11:00 AM with racing shortly thereafter. Let’s all raise a glass in memory of our mate Herb Siewert as this was probably his favorite race of the year. Fair winds Herb !

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Glow/ Millen Recap

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Glow Regatta 2018- Into the Night!

Congratulations Achievers !

Glow Regatta
Brownfield 1st
Monroe 2nd
Ostermann 3rd
I believe this was Ostermann’s first race on Barren!
Karl Millen Regatta
Sanders 1st
Brownfield 2nd
A. Eaton 3rd
Thanks to all who came out and competed

 

The Glow Regatta & Karl Millen Regatta

glowmillenThe Glow Regatta is Saturday June 23rd, this is our Night Regatta – Brats and Dogs around 6pm. Skippers meeting to follow.  Bring a side (BUENOS NO CHIPS!). Make sure your lights work or have a way to make a light.
The Karl Millen regatta is Sunday June 24th, this was primarily a dinghy regatta,but all classes will race. Skippers meeting at 10:30 AM . Leah will fix a light breakfast. ( all racers know that little Chocolate Donuts are the best race food). Please contact Rob Hatcher to serve on Committee boat.

This weekend is also Summer Sailstice and people will be sailing all day as well .. https://www.summersailstice.com/

GRINGO ESCAPADE Part Cinco: Turks and Caicos by Larry Caillouet

It had been our plan to sail from Colombia to the San Blas Islands of Panama and then to Bocas del Toro near the border of Panama and Costa Rica. Many factors too detailed to describe here led us to a major change of plans. Instead of sailing west to leave Escapade in a marina in Bocas for the duration of the rainy season, which is June to December, we decided to sail north to Annapolis, which we have always considered Escapade’s home port even though she is registered in Dover, Delaware. Cartagena is an excellent point of departure to sail north across the Caribbean. There was no wind at all to the west toward Panama, but to the north the open sea had easterlies of 13-20 knots. These winds are perfect for a good beam reach, tailor made for sailing north. image1
Instead of returning to BVI or Antigua to join the Salty Dawgs’ summer migration to the Chesapeake, we decided to be Stray Dawgs and follow a route unique to us. Straight north of Cartagena is what we started calling the HaiCuJa Triangle. That’s the mini-gulf between Haiti on the east, Cuba on the north, and Jamaica on the west. This gap in the islands was the perfect gateway to the Turks and Caicos Islands and the Bahamas. Providenciales would be a good place for Greg and Elaine to fly home from and TCI would be a nice rest stop and vacation place for us until we were ready to sail farther north. These islands are not Spanish speaking, but we were still feeling Gringo, so we kept the title Gringo Escapade for this narrative.
image2We left Cartagena as night fell and knew we would have to motor for several hours because the sea was in the wind shadow of Colombia. When we finally got into clear air we had the winds that usually are found in the Caribbean—15-20 knots from the east. We hoisted the sails (actually we unfurled them) and soon hit our stride at 8+ knots. When we sailed south to Colombia we had the benefit of waves on our quarter pushing us along. Now we had waves on our bow splashing over the boat and forcing us to close ports and hatches. Sometimes we zipped down the cockpit enclosure panels on the weather side of the boat to keep the cockpit and its inhabitants dry. But no one was complaining about 8+ knots.
image3When we zoomed in to the HaiCuJa Triangle on the chartplotter to set a waypoint, we discovered a small island of only 2 square miles sitting between Haiti and Jamaica. It is named Navassa Island and has been administered by the USA since 1857. It piqued our curiosity to find a US territory that we had never heard of in this out-of-the-way location, so we decided to use it as our first waypoint. If we arrived in daylight perhaps we could anchor there and have lunch. We did arrive exactly at lunch time, but this island had no place to anchor. It was long and flat with steep cliffs coming straight down to the water. It was covered with small green foliage, but the only sign that any human had ever set foot on it was a smooth path that led down to the rocky cliff at one point. So we saluted it and sailed on.
image4We were surprised to find that we still had very good wind after entering the HaiCuJa triangle. The forecast had been for no wind at all in this mini-gulf, but we were still hitting 8+ and sometime topped 9 knots. Then it happened: God turned the wind off. It didn’t die gradually—it just suddenly quit. So we started the motor and set a course through the gap between Cuba and Haiti toward Grand Inagua Island, the southernmost island of the Bahamas.
Although we never entered the territorial waters of Haiti, Cuba, or Jamaica, we could see all three of them in the distance, sometimes two of them at the same time. My boat insurance excludes Haiti and Cuba from coverage so we didn’t want to wash up on either shore. There was no danger of that with the Perkins chugging along smoothly. Eventually we cleared the wind shadow of Haiti and the delightful easterly wind enabled Escapade to kick up her heels again. We hadn’t seen another boat since leaving Colombia, but we weren’t the only ones kicking up our heels.image5 I was on watch when a playful pod of dolphins began doing their circus tricks alongside the boat. Sometimes they did synchronized leaps from the water. At other times they happily raced the boat, riding the bow wave and crisscrossing back and forth under the boat. It was easy to see that they were holding back to stay with us. At our top speed the dolphins were just out for a stroll and some fun and games.
The Turks and Caicos Islands are much like the Bahamas, surrounded by very shallow water and absolutely infested with coral. We kept a sharp eye on the chartplotter and carefully worked our way around the northwest corner of Provo, the local nickname for Providenciales, which is the most populous and developed island of TCI. It’s the island with all the big resorts, fancy vacation houses, and busy night life. It’s what most tourists are thinking of when they talk about Turks and Caicos. We furled sails and motored the last few miles to the edge of the reef surrounding Provo. By 5 am we had anchored near the marker indicating the entrance to the winding course that led through the coral heads and shoals to Turtle Cove Marina. It was high tide, but without a pilot boat it would have been foolish to attempt to navigate this course in the dark. By the time daylight arrived, high tide had passed and we had to wait for the next high tide at 5:20 pm. This seemed like a lost day as we were teased and tantalized by the sight of the beaches of Provo just a few hundred yards away from us, but we discovered that we had cell phone service from shore, so like starving men who hadn’t eaten in days, we all stuffed ourselves with phone calls and web surfing. The ocean is wonderful and the islands are marvelous, but the cyber world is our home now and it was great to be home again.
At 5 pm the tide was high again and a motor launch came out to lead us through the twisted path to the marina. The pilot gave us strict instructions to follow in his wake and not deviate at all. The twisting channel was marked with 18 red and green buoys, but Hurricanes Irma and Maria had rearranged the sand mounds under the water and being within the marked channel was not enough to guarantee that we wouldn’t run aground. With 7 foot draft there were plenty of opportunities for us to stick the keel in the sand. We kept an eye on the depth sounder and saw it go down to as little as 6 inches of water under the keel, but we never touched bottom. We breathed a sigh of relief and our sphincters relaxed when we entered the marina and were pointed to our slip.
Thursday is the weekly “Fish Fry” on Providenciales. That’s what they call it, but it really is a street party with every kind of food and local bands entertaining the crowd. We weren’t yet checked in through Customs and Immigration since the offices closed before we arrived, but we sensed that the normal requirement of checking in before going ashore was of no concern on Fish Fry night. We caught a free ride on a small bus going our way and melted into the crowd of dancers, drinkers, eaters, and partiers. The highlight of the night was a percussion band beating out an irresistible rhythm. The intensity of the drumming reminded me of the movie Drumline.
image7The first order of business after Customs and Immigration on the next morning was to get a marine mechanic to the boat to deal with some problems that had plagued us. Provo Diving was in the slip next to Escapade, so Greg and Elaine went diving while Diana and I met with Giles from Caribbean Diesel and Marine. It was reassuring to deal with a knowledgeable mechanic in English again. Giles discovered that the settings on the charger/inverter were set for lead acid batteries, not the AGM batteries that Escapade uses. image8A few adjustments solved the electrical problem that began in Dominican Republic and was not solved in Cartagena. Giles used a trick I didn’t know to burp a giant air bubble from the starboard sea water intake. That solved the problem of inadequate water intake for the air conditioning and the water maker. Soon the problems were all dealt with and we were free to move about the island. Greg and Elaine rented a car and we set off to see the island. The land itself is mostly dusty sun bleached coral chalk—not particularly appealing to those of us who love the rich green foliage of Kentucky and the Windward Islands of the Caribbean. But the waters around TCI are indescribably beautiful. My cameras were simply inadequate to capture the nuanced shades of blue, blue-green, aqua, seafoam green, and turquoise that surrounded the islands and filled the bays. Our first excursion was along the south shore of Chalk Sound. Beautiful houses enjoyed fabulous views of the sea to the south and the sound to the north. Within Chalk Sound were many small islets that would make exploring it by water intriguing. And at the end of the road was a property called Emerald Bay. In addition to two impressive homes, it had a turntable for crossing the moat they created by cutting through the rock to let the sea in. It’s for rent if you’ve got the big bucks.
After Greg and Elaine flew home we still had several days to kill before our flight. On Sunday we hitched a ride to the Blue Hills Wesleyan Methodist Church, one we had selected from a Google Search and wasn’t too far away. It was an all black church, except for us, and it added a Caribbean flavor to the black churches we knew in the states. Singing was robust, testimonies were exuberant, preaching was loud and long, and everyone was warm and friendly. The parking lot was crammed with cars because part of the property was still unusable due to the damages from Irma and Maria.
We had been very efficient in exploring all four corners of Provo, so Diana and I took a ferry to North Caicos, a few nautical miles away from Provo, but light years away from Provo culture. Instead of giant all-inclusives like Provo had, North Caicos had little mom-and-pop beach motels. Most were already closed for the season and so were most of the restaurants that were touted in the glossy tourist literature. We were out of luck even at the Last Chance Bar & Grill when we tried to eat there. That was OK with us. We were there to see the “real” Turks and Caicos, and this was pretty real. We stayed two nights in an Airbnb in the village of Kew. There are only two streets in Kew, so it didn’t take us long to walk the whole town. Along the way we met and talked to almost the entire population of Kew. One man told us about the birds we heard squawking. Another showed us the pens where he kept and cultivated land crabs and he introduced us to his mother. I think we slipped through a time warp to Mayberry with island folks.
image9The next day we drove across a small bridge to Middle Caicos, which is even less populous than North Caicos. We had lunch at Mudjin Bar & Grill which sits on a hill above caves that go down to the beach at Dragon Cay. At Bambarra Beach we waded in knee deep sea water a half mile out to Pelican Cay and back. If Mayberry could have a suburb, it would be Middle Caicos.
I’ve commented on the attitudes I’ve seen in the people of different islands and countries, but not on the attitudes of the children. On the three islands of TCI that we spent time on, Diana and I noticed and commented on how quiet and well behaved the children are. They speak softly and are polite and respectful. Clearly there is something different about the parenting in TCI compared to anywhere else we have been.
We had no crew for the final passage back to Annapolis, so we left Escapade in good hands at Turtle Cove Marina and flew home to check on our other life.image10

~ Larry

Huddleston Recap!

Thanks to all that came out!

Dinghy – 1.) Larry Caillouet 2.) Joe Brownfield 3.)  Lou Troost /Cave Run Sailing 4.) Der Sturminator

Cruisers – 1.) Troy Monroe 2.) Klarers 3.) Kerstings 4.) Tom Cripps 5.) Leah McMurtrey

Only 3 races on Saturday before weather forced the racers from the lake. Sunday was totally flat water, so went swimming instead.  Good start to the season and thanks to Lou Troost for coming out from Cave Run ( you too Dale)..

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2018 Huddleston Winners!

2018HuddlestonTroy

Troy gets the Cup, Lee does some kind of Egyptian move ..

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2018 Huddleston – The Fabulous Janes and Bashfull Bob Zoellner on the Accordion.

Gringo Escapade Part Quattro: Columbia

by Larry Caillouet

After spending three weeks in the States, we returned to Santo Domingo where Escapade was waiting to take us to Colombia and beyond, but first there were some challenges. Like getting out of the airport. We were carrying with us a new Mastervolt battery charger/inverter and this caught the attention of an ever diligent customs inspector. “Where is your receipt for this? Show me that you have paid the required import duties.” Calmly I explained that this is for a boat in transit, not to be sold here in Dominican Republic. Not good enough. “Boat in transit” seemed to carry no weight at all. “I must see the receipt. This item cannot leave the airport until I see the receipt.” The fact that he did not speak English and I can barely speak Spanish did not help, but fortunately a fellow-sufferer who had been snagged by Customs was bilingual and served as translator. Diana asked our translator, who seemed to be familiar with the customs operation, if we needed to pay a bribe to get through. “It’s too late for that now,” he explained. “Too many people involved.” I changed tactics and explained that there is no receipt because this item is a replacement under warranty from a purchase in the United States a year ago. “Then I must see the paperwork.” At this point they loaded my charger onto a cart and we went down a long unmarked hallway to a concrete room in the bowels of the airport. More customs officials got involved. I pulled my laptop out of my backpack and showed them the pdf file where Schafer & Brown Electrical in Puerto Rico billed me for inspecting the old charger and shipping it back to the factory in Wisconsin for repair or replacement. This was the proof they needed, but still not good enough to let me go. “I must have a document for my file.” “OK, I can email you a copy.” That would have worked if the airport’s WiFi network had been sufficient to let me log on. I guess WiFi doesn’t work well in concrete bunkers. So with Customs retaining my equipment I set out on a quest for usable WiFi. I never found it, but my telephone worked, so I called Schafer & Brown and got them to send the invoice pdf directly to the Customs official who had given me his card. This must have been the magic because soon my charger was released to my custody. I found Diana and our driver in the terminal and only two and a half hours after arriving at the airport we were on our way to the boat.

When we arrived at the boat our friends from Toronto, Greg and Elaine, had already arrived and were cleaning out the food that had rotted in the refrigerator when the power went off. The joys of boating! A more interesting task was replacing the genoa halyard that had partially snapped during the regatta in Samana. I had brought a new halyard with me (which the customs officials had overlooked), so we were eager to get started. I loaded the bosun’s chair with the tools I would need and Greg hoisted me to the top of the mast. First I cut the thimble end off the old halyard. image1Then with a curved needle I sewed the bitter end of the new halyard to the cut end of the old halyard. When this was done, Greg started pulling the old halyard down through the mast. I was absolutely elated when I saw the new halyard go over the turning block at the masthead and easily follow the old halyard down through the mast. I thought the job was over, but when the thimble end of the new halyard reached the top of the mast, my elation turned to frustration. I had led the halyard through a steel tool ring on the bosun’s chair to carry it up the mast with me and that ring was too small to allow the thimble end of the halyard to pass through. “We will have to pull the new halyard back out and do it over,” Greg said. “No way,” I said. “Put the angle grinder in a bag and send it up to me.” So I cut the steel ring off the bosun’s chair, attached the halyard to the top of the genoa furler, and the celebration began. 

We found an electrician to install the charger/inverter, so we were ready for the final step before departing: getting a despacho. A what? A despacho is a permission document required in Dominican Republic to move from one harbor to another, even within the country. So Elaine, who is fluent in Spanish, went with me to the Armada, which is the office of the DR Coast Guard. The Armada was about 2 kilometers away from Marina Zar Par, so we hired a moto to take us there. In DR there are many men with motorbikes who function as an informal taxi system. We chose one with a motorcycle large enough to carry both of us, and off the three of us went. Our moto waited patiently while the Coast Guard meticulously filled out the papers by hand, and then we rode back to Marina Zar Par.

Phase 2 was immigration, and the immigration office was conveniently located at Zar Par. Phase 3 was boat inspection, so we waited at the boat for the Coast Guard to arrive. The same men who filled out the papers plus one more man arrived and came aboard the boat. They didn’t speak English so we didn’t know what they were inspecting for. They raised a few seat cushions and looked at a few items, but seemed to have no plan of inspection, and were in no hurry to finish anything. Then it occurred to me that they were on what Garth Brooks and George Jones sang about in a song called “B, double E, double R, U, N.” Beer Run! These guys were on a beer run! We had bought a carton of Presidente, the national beer of Dominican Republic, for such an occasion as this.image2 When I pulled a cold one out of the refrigerator, their faces lit up. “These Gringos are slow,” they thought, “but they finally caught on.” Soon the beers were finished, the papers were finished, and we were ready to depart.

We set out for Isla Beata at the southernmost tip of Dominican Republic, about 125 miles away. The winds were fairly light, and we were feeling lazy, and it was already late in the afternoon, so we debated about whether it was worth the trouble to put up the spinnaker. Eventually the sailing instinct took over and we dragged the spinnaker out on deck, installed the necessary blocks on the toe rails, ran the tack line and spinnaker sheets, and hoisted the spinnaker. 1640 square feet of red, white, and blue glory unfolded in front of us.image3 We doubled our speed and doubled our pleasure. As a general rule, we don’t fly the spinnaker at night, but as a general rule we don’t have perfect conditions and a hundred miles to go, so we left it up through most of the night. Sometime before morning we turned on the deck lights and snuffed the spinnaker when we needed to change course for Beata.

Isla Beata is an uninhabited island visited only by lobster fishermen, but otherwise we had the island to ourselves. We went ashore, walked on the beach, gathered a few shells, chased a giant iguana, snorkeled some, and exhausted the full range of activities available to us. We had intended to spend the night here, get some rest, and then set sail in the morning, but the moon was nearly full, seas were calm, and we were eager to get started on the 500 miles between us and Cartagena.

image5At 8 pm we weighed anchor and put up the full cutter rig–mainsail, genoa, and staysail. In the lee of the island, winds were quite light, but when we got beyond it, winds picked up to 15-17 knots and Escapade loved it! Soon we were doing 8+ knots, 9+ sometimes, and once hit 10 knots. Not bad for the ancient mariner–the boat, I mean. The crossing to Cartagena was a rip roaring blast! The boat heeled to starboard 10-15 degrees and galloped along with a gentle pitching motion. The sea was our private ocean without another boat in sight, not even on the AIS. The full moon was a celestial floodlight painting the sea silver in front of us.

Morning light came and the ocean was still ours. Nightfall brought us more of the glorious moonlight sailing until we got a blast of another kind. The seas had picked up with waves 6-10 feet and the wind became gusty. Just as I was getting up for my 3 am watch, the boat rounded up sharply burying the starboard rail in the water. A blast of water shot through the open port in the aft cabin where Diana and I were sleeping and soaked the bed and us like a firehose. It was only a moment, but what a moment! Not only were we and the bedding drenched, but the lurching of the boat threw me across the cabin against the starboard hanging locker. I stopped my fall with my head and raised a big knot on my forehead that was not gone until a week later. The cut over my left eye looked like the result of a stiff left jab. “I could have been a contendah,” I thought.

image6Even with a slow start we reached the midpoint of the crossing to Cartagena in 37 hours. With no land to impede the winds, we maintained our speed the rest of the way and finished the Cartagena 500 in 66 hours, an average speed of 7.57 knots entirely on sail. It was exciting to see the ocean crossing potential of Escapade, but that wasn’t the only excitement of the passage. Still 200 miles out of Cartagena I discovered that one of the steel cables suspending the dinghy on the davits at the boat’s stern had broken and the dinghy was dangling from only the port side davit and a webbing strap under the starboard side. While Diana stayed at the wheel, Greg and Elaine and I sprang into action. We used the old genoa halyard that I had removed a few days earlier to create a sling around the dinghy. It wasn’t pretty with all sorts of homemade knots and the dinghy still hanging at an angle, but at least the dinghy was secure and we could relax and enjoy the crossing.

I had been warned by some cruisers I met in Santo Domingo about the garbage and junk that flows out of the Magdalena River that empties into the Caribbean Sea about 60 miles northeast of Cartagena. One man recommended that we dock in Santa Marta, which is east of the Magdalena, and take a bus to Cartagena. We were prepared for a real mess but we encountered much less than we expected. It seemed to be mostly gardening scraps from machete workers and tree branches of different sizes. We crossed the Magdalena outflow during daylight, so it was easy to avoid the flotsam.

image7We arrived at Cartagena in the early afternoon and decided to use the Boca Grande entrance to the harbor. Although Boca Grande means “big mouth,” this is an ironically narrow mouth. Cartagena was the most important Spanish port in Spain’s “God, Gold, and Glory” heyday, so to fend off their British rivals, pirates, and various other marauders the Spanish built a low stone wall across the mouth of the bay leaving only a small opening for boats to pass through. The wall was below the surface of the sea, so it would be easy for an uninformed vessel to shipwreck into the wall while the crew admired the fine bay. The opening is marked today with a red buoy on one side and a green one on the other side, so after questioning ashore whether the markers were accurate and reliable, we ventured through the Big Mouth into Bahia de Cartagena.

image9Cartagena is built on a combination of islands and mainland bridged together around a bay. Our marina, Club de Pesca, was located inside the walled fort San Sebastian del Pastelillo on Manga island. This happened to be a stop on the route of the Hop-on Hop-off city sightseeing bus, so we bought a ticket and hopped on. It took 90 minutes to complete the tour of the city which gave us a great overview of places to return to. Much of Cartagena is new and modern with high rise apartments, condos, and office buildings dominating the skyline, but it is the historic Old Town that draws tourists to Cartagena. We were told that Gethsemane, a neighborhood inside the walled city, was once the most dangerous neighborhood in Cartagena when the drug wars were raging, but now is considered a chic and desirable location. Bars like the Havana Tavern are famous for their night life.

image8We began with a tour of the Cathedral of San Pedro Claver. This 16th century priest is revered for his ministry to the slaves who were brought to Cartagena from Africa. This church’s tradition of caring for the oppressed continues with a large display of banner photos of women who have suffered aggression in Colombia. These photos hang from the ceiling and fill the cathedral’s airspace.

image10After the tour of the church we walked through the Plaza de Simon Bolivar where vendors were selling the usual tourist items and specialties such as maracas and boxes of cigars which claimed to be Cuban, but the most interesting vendors were the women wearing colorful traditional dresses. They were carrying large bowls of fruit on their heads and were not selling the fruit but selling the right to take their photos.image11.jpeg Metal sculptures of children playing were located throughout the plaza.

image12Days were very hot in Cartagena, so we toured the Castillo de San Felipe de Barajas early the next morning. San Felipe is the largest fortress built in the Americas by the Spanish Empire. image13It stands on a high hill overlooking the bay and the city below. Its large guns could pound enemy ships at sea and its high walls were a formidable barrier to land assaults. In addition to its sheer size and height, the fortress was built with several fall-back positions and a series of underground tunnels that were rigged with explosives that could be detonated as the enemy advanced. The audio tour was rather detailed and by the time we finished the tour, the day was getting hot, hot, hot. We went back to the boat to rest and cool off.

image14By 4 pm the day had cooled, or maybe it was just us, so we took a taxi to the Torre Del Reloj, the Clock Tower that is the entrance to the walled Old Town. By the way, pirates are still active in Cartagena; they are called taxis now. We had a guided walking tour which was mostly in Spanish but with brief summaries in English. image15.jpegIt began with a tour of the Candy Street where shop after shop sold all sorts of specialty candies—nothing that you could buy in an American grocery store. We saw several important churches including the Cathedral that had been visited by Pope John Paul II and more recently by Pope Francis. We also saw the Palace of the Inquisition, but the tour wasn’t entirely spiritual. We toured the Gold Museum which had a lot of items made of gold—behind glass and well-guarded. We also toured the Emerald Museum which was informative but mainly a vehicle to sell Colombian emeralds. After the tour we found a gelato shop that we couldn’t resist.

image16We ended this day’s touring with dinner at Cande’, a restaurant recommended to us as very authentically Colombian. It was upscale with great food and fine presentation, but the most memorable part of the evening was two dancers who came out into the restaurant three times in different costumes and performed classic Colombian dances. In one of the dances the woman came to various men who were dining in the restaurant and with a sultry look on her face put a fake sword down inside the front of the men’s shirts. Somehow I escaped getting my heart cut out.

The next day while we were waiting for the Hop-on bus, it began to rain. It hadn’t rained in Cartagena yet in 2018 and this rain made up for it with a vengeance. The streets were soon ankle deep in water and Diana and I decided to go back to the boat to wait out the rain. It’s a good thing we did because our cabin was being flooded once again, not by the ocean but by the sky. One port was closed but not dogged down and water was pouring through it. Drying our cabin seems to have become a routine for us, so we got busy with it. When the rain finally ended in the afternoon we again ventured out.image17 We had dinner at a fun little diner called “Say Cheese.” The menu was dominated by cheese dishes including the absolutely best grilled cheese sandwich that I’ve ever tasted. What can you do with a grilled cheese sandwich? You have to go there to find out. The young people working behind the counter seemed to be having as much fun as those of us who were eating. When I raised my camera to them and said “Say Cheese,” they didn’t miss a beat.

The treasures of Cartagena are many, but the best treasures we found were its people. They were all friendly, happy, and helpful. The dock hands not only helped us to dock the boat, but repaired the broken cable on our dinghy davit. The people in the marina office spoke little English but patiently worked with us and our little Spanish to fill out the contract and tell us about amenities. The people in the shops were friendly but not pushy. Passersby were quick to help when we looked confused or lost. The tour guides and bus drivers were pleasant and patient with us. The young man at the fuel dock played Billy Joel’s “Uptown Girl” for me on his Bluetooth speaker after I played a Colombian song for him on my cockpit speakers. In spite of our language barriers and our age difference, we talked like old friends.

Cartagena is a city that is proud of its heritage, excited about its daily life and opportunities, and confidant of its future. It would have been easy to spend a week or more in Cartagena, but it was time to move on to the next escapade. We spent almost the entire next day getting the boat ready to depart. This included not only the physical preparation of the boat but also the paperwork. We had hired an agent named Jose to take our passports and boat registration papers to all the local authorities to have the proper despacho for arriving and leaving, so we needed a final meeting with him to complete the process. This cost 450,000 Colombian pesos ($160 USD) but I can’t imagine having to do all the legwork myself. image18Night was falling as we motored out of Bahia de Cartagena through the Big Mouth. We were treated to a lovely evening silhouette of this charming city. Adios, Cartagena!

~Larry