Another Viewpoint

[NOTE: This post is by Karen not Frank]
Cartagena shot from the anchorageI know it’s snowing where most of you are, but it is searing hot here, 95F in the shade, and NO wind. That makes for some very uncomfortable days. Fortunately, the internet cafe near us (in the grocery store) and some of the restaraunts nearby are air-conditioned. We have also had to run the generator some, which enables us to run the AC on our boat. Thank goodness for modern conveniences!!!

The trip over from Aruba was eventful, but I was never nervous. Frank handled the sailing expertly and set up the sails so that we were safe from the high winds. Sailing with the wind behind us (downwind sail) and the waves giving us a push (following seas) made for a relatively comfortable trip, even if the wind was howling. The fish we caught was a real fighter as I found out while holding the pole for a while. He was quite delicious too. 🙂
Life in Cartagena has been enjoyable. Food prices are inexpensive and the city is a modern metropolis with well preserved historic areas. Entrepreneurship is alive here with lots of street vendors selling cell phone minutes, fresh fruit, hot coffee, lunch foods, fruit juice, ice cream, … almost anything you can think of. Even so, the grocery
store is well stocked, even if everything is in Spanish. We’re managing, just barely, to communicate with our pitiful Spanish; but, we’re learning. All of the people we’ve met have been very helpful even if we can’t always understand each other.

We visited El Centro within the old walled city one evening and were delighted with the ambiance. The streets are well lit, but not glaringly so. There are plenty of police to discourage problems and plenty of people strolling the parks to make it delightful. Colon Plaza is a beautiful at night with lighted fountains and a big statue of Simon Bolivar on a horse; he was the man who was instrumental in gaining Colombia’s independence from Spain. I hope to go back during daylight hours, maybe do some shopping especially for emerald and gold jewelry. Since both are mined right here in Colombia, the prices are supposed to be very good.

We spent some time today straightening out my least favorite sail, the spinnaker. It’s tidy and stowed away for an easier deployment. Maybe we’ll get along a bit better now.

An interesting activity in the anchorage is the fishing. The fishermen like to surround an anchored boat with their nets and slap the water with a big stick to drive the fish into the nets. Then they haul in the nets. It seems that the fish like to congregate in the
shade under the boats. I haven’t seen any big catches yet, but they always catch something.

Well, that’s it for now. I hope to write again before we set out for the San Blas Islands.

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