With the female part of our crew heading back to
Bonaire, it was time to get ready for our 4-5 day
sail to Cartegena, Colombia. Since we are
getting close to the hurricane season we checked the
weather forecast for this leg of the trip,...'No
wind'. And sure enough, 5 miles out of
Aruba, 'Vienta Nada'. Ok, we fire up the barbie,
throw on some burgers and Kjell's cinema was open.
With no wind, the ship sat very quiet for 'Man on
Fire' A movie that takes place in Mexico City
which, has a similar style as Colombia and helps to
set the spirit of the trip . It was actually
neat to see fancy restaurant in the movie where I
had lunch one day a few months ago, Sanbornes.
The next day came burps of wind but, nothing too
significant to make any ground, we needed a huge
belch. to make it to Colombia in 5 days. So,
we got the barbie ready again and threw in the fishing
line. As soon as the potatoes were done we got
a hit on the line, and it's a big one,...it's always
a big one when you don't see it at first. After 30
minutes of fighting, Kjell finally gets the fish close
enough to the boat to see that we caught a 5 foot
shark!! What the what are we going to do with
a 5 foot shark on the boat. With
our luck it would find it's way into the cabin and
then what? We have to let it go, which is a
puzzle on its own. We try to steer it over to
the side of the boat where we can somehow grab the
hook from its mouth (with a hooked-stick of course) but,
he dosen't want to get near the boat.
Everytime he gets close, a slap with his tail and, whrrrrrrrrrr!
He's gone. And
then, of course, another element comes into play as we
notice a fairly big tanker heading to cross our path
We hope that he sees us but we try on the VHF to
make contact. They never answer. As the
tanker gets closer we see that there is no danger
so we concentrate on problem 1, the shark. We
finally manage to get the 'hook-stick' under our
lure and with one more big slap on the boat with his
tail and he is gone. Great Fun!
The next few days followed the forescast to a 'T'
with no wind and sometimes we ended up flowing backwards with
nothing we can do about it (see GPS pic). Unless, we want to
our fuel but, we need that for driving into Cartegena
which historically has the biggest waves in the
Caribbean due to the structure of the ocean floor.
With the waters around us still and the weather hot, we decide
to jump in for a snorkel. What a neat
experience to jump in 2000 meter waters and swim
away from the boat, especially knowing the type of fish that
are around. The still weather gave us some
very relaxing times and we spent most of out time
just trying to stay cool and wait patiently for the
wind,...Booze Cruise III.
One day we were relaxing when Kjell noticed a
school of 15 trigger fish(2-3 kg) swimming up to the
boat in the glass-like waters. As we looked closer we also noticed a
beautiful 30 kg Dorado (mahi mahi) swimming with
them. The Darado is one of the best looking
and tasting fish in the sea. We quickly reel in our
fishing line closer to the boat hoping to attract
his attention. He makes a move for our 'squid'
lure but then quickly spits out the lure as I
tried to set the hook. We end up playing with
him (or him with us) for about 30 minutes
until Kjell gets fed up and he and I jump in the
water with our snorkels and a Hawian Sling. As
the Dorado came to check out who just jumped in the
water Kjell releases the Sling. It scrapes his
side and the Dorado takes off. I later asked Kjell
what he would have done if the spear would have
pierced the Dorado and it took off with the strap
around his wrist,...????hmmmmmm. That
night we were Doradoless but got to witness a
beautiful sight of Whales jumping in the Sunset!!
The wind started to pick up after the fifth day
enough for us to try out the Spinnaker for the first
time. It's the traditionally big colorful sail at
the front of the boat which works like a parachute.
And with Dan having spinnaker experience it was no
problem, and soon we were sailing at 4 knots.
This speed was great since I banged my knee a few
times on the same spot (not on purpose) and noticed
an infection starting to occur in the bruize, we had
to get to Cartegena. The boat is very well
stocked with medical supplies from the past owners
and Dentist Dan prescribed me some antibiotics to
Our last two days into Cartegena were the best
sailing conditions that we have experienced so far.
Calm waters, nice wind from the back, and the spinnaker pulling us
at an average of 5-6 knots all the way into
Cartegena. Cartegena is a beautiful city which
used to be the main port where the Spanish would
load up their riches from South America on route to
Spain. The city has been fortified since the
18 century, as well as the entrance into the harbour
where the marina where we are staying is located,
Club Del Pesca. We are spending most of
our downtime in old Cartegena inside the wall.
It is very beuatiful and the buildings have been
totally refurbished. It is a definite hotspot
for tourists and the peddlars.
The whole trip took us 9 days instead of 5, and the nights were
filled with flashing skies from all of the storms in
the area around us. I can't believe that we
never ran into one. It would have been good to
sinced it would have provided us with better wind.
what a trip! It started in Aruba. we wanted
to go out sailing but first, have our papers. The
immigration was very busy with a cruiseship just
arrived. 1000 people! at immigration.
After we get every paper after 2 hours we
left with the real booze cruise. There where 2 catamerans to take people
for a booze cruise from the cruiseship. They knew
the path to get out aruba (we didnt) so
we could follow them they said. Perfect we where going
and have our own boozecruise. After
3 hours , no wind, lets go BBQ! and look at kjells own
laptop cinema. coool! just in the film I
heard splashing and noise in the wather. What
the hek. It was dolfines. I want
to see them and interupated the movie.
kjell and daryll were irriitaded
they wanted to see the movie and dolfines happens 3
times a day! And it was true, every day you see the
dolfines! There was not much wind and
that was a new experiens for us all. Beautifull the
big sea as a mirror. The water was so clear,
when you go swimming and throw some coins
in the water you still see them falling in
the water after 2 minute with the snorkel on. Every day, very tasty food of daryl. I made one
time in the whole trip food: raviolla and spagetti
meatbals in pot. ha ha Kjell maked the other
day, spagetty in Pot. The rest we get
from the cook: BBQ, poffed patato with
cream, hamburger with everithing ceddar cheeze,
panecakes, eggs, beans with chilli etc. And kjell did the navigation with our three
to check position. In the day chilling with 30
and wind and the nice beer, the
first 3 days they were cold before the ice
melted. Now in colombia!
In the city where colombus arived. what a beatiful city, cartagena with
only buildings from 1600 century and canons
and walls and the jungle parots everywhere, now it looks still like that days. We
lie in the middle in the most luxery habour , guards with shot guns at the gate!.
tomorow to san Blas and Panama. San blas
island with the Kuna indians. We have to check in
with the chief ha ha. these islands seems to
be the beautifull on earth. the survivor is
filmed there. Tomorow big
sailing day. see you soon. i
got still 2 weaks before the work begins again!
Under is a little
somthing kjell wrote at sea..
A beer bottle is
silently flowing with the current, sometimes going
one knot and somtimes not going at all. Normally
here 60 miles off the coast of Columbia the bottle
would have been filled with water and slowly drifted
into the dark of the 1000 meter deep waters. It
could have been a fine house to small fishes or
maybe a squid but not today, today the wind was just
like yesterday and the day before, no wind at all.
The beer bottle stayes afloat and so does the two
other ones floting nearby. The guys that threw them
overboard after chugging the half warm beer inside
looks relaxed and are reading. They are on day five
now and are only half way. The whole trip should
have taken them four days but after the wind left
and they burned 3/4 of theier fuel they have been
drifting. Occationally a breeze comes along and
gives them a short moment of relief from the burning
hot sun but it never lasts. At night they stay awake
so they can steer the boat when the nightly rain
bringes along a two hour gust of wind. These two
hours can sometimes take them just as long as they
have sailed all day. How can they stand
it?, how can they just sit there and pretend like
nothing has happend when they are four days late?.
It could be the weak buzz from the beer chey just
had followed by two glasses of pinapple punch or it
could be the fact that they simply does not have
enything more important to do. Little happends out
here. Two days ago was a big day, the sound from the
tackle wheel letting out line was clear as thunder
would have been in a library. Darryl shoutes
somthing and kjell jumpes to the rod and soon the
game is on. Dan has been downstairs to get camera
and video equippment and darryl is now getting ready
to help hoist the fish on board. After 15 minutes of
struggle and a lot of guessing what kind of beast it
could be the Shark finally showed its fin. It was a
small one of about 1,5 meters but still a shark.
They discussed it for a while and finally decided to
let it go, what would they do with a shark this big,
sure they had the BBQ going already waiting for the
potatoes and hamburgers to cook but it was way to
big to eat and how would they get him into the boat?.
The following day the columbian navy pulled up
real close only to turn around and go back where
thay came from. Tooday's event was trying to catch a
durado who teased them by swimming around the boat
for half an hour, it even tasted the hook and got
scratched by the hawaiian sling before it left.
Three more empty beers hit the water...
Day 7... Should i be
happy because we have wind, mad because it comes
from the wrong direction or should i just be happy
to be here at all?. questions like this pop up from
time to time while you wait for the wind to come,
the wind to change direction or waiting for the wind
to blow you to youer destination. This trip should
have taken about 4 days but we are on day 7 now and
i think it will be two more before we dock. So what
do we do?, well we read a lot, talk a lot, swim a
lot, fish a lot and nap a lot. Some times we listen
to music and some times not. Yesterday was a good
day, nothing really happend but we got some wind and
it was almost in a good direction, the day before
that was a bit boring, too much sun and too litle
wind, we decided to have a party and drank the day
away. After 9 days we finally arrived..
Ps, all the travel
letters is made by BOTH kjell and darryl, we stand
for everything that we write...
Darryl & Kjell