New Year, New Friends, Santa Marta

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This ain’t no island…

When we pulled up to Colombia I expected what I had been getting. Beaches, bars and palm trees. This was different, a continent? Who pulls up to one of those? Not most people. Cruisers go for islands. Hell we did for 4 years. Now we pull up to South America and it took a few weeks for it to settle in.

Yo no hablo ingles

They don’t speak English and not because they don’t want to. They can’t. However Spanish is not a difficult language to get a basic understanding of. Some people have the language gene but I don’t. Now I am up to a 200 word Spanish vocabulary and I use it every chance I can. Lennie speaks Spanish so we never have a problem but she would always prefer an introvert’s position so there I am at a bar, restaurant, marina, cab, store, or sidewalk arepa vendor doing my best Spanish and then the people look at Lennie and see her skin tone and say “come on lady, take this gringo out of his misery” and then she uses the right words to get us what we need or where we are going and problem solved. Until the next encounter where I lean forward and try again…..yo hablo poquito espanol.

Sierra Nevada

I grew up there. These were my mountains. The are the division between California and Nevada…how could the mountain range in Santa Marta be called by the same name. Simple…they were discovered first. Colombia was discovered 250 years before California. The mountains were named after the range in northern Spain. It was fun to drive up into this highland knowing our boat was only 25 miles away. Colombia land touring was exciting and very safe. If you read the Colombian history books they detail a bygone era (actually only 10 years ago) of kidnapping and road bandits. The only ones we saw were selling arepas and Aguilla light beer. We had such a good time touring Colombia’s coast we didn’t want to leave but as usual we were on a schedule.

Her name is Rio

We left Santa Marta and again were faced with a “rough” passage. I am telling you Colombia is an earned destination. It isn’t for the faint of heart or anyone prone to seasickness. To get to Cartagena we had to cross the entrance to the Magdalena River, which is one of the largest rivers in South America. In fact 30 million people live in its drainage basin, which is about 66% of Colombia’s population. The stories of dead cows and rooftops floating downstream are legendary but we didn’t encounter anything larger than a palm frond. We did encounter billions of gallons of freshwater hitting an onshore breeze and kicking up a sea state that had us in our safety gear and harnesses and holding our breath. For fun we played Duran Duran but we were too nervous to sing along . By dusk we reached the halfway point to Cartagena and anchored for the night.

This episode was a lot of fun to make. When we are editing we get to relive the experience. If a picture is worth a thousand words then……

I hope you enjoy it!








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