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Sailing Letter Nov 2016: Curacao – Göteborg – St:a Martha (Colombia)

December 29, 2016

After some time in Spanish Water (Curacao) doing “nothing”, we got ourselves a busy schedule. The boat was moved to the Willemstad marina and hoisted the second week of October. We checked all through-hull-fittings, the toilet pipes and the exterior. The copper coat is still OK, so we had it rubbed by the marina people, the same with the polishing of the hull. Seeing a lot of barnacles on the bow-thruster blades and the propeller, we removed all old antifoul painting from them. Hopefully easier to scrub and keep clean.  Since all work had to be done in +34 degrees heat, with maximum humidity, we decided to stay in a hotel during the time the boat was on the hard. It turned out to be a really good idea, and we maximized the use of the bath tub and air-condition.

Oct.22 we took the plane back to Sweden: before going through the Panama-canal, we felt it was a good idea to visit our friends and family. We also needed to renew passports and buy some stuff for the boat. The 2 weeks were hectic. We drew 2000 km between Göteborg-Stockholm-Trollhättan and Uppsala. Managed to visit all relatives and most of the friends from the Långedrag Marina (GKSS) and some ex-working colleagues. Most of the time Sweden was sunny and beautifully coloured in green-yellow-red. Only on the last 2 days it showed the reason why we went sailing: grey colours, ice-cold and snow. We came back to Curacao with our bags full with necessary stuff, launched the boat, stocked up with groceries and set sail for Colombia.

Nov.12 we arrived in Santa Martha, after a good sailing with OK winds and only a little use of the engine. The marina in St:a Martha is relatively new and rather sheltered with finger pontoons, good shower and laundry facilities and very friendly people. Even if the city is big ( 1,4 mil. people) you have the feeling of a smaller town, since the marina is close to the old centre and the city is more or less divided in 2 parts, with a mountain ridge in between. We felt relatively safe walking around on the narrow chaotic streets, enjoying the favourable prices in bars and restaurants and markets. We got some very nice Cheviche (marinated seafood) and tested some other Columbian food. Buying fresh pineapple or mango from the small moveable selling stores at the streets, was cheap and good.

Together with our Dutch friends we took the plane to Bogota for a 3 day stay. The capital was really to our liking. We stayed at a hotel right in the centre of the old town, with all the narrow uphill/downhill streets to walk and enjoy the views. As Peter mentioned in the blog, we visited the Gold Museum, a truly fantastic place with millions of gold pieces and clay statues and pots to show from the Indian era.  The city has 9mil. inhabitants and it is growing fast. We saw a figure of 250.000 inhabitants in the beginning of the 1900, so the growth is enormous! The streets are packed with cars, but on Sundays many streets are closed and could be used for bicycling, jogging and walking. Bogota is situated on 2600 m in the middle of the country. It is rather cold and rainy. Both Peter and I felt some headache from the altitude. On the other side of the ridge, which has 2 peaks of 5000 meter, the Amazone river begins. On the western side you will find the 3:rd largest river of northern South America, the Magdalena River floating out in the Caribic sea, bringing with it huge logs and other debris that forces you to have good watch when sailing.

All in all we liked Colombia very much. Friendly people, nice music, especially on Tuesdays in the city centre of St Martha and good weather. Last night Peter and I ended up in a nice pub with live music (unplugged traditional and rap music )and very good food, so the memory of Columbia will be very positive.

From → Sailing Letters

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