Location: Cartagena, Colombia
Our first morning in the city we met up with our customs ‘agent’, an person who organizes the four different entities dealing with admission into the country. It’s apparently voluntary to employ an agent, but difficult to do without. Their fees are negotiable, but ours cost about 100USD. It’s worth it too. Five people showed up in the late morning after talking to our agent earlier in the day. It seemed like something out of a joke set up: “A navy guy, an immigrations guy, a health inspector, a customs agent, and his son all walk into a marina.” After some pleasantries that ask to see the boat. I asked them if the five of them, and Miranda and Liza and I, were to all hop in my tiny dinghy to be driven out to the boat. They looked around sheepishly and asked if we could see the boat from land. After some neck craning on the dock they stood in a circle for a few minutes winking and lip-pointing in a language unknown to me. Something was decided by someone in the group, and the requisite papers were all pulled out and signed without anymore fanfare and we were free to explore our city.
Hoisted the Colombian flag in our new port.
We feasted on fresh, cut up fruit. I wanted to rub it on my face after the months of meager offerings in the Bahamas. Walked the streets eating fried goodies and drinking really cold, really light Aguila, and generally rekindling our spark with this beautiful place.
Had a celebratory dinner with our friends Nico and Erin Leigh, who live in this delicious city. Nico was our officiant at our wedding right here in Cartagena, and Erin Leigh was the matchmaker who orchestrated our initial chemistry. They have been such a big part of our lives here and afar and a good deal of our interest in sailing to Colombia was to see them.
Took Nico, Erin Leigh, and their two beautiful little daughters out for a little sailing day. The weather was a little rough, but we anchored off Tierra Bomba, and spent some time playing in the waves and the sand.
Collected more crew at the airport. My dad came in to sail the Panama push with us! We are spending a few days working on the boat, provisioning, exorcising electrical demons on the boat, and also enjoying Cartagena de Indias.