Cartagena, Colombia


Author: Pete

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.





  1. Paul Sperry   •  

    Hey there Pete and Miranda! We’ve been reading every post and enjoying learning about life on the high and low seas. Congratulations on “gettin in the sailing groove”, especially with the nighttime passages. Like any authentic journey, there are highs and lows and we’ve appreciated your candor in times of joy and frustration. For those of us enraptured by the idea of sailing the world, knowing the realities of such a trip, including the finances, is terrific. Welcome “home” to Columbia and enjoy having your pop on board; he must be incredibly proud of you both.

    Quick question: when shoreside, do you need to worry about the security of your boat? Do other sailors watch it for you? A paid local?

    Life here in the Appalachians going well; new daughter Laurel was born on 12/18 and wonderful in all ways. Juniper likewise and continuing to enjoy dance, piano, gymnastics and her rural Montessori school but most of all, being a big sister (and a good one at that). Virginia enjoying the rural life and being the awesome mother. School for me professionally rewarding with lots of opportunities. Things are good as we ring in 2015 as a foursome.

    As always, our thoughts and prayers are with you as you continue your journey into the known and unknown! Looking forward to the next installment.

    Your colleague always,
    Paul y familia

    • Miranda   •  

      Hi Paul and familia!

      Thanks so much for your kind words and for all the support! It’s great to hear that you’re enjoying our blog!

      Nope, we don’t worry about the boat while we run errands on shore. We lock it up tight and don’t leave it at anchorages in which we are the only boat around. Safety in numbers is usually the best way to go. Dinghies are more often what gets stolen, so we lock that baby up to the dock securely as well. If we were to leave the boat for a while (like to come home), we’d put it in a marina where they’d keep an eye on it.

      So glad live in Appalachia is going well, and we are so happy for you all- having a new little baby in the family! Congrats!!

      Thanks again for all your encouragement! Take care friends!

  2. John Weting   •  

    Have been loving your posts, thanks for sharing your amazing experience. Do is there a book in this adventure and a movie option? Cherish the journey.

  3. Erwin   •  

    Waaaaauw guys! I’m soooooo happy that I had the pleasure to meet ya guys at the burn last year!!! It’s sooooo nice to read all your stories, but to be able to see the persons behind the story is a privilege!

    You’re all an amazing inspiration to me! If there is one thing left I really would like to do in my life it’s what you guys are doing now! And you guys make me believe it would be actually possible for me! You guys give me another thing worth fighting for, which is an amazing comfort!

    I only got to meet you briefly, but I know some of your siblings a little longer and I can truly say I love you guys!!!

    – Erwin –

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