Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Lobster at last

Hola from the Islas del Rosarios! We have been anchored off Isla Grande for the past couple of nights, and before that, we were tied up to a dock just 100 meters away from where we are now for several more nights. (Click on "location via satellite" for more precise details.) This is the largest island in a group that is only about 40 km away from Cartagena and is basically the local "cottage country" as we would say in Canada. Think Muskoka if you are from Ontario or Lake of the Woods if you know Manitoba. As a result, the small bay that we are in was teeming with boats on Sunday, mostly powerboats that came out for the day, but yesterday evening it was very quiet as pretty much everyone had gone back to the city.

We have been enjoying the perks of being out of the city. Yesterday I went swimming off the boat four (!) times, and we also went snorkeling and saw some very big and colourful reef fish. The Captain bought lobster and fish for dinner, so we ate lobster zucchini pasta last night and it will most likely be fish curry for dinner tonight. Our Spanish has been improving word by word, but we haven't been able to chat much with the locals. In spite of that, we made a fast friend of a cat who adopted us while we were on the dock. She came and cuddled in our laps in the day, and in the morning her ears were poking up above the boards in the companionway as soon as we got up. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on who you ask), she didn't make it as a stowaway, but we enjoyed the brief stint of animal love.

We have been practicing our navigation skills in preparation for the upcoming travels. The electronic charts we have are wildly inaccurate for the southern coast of Colombia and the far eastern coast of Panama on the Caribbean side; they historically are not well-traveled areas by cruisers. Indeed, at some points on the charts it simply says "uncharted area, no data available." Fortunately, we were given the "Guia Nautica Turistica de Colombia," or the Cruising Guide to Colombia. It was produced by the Colombian government last year and contains excellent detailed charts of all the relevant places. Our version is in Spanish and we've been told an English version exists, but charts are charts in pretty much any language. Between it, the Panama Cruising Guide by Eric Bauhaus, and a few print-offs from online cruising sites, we are well prepared. Although I did plot a waypoint onto the electronic charts (so we can see where the boat is in relation to our planned route) and the point was on land according to the inaccurate chart. So the navigation will be interesting!

PS. Posting via satellite phone so no pictures - sorry - think lots of blues and greens and a few tropical sunsets
PPS Spot tracking daily while on anchor and morning and night when on the move. Don't want to leave you behind!

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