Saturday, January 15, 2011

The Last of the Mohicans

One week there was perfect so we move on to the next stage, 130 miles to Titumate, 24 hours with 20 knots of wind on the bottom. The boat was shaking a lot, I couldn't stand myself and I think Charly was scared that I would fell on the water so he sent me to sleep (really difficult to do it) and he did all the night on his own. On the way we saw a group of 10 dolphins that were playing on the prow during 30 min, really cool! On Belle de Lune they saw something as well: a shark ate his Rapala so they took it up to the boat to free him. After all the adventures we arrived there, it was difficult to anchor because the bottom wasn't so deep but the long trip was worthy, there the cosy Family Otero was waiting for us.

During the week that we spent there they treat us really good, they wanted to show his village so every day was a new adventure. The second day we made a walked around the jungle until we arrived to a wild beach where Chino delight us with some cocos that he took from the top of a palm! We spent the rest of the day eating cocos and then when we came back a delicious colombian speciality was waiting for us! And that was just the beggining of the week!  

The third day was really cool: First we ate some delicious biscuits at Calixto's Supermarket while we were waiting for the car that will bring us to the river. When the 11 persons were inside of the 40 years old frlejj (10 inside and three on the roof) we were ready for the departure. It was impressing how the car managed during 30 minutes on paths were just horses can go. We arrived to the river where two indians (one looked exactly like the last of the mohicans) crossed us with a canoa made of the tronk of a tree. On the other side appeared a beatiful small community like I never saw before. It was a really interesting to see how they live, their houses, to listen his language, see the way they cook, the school, everything. On the way back I decided to jump up on the roof of the car with the kids to enjoy the beautiful landscape and when we arrived we drunk and ate a coco from the garden of Rafael. We invited all the family to have dinner on Belle de Lune and the next day we planned to go to another village called Trigana with the catamaran.


At 9 AM all the people was on board really excited, so we lifted the anchor and Chino brought us to this small village where we made a walk along the beach and we took a swim. Then we came back with a new captain, Chiki who always with the supervision of Charly ordered to pull up the sails to his crew. Everybody did a good job so when we arrived we were tired but another delicious meal was waiting: grilled fish with sweet rice and salad. It was the third day of eating a lot so then I went to make a walk around Titumate with the two sons of Rafael, Camilo and Andres. I was so lucky because when we were coming back, the football match between all the guys from the village was starting. They played quite hard and some where playing with boots another ones without others just with one in the foot that they use to kick the ball. They didn't care about how many people were in each team (13 that I counted), the outsides, the faults, the pigs crossing the fill, the important thing was to have fun and at the end the winner team will win 4 lemonades. I had a great time watching this show with the rest of the spectators and when it finished the appetizers were still hot at home: chorizo, fritters with cheese and custard, delicious! Then we wait until 6 PM to check the weather on internet, because this is the time when everyday the electricity comes until 10 PM so we decided that we will leave in 2 days when the win on the face wouldn't be too strong so we could go all the way to San Blas. But we still had time and energy to party a little bit and to make Charly and Luké try the Aguardiente that both of them found really strong.


 The last day we woke up with no plans so we prepared MOJITO to sail next morning and we went on land to say goodbye to everybody. It was pretty sad because it was a week that we spent with the family so we got used to see them everyday.

At 9 AM we left heading to Sapzurro where we spent one night and some fishermans asked to pay for the anchorage but next morning at 6 AM we escaped and after the cape we were already in Panama, saved! The wind was strong and on the back so it was perfect for going up. Mojito was really fast and almost touching the water in 45°, it was difficult to have breakfast but it was the best hour since I'm sailing, we were between 7 and 9 knots of speed. Then the wind stopped so we had to turn on the engine all the way to go up, then the sun was coming down and it was 6 oclock when we finally found a place to muillage, in the middle of stones. We made 2 fishes on the BBQ that we took on the way and next morning we were ready for the last 4 hours that would bring us to the paradise of San Blas.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

New Years Eve in Isla Grande

 After one week in Cartagena we couldn't stand anymore the anchorage. It was very crowded, there were many boats passing too close and making big waves, the water was dirty so no possibility of taking a bath after washing MOJITO under the hot sun. We checked the meteorology and if we managed to get Isla Grande before 1 PM the wind would be still calm. Charly woke me up at 6 AM because he needed some help to lift the dinghy, I slept just 4 hours taking advantage of my last day with Internet on board to publish some news.We had breakfast on our way when we already passed through big waves where the depth was just 4 metres. I must say that the day before the captain persuade me to watch The Perfect Storm so when I saw the waves I felt a mixed of adrenaline, fear and fun.

We sailed during 4 hours with a flat sea but with a little problem. A boat with tourists was coming in our direction in course of collision and there is an international code that says that sailing boats have ALWAYS the priority in front of a motor boat. Well the other captain didn't care about that and he was expecting that we will change our course, MOJITO kept going so finally the other boat passed behind us to cut us the fishing line. Results: The line went into the propeller of the motor boat so it was pushing our fishing rod, Charly was screaming like hell to the other captain that we had the priority, the tourists were saying hello so me too and we lost our last and best calamari for fishing. And I wonder: Isn't big enough the sea for everybody?

After all the incident we arrived to Isla Grande where just a boat was there, it looked that finally we found our paradise with crystalline and calm water and sun that will allow us some rest but work as well. The hull of Mojito was very dirty and we just did it 1 month ago in Curacao but in Santa Marta and Cartagena the water was not really nice. So we went under the boat xith our mask and fins to clean everything, we took it easy we had days so we made a little bit each day. I finished the inox so now they are shinning. Charly finished the work with the poulleys to pull up the dinghy every night and the days passed like this. We visited as well the village, I had some time to practice with the dinghy and more boats arrived to spend the last night of the year 2010.

MOJITO and Belle de Lune prepared again a big party, it was difficult to resist until 12 PM because we are used to wake up early and go to sleep soon but with some music and dancing we did it! We started the 2011 exploding the emergency flares from Belle de Lune but no panic he has more and the ones that we exploded had 15 years so just 2 of them worked properly. Good to know! By the way, the menu of the night was: Asparagus and salmon, "Confit de canard" with potatoes and two desserts: a biscuits with rose flavour and "mousse de chocolat" from Colombia. Everything served of course with Champagne Di Andre! Delicious! And two days before we ate 5 lobsters!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas Night

After walking all the day around the Cartagena BRONX looking for a present for Belle de Lune I was ready to start the preparation for my first Christmas in the Caribbean Sea. Everybody knows that I'm not the best chef in the world so I made two of my short list of specialities: Guacamole and a lemmon cake that my great-grandmother teached me a long time ago and that so far got me out of some hooks. After the dinner Marie would baptize it as "Gâteau Espina" in her honor. Charly made Thonnade, his speciality, and at Belle de Lune foie gras, salmon and of course Champagne André were waiting for us on a nice table under the moon of "Manhattan de Indias".

After the aperitive we took a break to diggest a little bit and make space for the main course that the captains were preparing: Souffle de Beef. While it was in the oven we decided to open the presents that Noel brought us.

First of all Charly got a hook to continue fishing tunas, a beautiful tablecloth to serve them and a bag to put the bread that he makes the mornings that I'm lucky. Luké recieved a  multiprupose piece of cloth that Marie sewed to make him comfortable and fresh while he's working on Belle de Lune and she was really glamorous with her new dress-skirt-shirt. Then it was my turn and I got a beatiful convertible bag that depending on which nods you do, different models of bags appear. Noel couldn't be better!
Most of the presents were things that can be used in many different ways because when you life on a boat you don't have too much space for clothes or this kinds of accesories, all the place is to stock food, fuel, water and many many tools and materials to repair the boat. As Marie and Luke spent all the time in the streets of Colombia drinking juices we decided to give them an authentic colombian squeezer that we found after hours and hours walking under a blazing sun. They were really happy so it was worthy and we enjoyed a lot the BRONX.

Opening the presents gave us appetite so we attacked the Beef with Jamon Serrano and mushrooms wrapped in a puff pastry. Ai Ai Ai la Cuisine Française! We even got space for the "Gâteau Espina" with crème pâtissière, cream or both at the same time!

The leftovers

It was a great night and at the end I got a really special present: the captain entrusted me the mission to take him home with the Dinghy and the new engine of 15 horsepower. Full speed and full adrenaline, ohhh yeaahh!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

After 5 months in Curacao and unforgettable experiences I decided to undertake a new adventure in my life. There I left many good friends that helped me a lot during my days on board of Windsong, the Phantom of Spanish Waters. Thanks guys!

Everything started when I visited a friend in Piscadera Bay, where the boats are taken out of the water to repair and make them ready to sail. There I saw for the first time MOJITO, a  Jenneau Sun Odyseey 39 feet, and Charly the captain who had to scrape off all the antifouling and epoxy. He asked  me to help him so I spent 2 days working hard but with time to have fun and meet Marie and Luke from Belle de Lune, a huge  49 feet catamaran where they make you feel that you are in a restaurant.

When everthing was done, MOJITO was ready to sail but he needed some crew so after thinking a lot I decided to jump on board and start my voyage to Panama, sailing through beautiful small villages in Colombia, Cartagena and San Blas.
On Tuesday 7th of December at 6AM I woke up hearing the weigh of the anchor, together with Belle de Lune we were leaving Spanish Waters heading Aruba on a nice sunny day with a flat sea. On the way we decided to pass Aruba and go straight to an island called Monjes del Sur, an ancient military base. Unfortunately the bottom wasn't deep enough to anchore so we continued for 10 more hours until we got Bahia de Honda in Colombia. Finally after 2 days of sailing we anchored, I took my first hot shower in a long time and we ate a delicous tuna that we had fished on the way. 
Next morning, while enjoying the home-made bread just done, I saw a big boat full of militars and coastgards approaching us. It was incredible, we where in the middle of nowhere, no boats, no village, nothing! They were really nice, they just wanted to check the boat and the papers, as usual, but the sea was a little bit rough so they couldn't visit MOJITO.

We spent there 2 nights resting and then we were ready to go through El Cabo de la Vela, a difficult passage according to the experts, but the weather was good so we had no problems and in 8 hours we arrived to a nice village where indigenous colombian fishermans were visiting us and asking for some water, flour, hooks or coffee. Some were selling huge lobsters so we bought 2 and I can say that on Friday 10th of December I had my Christmas dinner.
After this luxuorious night we were ready to sail for 30 hours to Santa Marta. Once we were there, we decided to enter to the Marina because the bad weather was comming so we had one week to visit the village, clean MOJITO, refill the tanks with water and make the innox.

The next stage was Cartagena de Indias but we decided to stop one night to avoid to sail during the night. On the way we crossed the Magdalena river, the most important  in Colombia that carries plenty of trunks and makes big waves when it meets the sea. Really impressing!

MOJITO managed without problems and after one night in Barranquilla we arrived to Cartagena de Indias, the New York from South America. 

Here I will spend my first Christmas on water even if I don't know exactly in which day I'm living and the 30 degrees doesn't fit with my idea of Noel visting me. Anyway I wish to everybody a Merry Christmas!