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Anthem Adrift
Bad Girls and Golden Eggs
12/24/2009, Club Nautico Marina, Cartagena

Charge It

December 24

Broke down and bought mucho expensive "Smart" battery charger at Home Center. Alternative was small trickle unit. This one is "Fully Automatic Electronic" and handles gel and AGM as well. It equalizes and reconditions batteries and also performs minor cosmetic surgery with proper insurance. No boob jobs. Just hope it doesn't endanger passing fish with shrapnel by blowing copper-based anti- fouling off bottom.

Appears that dinghy prop will wait another day or three for attention due slow morning and other concerns. Traffic to hardware store was so bad (how bad was it?) that taxi there took longer than walk back. Seems Colombians procrastinate gift shopping even worse than Americans. After rigging new toy, arrived late to Christmas lunch at De Oliva for grand time with friends. Ended day walking over to the old city, Centro, for first visit. Beautiful.

Crew is cool to idea of staying up to capture St. Nick, so suppose the old guy will escape unscathed. Too bad as finding where naughty girls live could be a terrific business opportunity, not even counting the toys. On further reflection, it's probably just as well because like with the golden goose, you may only get one gift at a time out of that big bag and bad girls are, well... bad.

Jack

Hey, Hey, Hey, Santa's Gotta Stay
12/23/2009, Club Nautico Marina, Cartagena

Freezing in Cartagena

December 23

Anticipated visiting Old Town tomorrow morning, but planned Christmas dinner with friends midday may delay that activity until later. Also, may use early day to find fellow reportedly able to re-bush stainless outboard prop. Info was gathered without the first word of mutual understanding except 'bushing', so hoping for best with low expectation.

Frigid blast on second day of winter dropped high temp to 84 fahrenheit. Low clouds failed to deliver snow, but tomorrow, with forecast 2 degrees cooler, surely portends white Christmas. Unable to find parka and mukluks in Colombia. Will hope for best.

Quick perusal of previous entries revealed untold missed opportunities for inane, but personally amusing, malarkey. Given minimal memory and attention span, much ridiculous balderdash has been lost in purgatory of semi-sinful rhetoric. Writing down random ideas would facilitate releasing even more codswallop (I love the English) onto a gullible audience, but this would require an unlikely level of conscientiousness. Count your blessings.

Concern has arisen lest Santa be nonplussed by lack of chimney on Anthem and depart without showering occupants with well deserved largesse. Considered watch schedule for shoot-down, but previously contemplated Mossberg shotgun is presently unavailable.

Jack

PS Title is first half of naughty punchline. Write for enlightenment.

And I Was Having Such a Good Day
12/22/2009, Club Nautico Marina, Cartagena

State of the Art

December 22

Semi-promised to write something today after minimal exertion yesterday. Please keep in mind that disappointment is an important component of a balanced life. You are more fortunate than you know.

Motored over early to Club Pesca for fuel, then into Club Nautico dock. Electric panels there are electrician's worst nightmare, but power, when applied, braving an electrical conflagration that would potentially destroy every boat within visual range, was a solid 117v, 60 Hz. Notwithstanding, charger/inverter, suspect from failing to charge in Puerto La Cruz, seemed to operate OK until someone noticed burning insulation smell. Neither inverter nor charger thereafter took notice of switch positions or expletives undeleted.

Both Prosine 2.0 (inverter/charger) and Icom M422 (VHF radio) are in shop for potential repair (another triumph of hope over experience?). Sven (farthest northern Spain?) seems very competent, but is slammed and may not get to aforementioned trinkets for 10 days despite highly proficient whining. Suspects fried mosfets (a kind of hoity-toity transistor) in inverter may require sending to Xanrex repair station, Bogota, as available Chinese replacements are unreliable (i.e. crap). Bugger. May be in Cartagena longer than initially supposed.

Good news is that with nothing to do (yeah, right), feel obligated to find every ice cream parlor in vicinity for production of butt the size of Cleveland. The delights, so far undiscovered, of Cartagena await.

Jack

Drugging and Dragging, Not the Same Thing
12/21/2009, Cartagena, Colombia

Madonna and Child Monument, Inner Harbor, Cartagena

December 21

Cartagena in AM after very nice sail from Rio Magdalena. Heard Endorphin calling Procrastination and Witchcraft calling Gaia. No other ironies presented. Place is eat up with cops and Italian eateries.

Internet down. SSB propagation poor. Spent day afoot without clearing in. Returned late. May write something manana.

Jack

As It Should Be
12/20/2009, Past Rio Magdalena, Colombia

Dorado Dinner

December 20

Seems counterintuitive that we would be getting a counterclockwise countercurrent. Glad to have countermanded previous orders and took countermeasures last night to increase speed so as to encounter flotsam from the Rio before dark. Counterparts on Inspiration Lady were counted on to engaged in countervailing activity to counterbalance foul current as well. It would be counterproductive to produce any more of this twaddle.

We slew a second dolphin which, along with remains of first, was pan fried in Italian bread crumbs and eaten for early dinner. Copious leftovers and chubby tuna caught while crew washed dishes now reside in the frig awaiting future repast.

Unexpected north wind materialized at 1400 allowing conversion of craft into cutter rigged sailboat. Still have not escaped adverse current, but expect to do so directly as we continue beyond Magdalena. Since distance remaining is not great and we have all tomorrow, will sail through the night, if possible. Happy crew, now bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, are revelling in lovely reach with 13 knots wind and smooth seas.

"Most human beings have an almost infinite capacity for taking things for granted." - Aldous Huxley

Not here.

Jack

Eating Fish, Not Feeding Them
12/19/2009, 110 NM from Rio Magdalena, Colombia

Frisky Dolphins

December 19

Nearly made it to Cabo de la Vela before wind died. Two days ago 35 knots, now 6. We're a motor boat turning revs to pass Rio Magdalena in tomorrow's light (to see and avoid debris spewing from its mouth) for arrival Cartagena Monday daybreak. Should catch up with Inspiration Lady around midday. Jackster, well ahead (showoffs), are attempting to pass the river in AM to make Cartagena by evening.

Sea legs: Processed fake crab meat that may be found at some supermarkets and mid-priced restaurants or that condition which, the conditionee mercifully hopes, quickly follows the less enjoyable initiation of some sea voyages. Eyes and inner ears get tired of fighting and agree to trial separation. Divorce is usually thwarted by reconciliation back ashore. Drug counselling often maintains love fest for subsequent cruises. Crew has achieved this state of grace due, probably, to combination of Stugeron, less motion and time. Groceries purchased in Willemstad finding greater purpose than ballast. Fish, not picky eaters, no longer follow for chum, although a cow dorado (mahi mahi) was chagrined to find that there is no free lunch. Had first of three meals from her this evening. Will check out roe tomorrow.

Obnoxious bilge noise, besides propelling craft more expeditiously, has also allowed filling wazoo with electrons and water. Yesterday's reluctant water- maker pump, seeing error of evil ways due to malignant stares and scandalous verbiage, has returned to employment. Unable to discern why this tactic so seldom works.

Jack

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