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The Jackson Four on Tour
Operation 'sell Pegasus of Jersey' begins""
Back on the liquid road

Back on the road again. Mark, Whit and the kids provisioned in the lovely supermarket not 100 metres from the dinghy dock, whilst I waded through some laundry in an attempt to rid our clothes and sheets of that salty feeling. Every time I hung some clothes out, it started to rain, but eventually the sun came out for half an hour and everything dried in that short time. Mark went to the bank to change some pesos into dollars in preparation for Panama, which was an event in itself as he needed his passport and then of course didn't have a stamp for the country, so couldn't change his money. Luckily, Oliver (our fellow yachtie with lots of information that we visited yesterday) was walking past and changed it for us (which was so lucky as otherwise we would have been stuck with several thousand pesos - OK just a couple of hundred dollars but still not the currency we needed in Panama), though it made Mark and I feel like we should head off fairly quickly given that our 24 hours were just about up.
So now, it's a beautiful full moon. There's no wind and so we are motoring, but the wind didn't look like it was going to pick up for over a week and apparently there is always a gale gusting out of Cartegena so we thought we'd make the most of a quiet weather window, even though motoring isn't much fun. However, it's calm and Cartegena is just a few twinkly lights behind us now. 200Nms to Porvenir, the island one checks into for San Blas, so it'll take us approx 2 days, give or take a few hours. Current posn: 10.17.52N 75.58.70W

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Beautiful Cartegana
05/16/2011, Cartegena, Columbia

Beautiful Cartegena
Arrived at first light, catching a Spanish mackerel on the way in (he wasn't going for the lure; we just caught his fin!) Not huge, but enough for dinner. As we arrived in the bay, there was a torrential downpour, so we hung about a bit waiting for enough visibility to see the channel markers. Having re-fueled, we asked about customs and immigration. It seems you need an agent here and the diesel man set us up with 'his man' who we spoke to on the phone and who was reluctant to come out because it was a Sunday. Thus keeping up the tradition of always arriving in a country on a Sunday in the rain! However, he reassured us that if we left within 24 hours, we needn't check in, we could go to the supermarkets and then head off.
After getting the directions of the nearest supermarket from a fellow yachtie, he told us we couldn't go without seeing the old town, so off we trooped in the taxi (costing 5000 peso - I think about US$2). I'm really pleased we went. There are very few cars inside the wall, but lots of horse drawn carriages. Given that the kids had just been on a boat for 7 days straight, we treated them to a little horse drawn carriage tour of the city. A beautiful beautiful place. I could have stayed for hours longer soaking in the atmosphere had Lochy not been hankering to get back to the boat and if I didn't have a banging headache. Unfortunately my camera batteries died as we arrived, so didn't get many shots. However, many beautiful buildings with arches, balconies, shutters, loads of statues everywhere (traditional and modern) and musicians, may favourite being the lone trumpeter making the most of the acoustics in the city square.
Oh, I almost forgot, just in case people were wondering about the scantily dressed men on the tower on my facebook page, the local yacht club were taking photos for their 2012 calendar - couldn't resist snapping 'January!!'

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05/17/2011 | Katya
What a beautiful photo. Architectural heaven. Enjoy so much seeing all your photos and blogs - a lovely distraction x
Change of plan

14 May 2011
Change of plan
In case you were wondering how we fill our time whilst sailing, I thought I'd let you know a few things I think about and do whilst at sea (can't speak for the others!) Whilst on watch, I spend a lot of time looking out to the sea. Looking for other ships, obviously, but also, it's amazing what little things can catch your eye and make you smile. Like a huge shoal of flying fish. Or a butterfly. Or just the light on the sea, depending on the time of day. I don't want to wax lyrical now, but it is nice to have time just to appreciate the moment. And then, when I'm tired of that, I make some bread. Now, I don't want to blow my own trumpet, but toot toot on the bread making front! Loaf after light fluffy loaf on a daily basis. I think I have actually turned into Delia Smith on this trip. I even made some TVP (textured vegetable protein) taste good, in the absence of catching any fish! We've also all been reading a lot; I've got about 6 books on the go at the mo; War and Peace (will I EVER get through it, and why am I trying to in the first place?!) Birds without wings, a bookswap book about Turkey that I am thoroughly enjoying and I reward myself with if I get through a chapter of W and P., a book on navigation, a book on Panama, and one on the Pacific, and then Lochy sometimes lets me read his 5th Harry Potter book with him - The Order of the Phoenix.
Oh, as I was saying, a change of plan. As there has been NO wind again today and we have had the engines on for ages, we are stopping off at Cartegena (Columbia) to re-fuel and depending on whether we have to pay for a cruising permit, maybe spend the day there. We've had to slow down so we don't arrive at night, but should be there at first light. And I haven't even told you about the hour we spent dodging logs last night and the hour of dolphin action....I hope I'm going to have some comments on my blog by the time I arrive tomorrow, otherwise, I'll be mortally offended! Current post: 10.53.37N 75.27.70W

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05/15/2011 | Lucia, Werner, Nina and Lucas
You always should have a plan to be able to change it. We have been very slow going south down the coast of Brazil and hiding from the south wind. We keep having fun reading your blog, keep blogging!
Love form the Kleiner Bears
05/15/2011 | Mel from Samba
Hello Hello! Sounds like your plans change about as often, if not more than ours! Will be interested to see what you have to say about Columbia - are you at Santa Marta or Cartegena? We are thinking of stopping off there
05/15/2011 | Helen
Great as always to hear your journey and lovely to know what you do whilst sailing from place to place, other than the obvious. Take care and looking forward to next instalment
05/15/2011 | rose marie crolla
hi seems like you have had a great time ,island hopping we'e been keenly watching. seems like the jackson cops are aboard (Change Of Plans). never does to be to ridged. lots of love to you all rose marie and gang xx
Wind wind where are you?

13 May 2011

No wind at all today. Engines running all day, one at a time to save fuel. Despite the sea looking more like a lake than the sea, none of us were inclined to jump in, Lochy having spotted another Portuguese man of war today. Instead, Whit, Lochy and Mia had another water fight on the trampoline. We've had lots of dragonfly visitors today, Whit having to wrestle about 10 out of the saloon on his night watch. One of them drowned itself in the cockpit drain, so the kids dried it off and then drew it, its appearance nicely coinciding with the insect page in their science book. Six legs tick, three body parts tick. We can see the coast of Columbia at the moment (a lighthouse in the distance.) Having thought we would be in the San Blas islands in a couple of days, we had an all time low daily log of 98nms in 24 hours, whereas our previous average was 120-140nms a day. I'm not sure if the AIS would be picking us up at the moment anyway, but just in case you were wondering why you couldn't see us, it's because our aerial isn't working at the range it has in the past, and I suspect it has something to do with me being up the mast and pulling on wires shortly before we left Grenada. Another thing to put on the list once in Panama. Current posn: 11.37.84N 74.23.45.W

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A couple of visitors

12 May 2011

Can't believe that the wind completely died for a few hours today and we even had to put the engines on for a wee while. Glad to report, it has come back again, but only about 16 knots - perfect for spinnekars, if only we had one! However, never a dull moment on Pegasus. Mark and I spotted a strange looking creature - bright pink/purple with an inflatable 'sail.' We didn't know what it was, but as the engines were running at the time, we turned the boat round to follow it. Lochy recognised it as a Portuguese man of war, having seen a picture on the front of the 'toxic and venomous marine life of the world' book. Then, after his visit, we got another visit, this time a low fly-by from the Columbian Coastguard, not once, not twice, but four times. Mark tried to hail them on the radio, but they didn't reply. Just now, as Whit was bringing in the lure (he has this strange idea that garlic on the lure will catch more fish) at the end of the day, a little fish almost as big as the lure itself jumped on his line. He was very cute, so we rescued him and put him back where he belonged. Whit is now claiming his garlic lure does work, however, I'm after a slightly bigger variety for the pan. Oh, and we've put the clocks back another hour, as Whit was complaining he didn't get to see the sunrise on his shift anymore! Current position: 12.34.10N 72.53.59W

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The fish that got away

Hmm, after yesterday's blog saying how Mark wouldn't like to re-stitch the spinnekar, we are very sad to report the loss of our beloved spinnekar for a second time. She ripped in a completely different place and under light conditions, so we think she was just tired and old. We don't regret the past four days we've had with her as the sailing's been great fun and we'll miss her bright colours and beautiful looks. Sniff. We're just about half way to our destination that we have decided will be the San Blas islands. We've been reading about them and they look too good to miss. I have a sneaky feeling that if we were to go straight to Panama, we might not be inclined to go back the way we came to visit them, and apparently the immigration people are much nicer there than in Colon. So, we have about 3-4 days sail left on this leg of our trip. Mia's been like a little barometer and picked up on the fact that the swell was coming form a different direction, so has been feeling a little sick today, but at least the trip will be shorter than we originally thought (fingers crossed!)
We put out the lure today as we are down to our last bits of fresh meat, a couple of hours later the reel went whizzing, but before Whit or I could get to it, the line had snapped, so obviously a biggy; we saw some big fish jumping right out of the water just a bit later, just before another dolphin show. It's getting darker later and so soon we will put our clocks back by another hour to be in time with Panama. Now that it's dark, we'll reef down and change direction as we go round the corner, changing from a westerly to a south westerly direction. Current position: 13.00.47N 70.51.69W

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Jackson Four on Tour
Who: Mark, Catherine, Mia and Lachlan
Port: Lefkas, Greece
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