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Little Green Boat
Spruce will soon be leaving New Zealand. We have had a wonderful time since arriving in October 2013 after sailing across the Pacific Ocean. In 2014 we shall visit Fiji, Vanu-Atu, New Caledonia and on to Australia.
09/Aug/2012

...Various people struggled to push her free and finally succeeded with the help of a Coastguard launch towing furiously astern...


News & Updates
09/Aug/2012

... and 2 hours later the thunder head moves on to the north into the Caribbean Sea and calm returns to the bay.

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Massive Castle.
Andy & Sue
09/Aug/2012, Castillo San Felipe - Cartagena - Colombia

Standing sentinel over the old city of Cartagena sits Castillo San Felipe. This massive edifice started building in 1657 as part of a large scale improvement i of the city defences. Possibly the folklore of the citizens was still full of tales of pirate attacks and the destruction waged by Francis Drake less than 100 years earlier when he ransomed the city following a successful campaign. The military works were evidently sufficient; a major attack by Admiral Vernon in the eighteenth century failed miserably. Some 50 warships supported by a further 130 transports and support vessels attempted to take Cartagena, after this failure Admira Vernon returned to Britain to enter Parliament.

It seems so strange as we have traveled the Caribbean, US and Canada to see how much affected these distant lands have been by European conquest and politics over the past 500 years.

News & Updates
09/Aug/2012

...and Sue sizes up the massive Colombian National Flag billowing in the breeze...

News & Updates
09/Aug/2012

... another view of the huge walls.

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Ancient Bling
Andy & Sue
08/Aug/2012, Museo d'Oro - Cartagena - Colombia

Spanish treasure ships, pieces of eight, Drake, Hawkins and El Dorado. Names and memories from history lessons at school still rumble around in the depths of memory, to pop forth when triggered. The truth of the systematic rape and pillage of Central and South American culture and society was not fully apparent to us until we saw some of the fine workmanship executed more than 500 years before the Spanish Conquistadors strode out upon these shores.

A highly sophisticate series of civillisations inhabited the deltas, river valleys and high lands of what is now Colombia. Gold was relatively abundant in the rocks and washed down in river sediments towards the sea. Easily worked and alloyed with copper for simple tools the metal was widely used. European explorers and colonisers found rich pickings throughout the continent. Beautiful artifacts must have been destroyed by the cart load for the bullion value of the gold within and shipped back to the Iberian Peninsula; some being captured by vessel from hostile nations or pirates.

A sad history of occupation, destruction and, more recently, grave robbery on a colosal scale. Some of the wonderful pieces of ornament, jewellery and other objects have survived, a number are displayed in the Museo d'Oro in Cartagena and more can be seen, we are told, in Bogota.

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