Cartagena to Isla Fuerte
12 March 2008 | Isla Fuerte
We got up at 05:30 to get the boat ready for an 80 something mile run to Isla Fuerte off of the south coast of Colombia. We wanted to go out the south Cartagena entrance, Boca Chica, so that we could see all of the forts built throughout the harbor.
I have never seen more forts built around a single area. The Boca Chica pass has a good sized fort on both the north and south point. Many of the forts and walls have been painfully restored making them that much more impressive.
We were told to check in with the Coast Guard and the harbor master on the way out. We hailed the Coast Guard a few times but received no response. The harbor master answered right away and was very friendly. After being cleared to exit we passed several cargo ships and left a large cruise ship to starboard at the sea buoy on the way out.
The sail to Fuerte was fairly eventless. It was great having Margaret and Em aboard to help crew the boat. Em was in good practice and Margaret is just a great sailor. Unfortunately I made everyone lattes on the way through the harbor and somehow all of the girls (and Roq as well) went to sleep shortly after finishing them. Maybe I shouldn't be using the Venezuelan beans in Colombian waters, I don't know.
We got in to Isla Fuerte just before 17:00. The approach was easy. A boat boy tried to intercept us but he didn't speak English and we ended up trying to ignore him although it was almost impossible. I was having unpleasant flash backs of Saint Lucia. I gave him a beer anyway but he didn't seem thankful.
Fuerte is fairly well populated and is a tourist destination of sorts. The anchorage is a small bay on the south side of the island protected from the west through the north, north being the direction the wind generally blows from in this neck of the woods. There are exposed rocks on the west side. The east side seems to provide a clear passage into and out of the anchorage and we saw no hazards clear of the rocks and shoal to the west.
There were three other boats in the anchorage enjoying themselves ashore, where we hear there are restaurants and bars. We had another long day tomorrow with nearly 90 miles still to go to the San Blas, so we enjoyed dinner on the boat and hit the sack early.