Stuck in Paradise
16 March 2012 | West Lemon Cays, San Blas Islands
I guess being stuck in paradise shouldn’t be so bad, but we’ve been here about 2 months now, and it is time to move on. We thought it was just the weather that was keeping us here since there has been nothing but 25-30 knot winds and 10-12 foot seas along the Columbia coast for the last month or so. But it turns out we also have some engine problems. Our starter is acting up and when we tried to get it going yesterday it wouldn’t turn the engine over. After 4 hours of trying many things which included trying to hand crank it, we gave it one more try with the starter button and away it went. A sweeter sound was never heard! At the time we were in a fairly secluded anchorage where getting anything fixed would have been very difficult. While I tried to control my panic, John worked away at fixing it. We are now in a place where we have an internet connection on shore and access to the mainland. It still won’t be easy to solve the problem, but it is possible.
When we do get out of here, the plan is to head for Cartagena, Columbia which is due east, and will be about a 36 hours passage. It will be our first overnight passage this year. We have gotten lazy! Cartagena will be quite a contrast to the San Blas Islands. We will be leaving behind these beautiful tropical islands many of them uninhabited with crystal clear water and lots of good snorkeling. Of course, we have the conveniences of the city to look forward to, and from everything we read and hear from other cruisers it is a beautiful place. The anchorage is right in the heart of the old city which is a world heritage site and they say the crown jewel of Columbia. Tourism is important here so the police keep the streets safe and walking all over the city is not a problem. After 2 months of seeing no cars, and only walking on sand and dirt packed streets in small villages it will be an adjustment. I do look forward to having large stores to shop in again even though I have gotten pretty good at finding useful items in the one room Kuna hut stores, and buying our fresh food from the vege boat when we are lucky enough to be in an anchorage when they come around.
So we have lots to look forward to, but you can’t be too sure of anything going as planned in this cruising life. We are hearing hopeful weather reports now and the hope is that March in the Caribbean will follow the saying “In Like a Lion, Out Like a Lamb”. That said, there is a possibility we may have to change our plans and miss Cartagena if the engine or weather delay is too long. We will keep you posted as to when we make our next move, and hope to hear news from home too.