Happy New Year from Colombia!
01 January 2010 | Bahia de Chalon, Colombia
"I'm going to lose weight, stop smoking, and spend more quality time with the kids." Every year, Rick announces the same three New Year's Resolutions. He cracks me up.
It's New Year's Day. We're anchored in Bahia de Cholon, a beautiful, quiet, mangrove-lined bay on the Caribbean coast of Colombia. It's so tranquil here, though we are only about 15 miles down the coast from the hustle and bustle of Cartagena. We're fully provisioned, have completed our many boat projects, and are ready to spend the next 4-6 months in very remote places. We're waiting for a good weather window to sail to the San Blas Islands of Panama.
New Year's Day is a good time to reflect on the highlights of the past year. Our eighth year on the boat was full of delightful adventure, new experiences, and plenty of challenges. We logged about 1250 nautical miles since leaving the ABC Islands in November 08, sailing from Curacao to Cartagena, then to the San Blas, and back to Cartagena.
We fell in love with Colombia....the Latin music, the rich culture, and the friendly people. The old walled city, El Centro Historico, was magical, just exploding with history and charm. We loved to walk the streets in the evenings, delighting in the old Colonial architecture, the flower-laden balconies, and narrow cobblestone streets. It was not unusual to hear a band playing traditional Colombian music on the corner, with an accordion, a local flute, a clarinet, and some drums. And maybe a dance troupe, asking for tips from the Colombian tourists, as they dance their traditional Afro-Colombiano folk dances in the public squares.
We were captivated by the natural beauty of the islands of the San Blas archipelago, along the Caribbean coast of Panama. We anchored alone off many a deserted, palm-fringed island. We explored miles and miles of coral reef. And we got to meet the indigenous Kuna Indians, the only inhabitants of the San Blas, who live as they have always lived, primatively, in near isolation. What a treat to visit their villages, and learn about their lifestyle and culture. A really special treat, as the only visitors the Kunas are likely to meet are cruisers like ourselves.
We also enjoyed a wonderful visit with family and friends in California last summer...lots of love and laughter.
We hope this next year brings everyone lots of love and laughter, good heath and hope, and some adventure....
Nuevo ano feliz!!!!!