Cartegena to San Blas
26 October 2010 | San Blas
CARTEGENA TO SAN BLAS
We left Cartegena on the 11th September bound for Cholon. After entering through a narrow, shallow entrance we found that the anchorage was large, protected and quite lovely. It wasn't too long before the boat vendors started coming by with jewellery, lobster and fish and seldom take no for an answer. In all fairness though, once you accepted something they kind of left you alone.
Happy hour was on an old shrimping boat called "Manatee". Getting on board was up a ladder on the side of the boat, climb over the side ( no ladylike moves in this exercise ) onto the big deck where we all gathered with other cruisers in the anchorage bringing our books for exchange at the same time.
The water here was cleaner than Cartegena but still not good enough for snorkeling but we took some walks through old plantations and explored . A trip in the dinghy to Baru, the closest village, took us through narrow channels in the mangroves which was quite spectacular. Naturally we have to find a store that has cold refreshments and then wandered the dirt roads between the homes and did some people watching. We spent a week here waiting for our friend Carolina who had gone to Bogota to do some business. On her return we had a birthday celebration for her eldest son, Xavier, who turned 16. We had a braai and plenty of Aguadente. Good stuff!
We left Cholon on the 19th September for the island of Rosario ( still Columbian waters ), a short trip and anchored on the south side. Minor mishap on the rocks when entering but went onto anchor only to be told this was not a safe anchorage overnight if bad weather came so.... up anchor off to the north side which turned out to be a far better anchorage. Lovely clear water. Bought lobster which were bigger than what we had seen in Cholon. Had a good night and the next day walked across the island to visit the bird park. Entry was free as this is the pet project of a gentleman who funds this himself and whose aim is to have every species of bird in his park. This was truly amazing and his collection at this point is unbelievable. We spent a few hours here. The place is obviously very well organized with a kitchen for the different meals required by the different species and a medical room to treat sick birds. A very interesting outing and highly recommended for anyone visiting Rosario.
21st September we set off for the San Blas, destination Coco Banderos Cays, 181nm. The weather was good, seas flat but that generally means little wind and so motored most of the way. After 2 nights out we were in sight of the islands and very excited to see the island paradise much talked about.
Vossie caught a big tuna and called ahead to friends we had met in Curacao who were already in anchorage, telling them to have the BBQ fire on the island ready to go as there was going to be a fish braai. Even after all the boats in the anchorage shared this fish we still had plenty left over to turn into fish cakes!