Thursday, July 19, 2012

Rovers Return

  Cartagena, Columbia

The Fruit Lady
Old Town Cartagena

The 200 mile  plus crossing from San Blas Islands, Panama, to Cartagena was a real endurance test. Two days and two nights of 8 to 10 foot waves, hobby-horsing across the Caribbean, casually referred to as 'the washing machine' effect…..or, ' where's the barf bag?' We did in fact make excellent speed at times,
averaging six and seven knots for the first 12 hours, with good downwind sailing at times, and almost no rain to speak of. Later on progress was reduced to a crawl when the wind turned East and we stalled out regularly crashing onto  the big seas right on the nose.
Such memories are short lived, however, and after arriving at Boca-Grande Harbour, Cartagena, we
promptly forgot our ordeal, and took in the magnificent view before us. Established in the 1500's, the
city is protected by three ancient forts and includes the old walled city of narrow streets and majestic
domed cathedrals. Nearby is the long strand of skyscrapers and beaches of Boca Grande that denote the modern,buzzing, city. Quite a spectacle, especially from the deck of Chantey at sunset, as all the lights
illuminate the scene.

Don Blas- The Pride of Cartagena
The story goes that in Cartagena's colourful past, a young officer, Don Blas de Lezo of Spain, joined
the king's service and had the misfortune to lose a leg at Gibralter at only 16 years of age. He was
soon to lose his right eye at the battle for Tolon, and then his right arm at the Battle of Barcelona!
Not one to be easily discouraged, Don Blas then volunteered to lead the fight to defend Cartagena from invasion by the British in 1740. Against incredible odds, Blas, (or what was left of him), managed to whip the Brits and went on to liberate the city. To this day Don Blas' indomitable spirit is the pride of Cartagena. What a guy!

Club Nautico Anchorage

Well all good things must end, and so must this chapter of the adventures of Chantey V. At least for the 3 months while we take a break from cruising to visit with family and friends. So much has happened along the way......the Three Amigos became The Two Amigos when First Mate Georgie had to be packed off home due to the hot weather. We avoided a near-grounding at the entrance to Mazatlan Harbour when we realized the channel had not been dredged and we had to reverse off a sandy bottom in 5 feet of water! We dunked the dinghy one night at Catalina Island with Colin and Dora aboard and had to retrieve our outboard motor and bring it in for de-watering repairs at Newport Beach. We made a spectacular surf ride into El Salvador only to  narrowly avoid a massive bee infestation.  When the queen and her hive eventually chose Bravo,  the boat next door and swarmed, driving the owners, Cindy and Adam ashore. A freak storm with gusts up to seventy knots hit Bahia del Sol two days after we departed , damaging many of the boats in the bay, one terminally. We made Daragh's dream a reality and crossed the Panama Canal into the Atlantic Ocean. Oh yes, and we got married in Puerto Vallarta along the way, making this the longest honeymoon ever, and we're still together!  Stay tuned for future adventures of the Owl and the Pussycat, Daragh and Cathy, sans puppy dog, when we return to Colombia for the long trip homeward via Belize, Cuba,the Bahamas and the good old U.S.A. Until then we bid you fair winds and following seas .
Chantey at Rest

The Crew of Chantey

There are places in my past,
fading faces in a waking dream.
But though they never seem to last very long,
there are faces I remember ,
from the places in my past.

I said, Oh the deadhead miles,
and the insincere smiles,
sometimes I can laugh and cry,
and I can't remember why.
But I still love those
good times gone by.
Hold on to them close or let them go,
I don't know, but I just seem to sing these songs
and say I'm sorry for the friends I used to know.

James Taylor  


  1. Hi Cathryn and Daragh,
    Have been following you two on your blog all the way. What a terrific adventure you've had. I'm looking forward to catching up with you in person at some point when you are back.

    Cheers Sig...

    1. Hi Sig,
      It has been an an amazing trip but we are really looking forward to the break and seeing everyone back home next week!

  2. What an amazing trip you have had, we have also been reading your blog along the way and wish you both a safe journey home. Hope to see you sometime soon, and of course meet Cathryn.

    Tom and Mary

    1. Trip home underway - stopped over in Naples, Florida and will be back in Victoria until late October. Be great to get together soon!

  3. Hi Cathy:

    Great to read your blog and you seem to have had a fantastic experience, one to remember for ever. Too bad you had to send your pooch home. Still playing tennis and look forward to seeing you and hearing about your adventures and perhaps get in a game of tennis.


  4. Wonderful to catch up on your blog after some busy times working on Wyndspree and holidaying with family. It will be a treat to see you two when you get back.

    Happy Sails -Al

  5. Hi Al,
    We are back in little old Victoria after a great adventure. It will be good to see you, too! Perhaps at the BCA get-together on the 18th if not before. C and D

  6. Hi D & C: Sorry it took so long to respond to your post. Gaye and I are available on weekends till Oct. 5th when we head for Montreal. Sept. 29th-30th would work well for us. Are you available then? We could do a bar-BQ here or meet some where. What works.