15/3-16 13:00 we sailed out of the harbour in Oranjestad heading for Cartagena in Colombia. For a while we were in close distant with a catamaran, Chagi, After hearing from them that they caught a tuna we unfortunately lost contact with them. We sail outside the 2000m depth curve after advice of Karsten in Panama. Close to shore it can be risk for very unstable high winds and tall waves Anyway the swells were high and the wind had a maximum TWS 32,3 knots. We started with one reef in the main and before second night we took another reef. Later on we dropped the main and sailed with jib alone.
We took the inlet to Cartagena Bay with the under water deafens barrier, because it was daylight and hardly any swells, and very good market with red starboard mark and green port mark (IALA-B is used here). 2 days 21 hour 22 min 400 NM. We had some problem getting in contact with the harbour but once we had they were grate here at Marina de Pesco. The harbour is the harbour closest to the old city and off cause not cheap. We had an urgent need for “agua” because our watermaker did not work so happy to be here for five days. As the only foreign boat here we have a lot to look at. Too every boat here there are connected one or more boat boys/men. They wash, repairer, service etc. The sometimes sail with the owners to help them in and out of harbour with the mooring lines etc.
What meet your eye first when sailing into Cartagena Bay is all the skyscapes on the peninsula facing the Caribbean sea. The old city, with the fine city wall, is not far away thought and we have gotten accustom with it. Today, after the weekend and holiday for St Joseph on Monday, we finally could visit the electro mechanic shops and reaching the fifth we had the capacitor we needed to the watermaker. Luckily it made the motor work so now we can make water again. Thanks to Manfred our agent for the addresses. Here you have to have an agent to help you with clearance in and out. Now it is time for a delicious local fast food. Tomorrow afternoon we are heading for San Blas archipelagos at the east coast of Panama.
In the morning the 8/3-16 we took the 6A wifi bus to Punda to clear out of Curacao and also take the dingy to a nearby harbour to get gasoline for the dinghy. After a swim and a quick shower we were of to Aruba 16:30. We had an average of 15 knots of wind and sailed 5-6 knot during the night with one reef in main and the jib. We arrived to early to Oranjestad and had to wait outside until the fifth cruise ship had docked in there. The customs and immigration came driving out to the pier with forms to fill in and customs boarded Alexandra for inspection. The latter we never experienced before. On the anchorage outside Oranjestad we were us and a large schooner with the dutch flag. The latter stayed for a couple of days and then we were alone again until the British SY Moonraker arrived from Curacao. We had most enjoyable sundowner with them before they sailed of for San Blas. Thanks for the water Chris! We had to wait until we had a good weather window to Cartagena, Colombia. Aruba was a strange place with lots of jeweller stores and designer clothes stores. They had no reef and the water was not so clear as in Bonaire. The tourists were sailed out in small speedboats to a little island with huts with palm leaf roof. We did not enjoy there passing us at anchor, making big waves. Radio-shack had not the specific capacitor we needed. The check out were the same procedure as the check in so Lars backed in so we only have black marks on star-board side.
On the 28/2-16, after clearing out with customs and immigration in Bonaire, we sailed of to to Curacao and to the anchorage bays in Spanish Water, were we arrived before dark 17:00. Jesper advised us to lay anchor in the A sector and told us were to find custom and immigration and most important were do the bus depart to town. Willemstad is divided in 2 parts Punda (customs) and Otrobanda (immigration and harbour authorities for cruising permit 10$). The two parts are connected by the pontoon bridge “Queen Emma” for pedestrian and Queen Juliana Bridge for cars. In Otrobanda we visited Kura Hulanda Museum and an interesting part that dealt with the slave period. It was not nice to see or hear about but that period is important to know about. There were some beautiful sculptures, al picturing black people in front of the museum and in a sculpture garden, not taken care of so good, unfortunately. During the stay here I had a plan to get all laundry washed, but suddenly the water-maker stopped to work. After we had checked, rinsed or shifted filters it still didn’t work. Lars think that it could be the capacitor, on the electric motor for the high pressure pump, that is faulty. Hopefully we can get a new one in Cartagena. Thanks for advice from Willem and Hans. In Spanish water we had no contact with other sailor except two Swedish boats, Kairos and Alma, that arrived in the end of our stay there. Hope to see them later on.