13 December 2014 - Farewell to Colombia
We are ready to leave, and Jonathan just arrived this morning.
He’ll be with us until he flies out of Panama on 1 January. So, we have some sailing to do! We haven’t decided yet on what stops we’ll make, but our route will have us sailing out of Santa Marta SW past the Rosario Islands (maybe anchoring) near Cartagena, and then SW more towards the well-known San Blas islands and then on to our final destination at Portobello Panama. We’ve got a 16 day window of time before Jonathan has to catch his flight, but you never know what the weather will be like. At the moment, the wind is from the SW, and we’ll probably have to wait two days for it to revert to the normal trade-winds, from the NE.
In the meantime, I thought I’d bring to closure two boat jobs. First, I’m happy to announce that the long-awaited “replacement of the rusty transom doors” project is now complete. A local contractor (Daniel Castellanos Valencia, 310-6503550) made two new fiberglass doors for me. At a cost of less than $ 900US, these doors are only a fraction of the weight of the previous doors. I reused the door closure/locking mechanism, but did buy new hinges. After cutting away the old rusted doors and hinge material, I had quite a bit of underlying rust that had to be painted with phosphoric acid, epoxy, fairing and polyurethane paint. I’m pleased with the result and very satisfied that it is finally done. We even put on new vinyl letters and that was a bit of a challenge to get them all lined up.
The next project came as a bit of a surprise to us. We bought a new ZODIAC hypalon dinghy while in St Lucia three years ago. Aside from the other shortcomings that I’ve already noted with this dinghy, we now discovered that the plastic paddles attached to the ends of the rowing oars - are completely disintegrating in the sun.
We used to own an AB dinghy and they are manufactured in Barranquilla Colombia - about two hours drive from Santa Marta. I contacted AB on the Internet, and ordered replacement AB paddles (a pair). The cost, including delivery to us at the dock was about $ 50US. The new paddles are a different plastic to what Zodiac had used, a black slippery plastic that we suspect will not disintegrate in the sun. Kudos to AB for making a better product, and one that integrated well with our Zodiac dinghy. Here is a photo showing the old and the new oars, as well as the finished product enveloped in a (Diane fabricated) sun cover - so it will definitely stand up to the tropical sun.
If the weather is right, we’ll be casting off Monday or Tuesday, bound for the San Blas Islands and eventually Portobello Panama. We just paid three local entrepreneurs to scrape the hull bottom (250,000 COP or about $ 125US), so I’d say, we’re ready to go.
To see previous log entries, just use the tab at the top.
SV Joana is listed for sale at this site (in case you're wondering why, we're not planning to give up the cruising lifestyle or our home, but most things are for sale and since we've met many cruisers who have listed their boat, we figured we'd do it too).
Countries Visited: (Departed Canada: May 2009)
Antigua: May 2011
Bermuda: June - August 2009
Bonaire: February - April 2014
Bahamas: December 2009 - March 2010, December 2010 - February 2011
Barbados: March 2012
British Virgin Islands: May 2011
Colombia: Oct 2014 -
Cuba: March - May 2010
Curaçao: May 2014 - September 2014
Dominica: May 2011, April 2013
Dominican Republic: March - April 2011
Grenada: June-November 2011
Guadeloupe: March 2013
Martinique: March 2012, March 2013
Puerto Rico: April 2011
St Lucia: May-June 2011, December 2011 - February 2012, December 2012 - February 2013
St Martin /Netherlands Antilles: May 2011
St Vincent and the Grenadines: June 2011, February 2012, December 2012, April-May 2013
Tobago: March-May 2012
Trinidad: May - December 2012, June - November 2013
USA: August - November 2009, June - November 2010
US Virgin Islands: May 2011
Venezuela: November 2013 - February 2014