15/01/2007 - 07/02/2007 «« page 1/4 »»
1. day - 15/01/2007 - Monday
Perhaps the preparations were longer than we first thought of the next part of the journey. It is because I have been on the sick list for a couple of days, and there were lot to do on Rotor too. There were more fireworks around us at New Year’s Eve. The fireworks were kept going in the new year for 2-3 days if one could not enjoy it due to the drunkenness of these days.
Truly, our ropes started to be covered by seashells and moss. Not an easy job to clean them. Geza found that some of our navigation lights are out so had to climb the mast pole again. The tricolor light was completely destroyed by the strong tropical sun. It has served the Rotor since 1979. We had to refill the petroleum lamp and also one of our fuel tanks was destroyed again due to the strong sunshine.
I also mentioned some problems around the bowden of the motor, for now we have already fixed it, however we still have to check the batteries before we start the engines.
Geza was again repairing the wind vane for couple of days. He had to fix the broken tiller.
Unfortunately, we lost some good pictures about Cartagena as our camera was also out of work. It is sad, but we will replace them with some new ones..
2. day - 16/01/2007 - Tuesday
In Club Nautico the life goes on and it is very interesting. Every Sunday there is barbeque and domino party. We had the chance to meet more interesting people here. Also there are yoga and salsa classes every week.
We also try to keep our fitness conditions by doing exercises at the local Bodytech gym and jogging. We get on well with the Spanish language. We practice 1-2 hours a day with our CDs. However, more people speaks here English in the city than in Venezuela.
The Christmas Trade Wind has also arrived (it blows until the end of March). We can hear the strong wind as it makes some natural music on our rigging. We could see also some sailing vessels turning back from San Blas due to the strong wind.
Our neighbour in the marine has turned back because they were hit by a huge freighter. They have lost their mast but at least the hull of the sailing vessel remained unharmed.
We could not find any phone box on the streets of Cartagena. Therefore locals sometimes live on lending their own cell phones. It is around 300 pesos (approx 0.2 NZD) per minutes..
3. day - 17/01/2007 - WednesdayAs we mentioned, Cartagena is a beautiful city with a big wall around the old city (therefore it is called the Walled City), which was fortified by the Spanish as this town had an important role in the 16th through 18th Century.
We made a trip around the wall, which is approx. 8 miles and visited the Navy Museum, where we could also see the details of the town history. During our trip it was interesting to see what is happening on the two sides of the wall: a bus window is cleaned, a seller sales, the rush hour is just starting, a man with a kite jumps around 8 meters high above the sea etc.
Our trip ended with a beautiful sunset.
4. day - 18/01/2007 - ThursdayIt is not only the city, which is worth to see. One of our cruising buddies organised a tour to a volcano (maybe called Tortuva or some like that), where you are welcomed to swim in the mud of the volcano. We took part in this tour too.
When we arrived we were surprised that the volcano is only around 21-22 meters high. There is a steep stair on it, where you can climb up and jump into the mud of the crater. There is a masseur who covers you fully with the mud. The mud comes up from very deep below the surface, however it is surprising that you are not able to sink in it, as it is very thick (buoyancy). We were floating on its surface. Whenever you have already finished there are only the giggling and the careful hands of the locals who clean you with the water of the nearby swamp. You have to tip them for that. We stopped at a local restaurant on the way towards the marina to cool down ourselves after the tour.
5. day - 19/01/2007 - FridayWe have not written about actually, why we are still in Cartagena and not on the way towards Panama as we originally planned it. A few days ago I was reading in the fore cabin when I heard a big bang from the backside of the boat and then something was whistling. The sound was scary so I first thought someone hit our boat and now we are leaking at the back cabin. When I ran out I saw our life raft was inflated. Our Danish neighbour was just coming out for the noise too, so I left with him the life raft in the sea until I caught Geza from the net café.
When we came back we pulled out the partly flatten life raft from the water. The life raft was activated by itself, it broke out its plastic box then its steel frames (23 millimetres steel tubes) which were holding the whole box. Nobody hurt, but unfortunately the broken tubes cut the life raft out. The manufacturer offered its help for us and he told us we could ask for fixing and repacking it in Cartagena. Currently our life raft is at a life raft service station in Cartagena who has already fixed the holes on it and they are testing it for a couple of days, whether it is safely usable in the future. We had to replace couple of things in it such as the rockets and water because anyway they will mature soon. If the life raft is ready to leave we will continue our journey towards Panama. Until this time we develop our cooking techniques based on the receipts of our parents and grandparents.
Our Danish neighbour told us a story about his Pacific Ocean cross. He used to have a racing vessel, which was very weakly built. The vessel lost its keel between Fiji and Tonga so he spent 3 days in a life raft until he was rescued from it. So the life raft saved his life in the open ocean. He bought another used sailing boat again and he restarted his journey.
In the evening we were invited to a catamaran, called, Lady Jane III under Irish flag. Jim and Jane, the owners of the catamaran, were built their own vessel by themselves on their Irish boat yard for 6 years. They showed us around on board. The catamaran looks huge with its 7 meters width comparing the 3.2 meters width of Rotor. We had a pleasant evening in a beautiful sunset with them in the evening.
6. day - 20/01/2007 - Saturday
We have written about how beautiful the city is. This time we decided to share some pictures about it (beach and the old city).
We were told at the life raft service station that the life raft probably would be ready by Tuesday. Now we prepare Rotor for ready to leave. If everything goes well we can continue our journey on Wednesday, so we are going to check the weather forecast and other things. I started to be very excited..
7. day - 21/01/2007 - Sunday
There are only one or two things to prepare Rotor to be ready for the next journey towards Panama.
This time we invited Jane and Jim from Lady Jane III to board in the evening. There was a lovely chatting with them and Jim showed us also his very good skills in playing on Geza’s guitar and Jane was singing. Geza learned couple of things from him and they encouraged us to practice (playing and singing).
We made a fruit bred based on the receipt of Geza’s grandmother with a Hungarian food this evening. We baked the fruit bred a bit too long, but we need experience how to use the oven of Rotor (we used it only a couple of times).
I was very satisfied with my new baking utensil made of silicon. You do not have to butter it or use baking paper and nothing sticks to it. It takes up the cookies shape and stands 300 degrees and cannot be corroded. We can easily bake now on board..
8. day - 22/01/2007 - Monday
In the morning I woke up for a staggering incident. Our neighbour wanted to leave by his boat and asked Geza to help in handling the boat ropes. The captain discussed who does what with his crew, when Geza asked me to come out and help, as the leaving did not seem very easy, and the captain could not decide how to do it. This should have been a very easy manoeuvre. They should have left the mooring strait back behind, turn the boat towards the entrance of the harbour and just leave.
It went well until we kept the ropes then gave them back on board. However, instead of turning towards the entrance, the boat was adjusting itself left and right, meanwhile the wind blew them towards the other boats in the harbour. When they recognised it they could not turn out from the harbour just hardly in. So they did that. From here they should have gone again backward strait out from the harbour. The captain could be very nervous by that time, so he decided to speed up the boat and go backwards. But the speed was too much and he could not see what was behind and he was coming backward towards our fore with full throttle. We were shouting to him to look behind, so he adjusted a little and luckily he just hit our anchor chain. But unfortunately stuck on it with its rudder. Geza started the engines of Rotor in case the anchor chain would brake. They wanted to get rid of our anchor chain by going back and forward but instead of doing it they dragged our boat from the pier. Our back ropes were tearing when they recognised it and stopped their engines. We were keeping away with Geza their boats from Rotor during a diver was trying to release their boat from our chain.
Finally there was not any damage on Rotor only one or two ropes.
We called the life raft service station whether the life raft would be ready by Tuesday. They confirmed the Tuesday. We called Manfred the agent that we would like to check out from Colombia.
9. day - 23/01/2007 - Tuesday
English translation is missing, sorry....
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