Adios Cartagena

December 25, 2008

Club de Pesca
Cartagena, Colombia
10º24.937´ N  75º32.718´W
Christmas Day

“Go very light on the vices, such as carrying on in society. The social ramble ain’t restful.”
Satchel Paige

Boy, is that ever true. We haven’t been this active socially since we were communists.

We’re still here at the fabulous Club de Pesca, where it’s been an endless series of parties, drinks, dinners, restaurants, etc. since we got here. Luckily, Colombia is not very expensive, and we still have some energy left over from our youths.

There are several cruising boats here, plus many friendly Colombian boaters, all conspiring to create an ongoing floating party. Plus, the Club and it’s members are extraordinarily friendly (as are most Colombians), so we’re included in many of the Club’s social events. The best was the recent annual regatta. It was part fishing tournement, part sailing races, and endless parties. I was crew (tripulante) on an English friend’s boat.  As crew, Phyllis and I were invited to all the events of the regatta (3 breakfasts, 3 dinners, free drinks, other events). The last day’s race was the “Admiral’s Cup”, named that because each entry had a real Colombian admiral as crew. We took secundo (second) in that race. What a trip! We screamed across the finish, turned hard right, and then paraded by the “Gloria”, the Colombian cadet tall ship. All the cadets and officers aboard “Gloria”, in dress whites, snapped to attention, pipes were sounded, and they saluted us and our admiral. After we docked, we attended a party on the “Gloria” where we were presented our trophy for second place. Phyllis loved getting served drinks by all those cute cadets.

I, on the other hand, liked getting served endless free scotch by the 3 lovely “Grant’s girls” provided by the club. Also, free wine, food, entertainment…..yikes, these people can party.

Recently, I read an article in a cruising magazine about Cartagena. The author described the two choices of marinas: the Club de Pesca (where we are) and the Club Nautico, where, by far,  most of the other cruisers stay. He aknowledged that Club de Pesca was nicer (the other place is somewhat of a dump), but disparaged the Club de Pesca (and, by extention, those of us who stay here) as being somehow uppity. What he doesn’t get is how much staying here, (mostly among Colombians), instead of there (mostly among Americans, Canadians and the dreaded French) has contributed to our total enjoyment of Cartagena. We have partied with some of the richest (but still friendliest) people in the country. We have been invited to dinner and breakfast at a club member’s penthouse overlooking all of Cartagena. One couldn’t buy these kinds of experiences.

Still, we’re eager to get going now. I think we have been on the dock too long. We have a Christmas party tonight, then various goodbye dinners and drinks, then we’ll leave next week for “something completely different” the San Blas Islands of Panama. I’ve attended (I hope) to all the boat tsouris (a broken high pressure hose on the watermaker, a leaking water pump on the generator, a maddening leak in the raw water supply line of the generator that took me hours to trace [it was as a result of a typically French Rube Goldberg design that was totally unnecessary], and other smaller projects). We’ve also gotten a lot of medical projects taken care of here. They have good practitioners and very cheap prices. There is a “weather window” for next week (that just means that the winds will be something less than 30 knots, and the waves less than 12 feet). We’ll probably be going alone, because all of our friends going that way want to stay for New Years. We’re ready to leave. We’ll probably come back here some time.
Hasta luego, Cartagena. What a town!

Pangea crew

Pangea crew in racing whites

Shopping crew in uniform

Shopping crew in uniform

With trophy aboard "Gloria"

With trophy aboard "Gloria" . Our admiral in foreground

The queen mother of cadets

The queen mother of cadets

Grant girls with leacher (aka Stu)

Grant girls with leacher (aka Stu)

Christmas carriage ride

Christmas carriage ride

Carriage ride

Carriage ride

Christmas lights in old town

Christmas lights in old town

Her first communion

Her first communion

"Fruit Vendors"

"Fruit Vendors"

"Cartagena Courtyard"

"Cartagena Courtyard"

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One Response to “Adios Cartagena”

  1. Neila said

    Beautiful paintings Phyllis. Good job!

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