Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Just about ready to leave!

Amazingly having been in Colombia for nearly five months ......has it really been nearly five months?! In that time we have painted the decks,replaced the gearbox as well all those boat jobs that are standard....oil change, fuel filters the list is endless but necessary.

We tried to source a gearbox in Colombia but all the advice we got was it was a logistical nightmare so in the end John hopped on a plane to Miami, picked one up that we had shipped down from Washington and bought it back in his suitcase! Fortunately our Hurth gear box weighed 20kg and fitted neatly into our hard suitcase so there were no problems with weight. John was three days in Miami and he was quite surprised by the place. The buses were free,the roads wide and tree lined and the hotel he stayed in was run by Greeks....it's a small world. He managed to keep himself in check as he perused West Marine chandlery where he got chatting to one of the staff who hailed from Cork and after a long chat with him he managed to get staff discount....I think it's called having the gift of the gab!

I had to go back to UK for a couple of weeks so John fitted the gearbox then and a fine job he did too! By the time I returned he had the thing fitted the shaft aligned and Dorothy, our Perkins engine was purring nicely and obviously pleased with the new addition in the engine room!

The week before we were due to leave we had some rough weather one night. The Colombians call it ..'pollos culo'...which roughly translated means 'chickens Arse'. Basically it's when the wind comes out of the South/ South West . The weather did not last that long but by daybreak the damage was evident. All the yachts had no problem but two of the fishing boats were sunk. It would seem that both of them had no automatic bilge pump. The heavy rain filled the boats and the wind slapped more sea water over their sterns which were close to the water line as they had large outboards weighing them down. Both were towed onto dry land in a sorry state .....it will be a long time before they get those outboards going again ....if at all!
Before we came to Colombia many of those that know us back in the UK asked....'Is it safe?' Well we felt perfectly safe but whilst in Puerto Velero the Armarda boys who guard the coast managed to impound a fishing boat that was full of drugs.They towed the boat in and it put along side the Catamaran that had been impounded a long while back for the same offence .....they were getting quite a collection! We got quite friendly with some of the Armarda who lived in a container at the end of the pontoon. They changed shift about every month but once a week a whole bus load would arrive for training which seemed to consist of going to the end of the pontoon and jumping off and the having to swim to the shore or drag themselves onto the pontoon. They would of course sing as they swam.....all good male bonding stuff.
Finally we figured we were ready to leave so asked JC if he would clean the hull and the propellor which he did free diving! He told us that an octopus had taken up residence on part of our hull and had had to evict him! Our prop cleaned we were finally hot to trot.


  1. Good to hear you are on the move again. When to you anticipate "going through" or as the Doors once sang "break on through to the other side"? We are moving south but will not be in Panama until H season. Will you still be there?

  2. Richard we might be North of here but we do not now anticipate going through this season .....there is still a lot to see on this Eastern side and we now think that we will do some travelling using Panama as our base I really would like to go to Peru. Anyway our plans are fluid......we want to go to Guatamala, Honduras ....ohh so much still to see! Safe travels guys and really hope to see you soon . Hasta luego! Really trying hard to learn Spanish it makes things so much easier! D&J x