Tuesday, December 16, 2014

She wants to lead the Glamorous Life

One of the many sculptures in Cartagena--Fernando Botero
The other day we were shopping for toilet paper because it might be hard to find in the South Pacific. We usually get Scott single-ply tissue because it is safe to flush in our hyper-delicate marine toilets. The store didn't have our normal brand and none of the toilet paper was labeled "safe for RVs" or anything similar. We found one brand that looked like it might fit the bill but couldn't be sure. So I put a piece on my tongue to see if it would dissolve quickly, which it did. So something for you to consider--that I ate toilet paper--the next time you're imagining that boat life is constantly drinking cocktails and watching the sun go down in paradise. There's plenty of that too, but then there are those moments which are pretty far from idyllic..

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Cartagena, but not for Christmas

When we were in Grenada, various cruisers were planning to be in "Cartagena for Christmas." Besides the obvious alliterative appeal, Cartagena and Christmas go together. In early December, there were lights along the streets of the town center, trees in various plazas, and lights on the buildings. Santa and his elves were at the mall. There was a Christmas parade, complete with fireworks, which was followed by many more fireworks the next night. But, as it turns out, we have decided not to spend Christmas in Cartagena.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Curacao to Cartagena

So a little insight into how boat life is a bit different from the normal 9-5 routine: As we were trying to find a place to anchor in the crowded Curacao anchorage of Spanish Water, we passed a boat where a man was sitting out in the cockpit with his wife. His wife was spoon feeding a seated infant and the couple waved as we motored by. Matt and the husband had a brief, friendly conversation about whether or not you could anchor outside the marked area without being hassled. The woman was completely naked and not at all concerned about us.

Sunday, November 23, 2014


On one of the days we spent in Bonaire, the roads near the courthouse were closed for a big criminal trial. It wasn't a big enough trial to yield any Google results but big enough for all the locals to know about it. A cab driver told us that it involved people from Curacao that were accused of murdering a third person from Curacao a little while back. Apparently, people from Bonaire don't do murder; it's those bad seeds from Curacao bringing down the hood. We had also heard rumors that people in Curacao aren't as friendly as in Bonaire.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Bonaire--familiar and not

In Los Roques, I bonded with a woman on the beach (in Spanish, even--yes, I may have just pulled something from patting myself on the back) over our mutual lack of swimming skills. We laughed about the irony of my living on a boat yet being a relatively poor swimmer. Mark and Conrad are both better swimmers than I am, even considering that Mark's technique involves thrashing around and not making much forward progress when he tries to breathe and swim at the same time. The biggest advantage they have is being comfortable in the water. When I first took lessons at around their age, I hated the cold pool water and sank like a rock. It's been hard to shake that early impression.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Las Aves to Bonaire

We had a nice and fast sail from Las Aves to Bonaire. The tuna must have been running because we got these beauties and at least two other boats also caught some (though smaller than ours, not that we're competitive or anything).

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

The birds (said dramatically, like Hitchcock)

We broke up the trip from Los Roques to Bonaire with several days in Las Aves, which are also islands that belong to Venezuela. Isla Aves de Barlovento felt practically prehistoric with the gigantic mangrove trees and the nonstop caws of the constantly circling boobies.