Kuna men have told me on three separate occasions that I
look like a Kuna woman. Actually, they have tried to tell Matt this, despite
the fact that I'm standing right there and that I'm the one that speaks Spanish
and even a wee bit of Kuna. The women may own the coconut trees but I get the
feeling that the men are still in charge.
The water in the Cartagena anchorage is extremely icky. That
is a nautical term that means gross things float through the dirty water and
lots of stuff grows on the boat's bottom. After only ten days, our engines
showed their displeasure by running hot (port engine) and stopping altogether
(starboard) as we motored out of the anchorage. Our friends on Amelie IV had
dark smoke coming out of their exhaust.
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..
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.
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