St. Lucia and Colombia—We are moving on!

We arrived into St. Lucia after a quick sail from Martinique on December 28th, 2015. St. Lucia was spent getting checked into the ARC rally, provisioning our boat, and solving the issues that had been causing us problems (such as our AIS, radar, our freezer, etc.). We did manage to have a day to bus it to Castries and then on to Marigot Bay, which was okay. Marigot Bay is pretty, but it is not as I remembered it from years ago when Dan and I visited.   It was MUCH more touristy, and the only really good part of being there was Dan’s interesting and much needed haircut on the beach. Otherwise, the prices were outrageous and the people were focused on targeting tourists, neither of which are my favorite things!   Castries was much more “real” for good and for bad. One of the local women on the bus told us to hide our cash in Castries—so we decided to heed her advice. But, we did see a street fair going on, which was mainly focused on selling a lot of hard alcohol at every kiosk. This was definitely different than a street fair in the U.S. but made for an interesting walk-through.

Marigot Bay, St. Lucia

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Haircut on the beach

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Marigot Bay

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Castries, St. Lucia

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Another day, the kids went ziplining with Mary Beth from Paradise Found and several of the other rally kids.   They had a great time but I don’t get the sense ziplining is the least bit exhilarating after doing it three or four times.

Otherwise, St. Lucia was mostly “business” for us (along with a handful of cocktail parties), so I was glad when we were finally able to move on and head to Colombia.

Of course, I had been dreading the sail to Colombia from the moment we signed up with the ARC. It was notoriously rough and many people from years past reported seasickness onboard their boats. I pretty much expected we would experience that as well. But, we really had very little. Only Ariana was seasick briefly on this passage. And it was calmer than I envisioned—well, up until the last few hours. Then we had the 35-40 knot winds I had come to expect.   The one nice thing was that the boats ahead had informed us of the conditions, so we had our main sail double-reefed and we were ready to be pummeled a little bit. What was REALLY strange was going from 40-knot winds to 6 in a matter of minutes. As soon as we rounded the corner into the marina, we had basically NO wind. Overall, the sail to Colombia lasted into the fifth night and we arrived at about 3:30 a.m. I couldn’t wait to sleep but we did have a quick Piton beer upon arrival.   Ariana was awake (again) but I couldn’t believe Ryan never woke up, despite being thrown around A LOT, having the lights turned on in the cabin, getting into the marina, getting into a slip, and talking to the ARC folks on the dock. Sadly, all of us could fall off the boat screaming and Ryan would have absolutely no clue. He would just wake up the next morning and wonder where we all went…

The start of the ARC race (from St. Lucia to Santa Marta, Colombia)  

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A beautiful sunset on our way to the Santa Marta, Colombia

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Our dolphin visitors

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Ha, ha!  And we thought this was some significant speed.  We hit 18.2 SOG (speed over ground) at one point surfing down a wave on the next leg from Santa Marta to San Blas Islands, Panama.  (We were overpowered.)

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Arriving into the marina at Santa Marta, Colombia in the middle of the night.

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Colombia was BUSY. The first day there we were off for a city tour. I think the man who talked the whole time was in education because all I learned besides the history of Simon Bolivar (who by the way had syphilis, tuberculosis, and was quite the ladies’ man, in hindsight, much to their chagrin) was about every private and public school in the city of Santa Marta.

The second day we had a huge ARC BBQ on a beach that was really fun (with about 130 people there). Ryan and Ariana got to play cricket, which is quite different for Americans who usually swing bats in a baseball position and drop the bat before running to base. Ryan had a difficult time hanging on to his bat.

Tug-o-War at the Beach Party.  Ariana is the second child in the photo.

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Ryan playing cricket.  Before he hit it, someone corrected his stance so it was actually cricket and not baseball.

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Widago and K1W1 Beans adults

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Another day we went on a smaller (mostly kid boats) trip to a native people’s land along the Tayrona River (and there we learned that men sleep in hammocks while the women sleep on mats on the hard, dirt ground so they can be closer to the earth and therefore more fertile—what a load of crap that is!) followed by lunch and a lazy inner tube float down the river. Add to that a lot of happy hours, dinners and cocktail parties and that was Colombia. We were ready to depart Colombia after about 5 days, but the port captain would not allow any boat to leave the harbor because of conditions out at sea. So, we were supposed to start our next “racing” leg at noon but had to wait until 8 a.m. the next day.   That was fine, but we did lose out on a day in the San Blas Islands because of it…

Colombia

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Some of the ARC boat kids (including ours)

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Ariana’s photo

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More Santa Marta, Colombia

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Santa Marta, Colombia

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Adults’ night out for dinner in Santa Marta, Colombia

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A knife to the throat in Santa Marta, Colombia

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Happy Hour men

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