September 26, 2013-Rhythm of life in Cartgena
wingssail images-fredrick roswold
Watching the America's Cup
There is a certain rhythm to our life here in Cartagena; one which is not too dissimilar to the rhythm of life we've experienced in other ports where we've tied our dock lines for various indefinite periods of time.
Morning exercise: a brisk walk along the waterfront in our neighborhood, then breakfast, and after that, some boat chores outside if we can take the heat. Lunch, a siesta when the heat of the day drives us under the air conditioner, and later, maybe a trip to town for shopping, laundry, or errands.
Evening? A cocktail and a movie onboard. Or perhaps we'll go out with friends we've met here.
And we let time pass.
This morning the Culo de Pollo, the sudden Cartagena squall called "ass of the chicken", visited at 07:45 AM, just as Judy was getting ready to go shopping with a friend. She didn't go. You never know when the Culo will come. When it does you deal with it. That's why we don't want to leave the boat here and travel anywhere in Colombia; we're afraid of the Culo de Pollo. Today we were OK, it wasn't too bad. But we watched the bumper cars happen among the boats in the anchorage as several dragged anchor into others.
Culo de Pollo is part of life in Cartagena, part of the rhythm.
We live through it.
One activity which had taken up our afternoons for a couple of weeks has been watching the America's Cup. They were tearing up the waters of San Francisco Bay this month and we could pick it up live on YouTube so we'd go to a cafe or bar nearby or to a friend's apartment where the Internet was good. Watching Oracle Team USA fight it out with Emirates Team New Zealand was compelling. I wasn't originally in favor of the new format, made for TV, with short races along the city front in San Francisco in monster winged catamarans, but it was spectacular.
Absolutely great racing, and seeing those 12-story high, 72 foot cats, flying eight feet over the water at 45 knots, held us spellbound. At first it looked like the Kiwis would run away with the match as they surged ahead 8 to 2, but USA got its act together, and then some, and won eight straight races to defend the cup.
We were sad to see NZ lose, and they, and their whole country, are certainly feeling worse than that, but that's racing. We doubt if we'll see teams like this sailing these spectacular, and spectacularly expensive, boats again so we are glad to have seen it.
There are some other diversions. Completing the boat projects are always at the top of our daily agenda. We get a lot of satisfaction from fixing something or making an improvement on Wings.
This week we got our anchor and chain back from the shop where new zinc galvanizing was applied. We're hoping this will extend the life of our old ground tackle for a few more years. We've had this chain since Seattle in 1994. It was re-galvanized in New Zealand in 1999, and since then we've just reversed it a few times. By the time we sent it in this time was very rusty and made a royal mess of our deck and anchor locker but when it was delivered to the wharf near the marina, after sandblasting and getting a nice new zinc coating, it looked pretty good. We paid the shop bill and then labored in the unmercifully hot sun for an hour to put new depth markings on it and load it back into the boat. That was heavy work and we were drenched with sweat when we finished, but it's done.
We also have been working on the Dingy this week which has been leaking for a while, but from where we could not determine. Moving the chain in it last week made the leak worse and then we could see the problem: the floor was coming loose from the transom and water came in freely. We put the dingy on Wings' foredeck and re-glued the loose seams. That was another hot job but perhaps a bit easier than packing anchor chain around. We hope that our fix will work.
Now we are planning a short cruise to some islands south of Cartagena and we hope to get some sailing in. Later, in November, we'll haul and do the bottom and repaint the deck after our last deck paint job failed to adhere properly.
After that? Probably Panama. We don't know for sure when we'll leave, but probably before the year is out, or maybe we won't.
We'll keep you updated.
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Fred & Judy, SV Wings, Cartagena