Last April in Marmaris as we began our journey, the idea of crossing a large and unwieldy body of water like the Caribbean Sea was not an intimidating thought That was a sign of utter cluelessness, not one of admirable bravery. A year later, thanks mainly to our countless “humblings” in all corners of the Mediterranean and several refresher courses on the Atlantic crossing, we know better, and today we take very seriously any passage across a body of water with the word “Ocean” or “Sea” in its name.
We now enter the third and final ay of our Caribbean Sea crossing with Cartegena, Colombia less than 150 miles from our bow. Over the past couple of weeks we’ve battled against the changing seasons, which forced us to make this crossing before the tropical storm season gets underway, and also against autopilot problems that threatened to create intolerable delays. We were pleased to finally get our autopilot cleared through Jamaican customs and even more pleased to get the installation completed and our passage underway in less than a day. We won’t declare victory on our autopilot problems just yet, but after two days of 20-30 knot winds and the heavy seas that Caribbean Sea is known for, we can at least smell that victory is nearby.
Multi-day passages like this, in our opinion, aren’t a reason to take up the hobby of sailing. For those imagining it to be a relaxing cruise filled with fishing, reading books, and sunbathing on the deck, talk to us about this before buying your dream boat. Even a big boat like Tamarisk gets tossed around like a toy – beginners find it loud, violent, seasick inducing, and with the hatches closed to keep the waves out, its hot enough down below that Swifty calls it a “sweat camp”.
But there’s a reason we endure the heat, the waves, the pounding, etc. and will continue to do so until we’ve gone 360 degrees around the marble and back to where we started from. In a word, it’s our curiosity, and as we approach Cartegena, being a new port, a new country, and a new continent all at once, our anticipation reminds us how curious we are. We’re probably asking ourselves some of the same questions that have driven people to explore far away places since the beginning of time: what might we find, who might we meet, what might me learn. But before we get to any of that business the first thing we’ll be asking is where can we find an ice cold cerveza?