On To San Andres

We raised our anchor at 5am on Friday, and traveled ten hours south to San Andres Island. The forecast was for 15-20 knot winds, and sea swells of 5-7 feet. They got the wind part right, but the swells were more like 7-9 feet, with breakers on them…..and some really large ones thrown in once in awhile, just to keep it interesting.

The boat was completely fine with all of this, but as usual, me…not so much. I just cannot get used to seeing big waves come at me. Several started to break as they approached us, but Sea Life just “rolled” with it, sliding down them and then getting back on track. Thank God for paravanes; I cannot imagine the degree of roll without them.

Howard fared much better than me. I started him off tucked into his triangle of safety on the couch in the saloon, but he soon appeared on the bench in the pilot house with us. He hasn’t liked the noise of the waves outside the open pilot house doors recently (we keep the top halves open while traveling), but I guess he wanted to join the party this time. I reset the triangle around him, and he settled in.

As we came out of the protection of the reef around Providencia, and into the open ocean, a huge pod of dolphins headed our way. We’ve never had this many visit us at one time before. There were also several babies in the group, about the size of Howard! They stayed for almost 30 minutes, playing near the bow and jumping alongside us before breaking up and moving off. I guess they knew the seas were going to get large, and vacated.

Just after noon, San Andres came into sight. We had to navigate through a break in the reef to get into the harbor, while surfing  breaking waves, which was challenging. Scott was especially nervous to see many boats run aground and left for dead, and wrecked along the reef, as we approached.

Once inside the harbor, Scott hailed the port captain, who asked for some basic information before telling us to anchor in area A, which is designated for pleasure boats. Area B is for commercial and fishing boats, but unfortunately, we discovered that many of them had spread into area A. With the many fishing boats, other cruisers already at anchor and shallow spots in the area, it was challenging finding a spot for ourselves.

When we first dropped the anchor it didn’t hold, which is very unlike the Hulk (*). It was just as well, as the water in that spot was pretty deep. More scope of chain is required in deeper water, which would have put us very close to our neighbors when swinging with the shifting winds.

Luckily, our friends Jack and Monique (s/v Aloha) had made the trip from Providencia the day before, and were anchored nearby. Jack yelled over to Scott, and told him to drop our anchor right at his stern. As we let out our chain, he jumped in and dove on the Hulk, to make sure that it had grabbed the bottom. Jack signaled us that the anchor had set, so we backed down in reverse to dig it in. We were now settled in among the many, many fishing boats (a big thank you to Jack!)

(*) When Scott dove on our anchor the next day, to check that it was still set well, he noticed that the bottom here is covered with old fishing debris (San Andres dates back to 1700s). We think that the Hulk must have grabbed something down there on our first drop, and skipped along the bottom.)

Like Providencia, San Andres is also a Colombian owned island. Since we were still in the same country, we didn’t have to get our passports stamped again, but the boat did have to be cleared in with the port captain.

To do this, we’d contacted Julian Watson, an agent our friend Kevin suggested (you are required to use an agent when clearing into Colombia, you cannot do it yourself). He contacted us on the radio as soon as he heard us hail the port captain, and once we were anchored Scott went to nearby Nene’s Marina to meet him. Julian was very accommodating, and offered his help with anything we may need while visiting the island.

We haven’t done much exploring here yet. There have been several days of squalls, and most of the shops and restaurants close early on Sunday here, so we look forward to getting the lay of the land this week.

The internet here is atrociously slow (who’d have guessed that the free internet on quiet Providencia would be better than the paid data on busy and populated San Andres??), so getting posts updated will be a challenge, but stay tuned! Here are more photos of our trip here.

“Shells Sink, Dreams Float. Life’s Good On Our Boat!”

Becoming Providencia Locals

We’ve now been here in Providencia for six weeks, which is much longer than we’d planned. We have been here too long..people are starting to recognize us. Locals nod and wave to us on the street in town, Delmar yells from his scooter as he whizzes by us on our third rented golf buggy and the woman who runs the restaurant where we play Jenga and dominoes recognizes us and says hello as we eat pizza on the other side of the island…too long!

Why have we been stuck here so long? How can the winds possibly blow this long and hard?? Well, here is the dumbed-down version of Scott’s explanation: There is a sub-tropical ridge (a high pressure feature) that is unusually far south, and hasn’t budged. At the same time, the low pressure system that is always over Colombia is unusually strong. There is also a strong low pressure system in the Eastern Pacific, which refuses to move.

To have all three of these things happening at the same time is not “normal.”  Providencia is caught between these weather features, and is consequently stuck in a wind “bubble.” To the north, in Mexico, virtually nothing. South of us, in Panama, light and variable. Here, 20-25 knots, with many days blowing 30+ knots. All that winds causes the swells to run between 8 and 10 feet, with breaking waves….like a cherry on a sh*# sundae!

So this is why we’re still here, settling into day-to-day life on Providencia. There are nine of us who plan to head south. Some are not in hurry, and will leave in a month or two. Others, like us, are now itching to change scenery and move south.

While we wait, there have been many ideas tossed around to fill up our time here, now that we’ve done the hiking, horse races and golf buggys to death. My sister suggested that we reclaim Pablo Escobar’s house, as a cruiser crash pad. It’s a great idea, but hauling water up that hill, to fill the pool would be a real pain in the a*@!

Scott’s thought of getting a job, but with a 98% unemployment rate, on an island of 5,000 residents, the possibilites are slim.

I worry that Scott and Kevin will resort to joining the local men who gather in the park to drink and watch traffic go by, while sitting in  Providencia’s both indoor and outdoor furniture of choice…the molded plastic chair. As far as I know, there are no rehab facilities on the island, so I hope it doesn’t come to that.

The Americans here in the anchorage gathered on Sea Life for a 4th of July cook out, and we spent an afternoon playing Jenga at a local restaurant (hard to balance blocks at anchor).

One evening we met on Jack and Monique’s catamaran, s/v Aloha (I am so jealous of their huge, open cockpit!) to celebrate our friend Rachel’s birthday. She and her husband are from Baltimore…yay!

Scott’s spent many hours hanging from the paravane on his air chair, a gift from my sister, that has transitioned well to cruising life. Thanks Sally!

Kevin spent a few afternoons showing some cruising friends the beginnings of kite boarding. It proved challenging in the strong, gusty winds. They ended up being dragged through the water, and often catapulted up into the air, before being thrust back down again. At least they got their exercise for the day!

Our friend, Pete, kayaked through the lesson with his dog Budders in tow. She’s a skilled kayak passenger.

Budders frequently takes a swim off of the kayak, and knows how to countdown for a jump-in, in four languages!

We’ve enjoyed some lazy time, including Howard, who’s always ready and waiting for an ice cream treat.

Sooo, after weeks of living like locals here, today we finally get to make our exit! The winds are down significantly over the next few days, causing the seas to calm a bit as well. We’ll make our way to San Andres, another Colombian-owned island 10-11 hours south of here. It’s a more developed and touristy sister to Providencia’s quiet villages and surrounding mountains.

Follow us on our Delorme tracker, through the Where Are We Now page of our blog. In the meantime, here are more photos.

“Shells Sink, Dreams Float. Life’s Good On Our Boat!”

 

 

Morgan’s Head…Revisited

Scott and I recently realized that we had, in fact, not climbed to Morgan’s Head, as I’d mentioned in a previous post. We’d scaled two sets of crazy steep steps, and enjoyed the beach on the other side. What we failed to realize, was at the other end of the beach there is a trail, leading to….Morgan’s Head!….so off we went, again.

Climbing past the beach, I noticed the all to familiar rope rail….yeesh. Luckily, the incline was not nearly as steep as what we climbed in Guanaja. We assumed the rope was meant to help with footing in wet weather.

Along the trail, there were several hand painted tiles. One marked the “triangle of trade.”

This was all well and good, but Providencia was outside the triangle of trade (note the placement of Scott’s stick pointer)…..hmm.

As we walked, there were several places to stop and enjoy the views below, and across the water.

After climbing across a bit of rocky trail, we came up to the back of Morgan’s Head. It was worth the walk, the view was beautiful.

The nearby shoreline reminded me of the South Pacific, thick with palms, whose trunks disappeared into blue-green water that looked painted, it was so brilliant and clear.

After giving Scott time to crawl around the head, while I enjoyed the view, we headed back to the beach, and Providencia’s answer to StairMaster!

So now we’ve hiked to Morgan’s Head…check. Here are more photos!

“Shells Sink, Dreams Float. Life’s Good On Our Boat!”

 

 

Groceries on Providencia

The quest for fresh produce here on Providencia has been really challenging. We see several supply ships come and go regularly each week, but it’s clear by the selection in the stores that produce isn’t their main cargo.

Aside from the usual “splurges,” groceries here are inexpensive. Liquor is cheap and duty-free, but the selection is terrible, much to Scott’s dismay.

There are three stores less than a block from each other in town, as well as a produce stand farther up the road. We venture to all of them first, and then backtrack to who’s got the best looking stuff. We’ve been told that Saturday is produce boat day, but have yet to see it reflected in the stores. Everything is closed on Sunday, and by Monday the selection is already starting to dwindle and rot.

Supermarket Erika has become our haven for ice. They sell purified drinking ice in decent size bags for $1.00 each, which thrills Scott.

They also keep a small stock of tortillas, which are impossible to find anywhere else. Once, we found romaine lettuce here in good condition, and snatched it up. Aside from that, we stick to hard goods here. We purchased chicken that was falling out of it’s wrapping, leaving a bag full of meat juice for us to find when we got back to the boat. Chicken here is tougher than we’re used to, so marinating is helpful.

I call this place the “downstairs store,” as you go down two steps from the street, and then another five or six to get inside.

We’ve found that the produce is usually best here, but that’s not always saying much. Often I reach in the case for a tomato, and my fingers go into mush..ick.

There is no mass-produced bread here on the island; instead,  everything comes from the bakery in town. The bread and rolls arent’ the yummiest, but it does the job.

This store is referred to as the “upstairs store,” separating it from the downstairs store and Supermarket Erika.

This place is our least favorite for fresh stuff. Sadly, their produce is horrible. Sometimes, I don’t even know what the stuff is, or was.

I’m not sure why, but all of the stores just keep the rotten and wilted produce out on the shelves to die.

We’ve recently discovered a fourth store in town, which is now referred to as the mustard store.

We now find that they regularly have the best produce. Scott even came home one day with a beautiful bag of spinach!

Providencia has been our most challenging grocery experience, but we’re making due. Here are a few more photos.

“Shells Sink, Dreams Float. Life’s Good On Our Boat!”

Shark On!!

Our buddy Kevin (s/v Lucky Seven) is anchored right in front of us (when we arrived, the anchorage was pretty full, so we crowded in close to them). He and Scott spend the days running back and forth between our two boats on their dinghies, borrowing this, lending that, fetching one another to spear fish, or just to have a beer.

A few days ago, Scott went over to either drop something off, or pick something up..I’m not sure which. Soon after, Scott hailed me on the vhf….”get the camera, Kevin caught a shark, and we have to cut it loose.”

Kevin keeps a line off the stern, baited with whatever leftover fish he may have, ’cause you just never know when an easy dinner might come calling. He’d forgotten to check the line first thing in the morning, and when Scott arrived, they noticed the shark. It was a four foot nurse shark, which aren’t typically aggressive, thank goodness, but I’m sure it was pretty steamed, nonetheless.

Scott pulled the line, while Kevin tried to manipulate the hook out of the shark’s mouth (maybe Kevin lost the coin toss). Of course, it started to pour rain as they began to do this, so everything came to a halt (for all of two minutes, because that’s how fast most of the downpours last here).

After the rain stopped, Kevin moved into his dinghy to get closer. Scott stayed in the cockpit, trying to keep the line taught. Our friend Pete showed up on his kayak to lend moral support…and get some video footage.

Kevin’s first attempts weren’t working, so he went to fetch a second pair of pliers. Scott relocated into the dinghy with him, to get better leverage on the line. The poor shark kept trying to get away, but they managed to keep reeling him back, and were eventually successful at removing the hook.

Job complete, it was back to business as usual, and whatever “important, pressing” issue they’d been involved in.

Here are some more shark photos.

“Shells Sink, Dreams Float. Life’s Good On Our Boat!”

 

Compromised!

Last week, Scott’s atm card was compromised. Whenever we plan to withdraw money, he slides an amount over to the atm account, and we promptly go to shore and withdraw it. On the 4th, we headed to town to find our usual atm out of order, and the only other atm out of cash. We went back to the boat and returned to try again on the 6th. Our usual atm was still out of service, so we went inside to see if they could help us with cash.

The line was hours long, and we settled in for a sweaty wait. Thankfully, someone soon ushered us past the line and to a teller window, where we were told that we needed a Bank of Bogata card for them to help us. I guess we stood out as people not having Bank of Boata cards. I’m ok with that, and grateful that someone noticed us. In the U.S., we would have waited hours to find this out.

We walked back down to the second atm, which was still out of cash. Again, we headed inside. The line inside was short, which was disappointing, as this bank was nicely air conditioned and I’d have happily waited there for hours. Almost immediately, an employee came over and asked us, “atm?” Wow, we definitely don’t blend.

Back outside, there were several others waiting to use the machine. The woman filled the atm, as she explained that with the other machine being down, this one had been constantly running out of cash. With the machine full we waited our turn, only to find the balance at zero….you can imagine Scott’s reaction. We went back inside, so that he could yell at them, and then decided to head back to the boat to confirm that the account was in fact empty.

Once onboard, Scott logged on to find out that the money we’d transferred on the 4th had been withdrawn on the 5th. He planned to go complain strongly to the bank, believing that it had happened at that location (we’ve used the other machine consistently with no trouble). Our friend, Kevin (s/v Lucky Seven) convinced him to call the bank, that the withdrawal could very well  have been done in another location, city, country, etc.

The phone minutes on our sim card were very low, so Scott tried calling the bank through Skype. This proved maddening, as the call was dropped over and over, causing Scott to start all over each time he redialed. He managed to find out that the withdrawal was in fact made in Melbourne, Fl. Somewhere along the way, someone got our atm card number, and waited until some cash sat there long enough to get it. We’re kicking ourselves for not moving the money back to the original account, when we were unable to withdraw on the 4th.

So now, the card has been cancelled, and a new one is being sent to the U.S. That does us no good here! We’re leery to have it sent on to Providencia, as the address we were told to use is:

Mr. Bush (the customs agent),   Scott McGonigle,   Yacht in transit Sea Life,   Providencia, Colombia.

We’re not sure Fed Ex would like that address, so our plan is to wait until we finally arrive in Bocas del Toro, where we’ll be for a few months, and have it shipped there. In the meantime, we were left peso-less, so Kevin graciously agreed to have Scott transfer money to him, and then pull it out of the atm for us…whew!

The amount in question was only a few hundred dollars, but for us it meant weeks of spending  money, so it was frustrating and stressful. We’re sure that the bank will reimburse us, and I’ve told Scott to prepare for this to  happen again. It seems that cruisers deal with this problem constantly.

So, we’re back to being millionaires!….in Colombian pesos anyway.

“Shells Sink, Dreams Float. Life’s Good On Our Boat!”

 

Carnival Mayhem

Carnival here in Provicencia has one main theme….volume, and lots of it. All aspects of the five day celebration were big and noisy, but definitely entertaining.

From mid-afternoon until well after midnight, music played loudly from the town dock. On Friday and Saturday evenings, big name artists performed at the baseball field, giving us a quieter night’s sleep. Others in the anchorage attempted to go and hear the headliners play, but gave up when 1am came and the featured artists hadn’t started yet.

A beauty queen contest was the main focus throughout the celebration. Colombia flew in contestants from around the Caribbean, and they were paraded about the island at every opportunity. The actual contest took place on Saturday evening, and was the “grand finale” of carnival. Again, friends who tried to go and watch came back after 1am without seeing the winner. We later heard that she was crowned close to 2:30am.

We’d been told by locals that on Thursday of carnival, everyone rides around the island road, and on Friday there would be a parade around the harbor. What actually took place was a bit different than we’d envisioned.

On Thursday afternoon we heard loud music coming from town, earlier than normal. I looked toward the road, just in time to see a truck driving backward….at full speed. He continued down the road until I couldn’t see him anymore, still driving in reverse. Scott caught sight of him in binoculars, and noticed that the entire truck bed was loaded with speakers.

From there, a parade of sorts began. Floats with the beauty contestants onboard drove by, and locals followed by the truckload (literally).  They also traveled on scooters, motorcyles and smaller pick up trucks. Soon, the sound of loud music blended with revving motors.

Friday proved to me even more entertaining. Sometime during mid-afternoon, we were suddenly surrounded on all sides by local boats, whizzing through the anchorage at high speed.

They screamed by, too close for comfort, with more of the boat out of the water than in. We were shocked that no one fell out, or that none of the boats flipped over.

The town dock wasn’t safe either, as boats sped by the crowds gathered to watch the mayhem.

Scott noticed a police boat (which he coveted), and we thought that would be the end of it. Instead, they lead a parade of boats, carrying the beauty contestants. Each contestant had her own military guard…interesting.

As the parade moved past, the many fast boats followed, and soon the back of the anchorage was awash in boat wakes.

The parade followed along the shoreline, and ended near the baseball stadium. However, the madness of the many fast boats went on for hours, and the noise and wakes became pretty unnerving. Needless to say, Howard was not a fan of carnival.

Here are many, many more photos of the carnival mayhem, on both land and sea.

“Shells Sink, Dreams Float. Life’s Good On Our Boat!”

 

Their motors were screaming loud, as they buzzed around the bay, with more boat out of the water than in it. We were amazed how close they came to those at anchor.

The town dock wasn’t safe either, as they boats sped right up to it, before throwing water onto the spectators at they careened back out toward the anchorage.

Eventually, we noticed a police boat, and assumed they had arrived to end the craziness. Instead, they were leading a small parade of boats who carried the beauty contestants.

Another Saturday, Another Horse Race

Saturday afternoon means horse racing on the beach, here in Providencia, and since we’ve been here long enough to qualify as locals, a plan was hatched to attend. With carnival still in full swing, Scott and I decided to arrive at Southwest Bay via dingy, instead of making our way there by road. We spread word of our plan around the anchorage, and ended up with a flotilla of six dinghies rounding the corner to Southwest Bay.

When we arrived, the others hauled their dinghies far up onto the beach, out of the way of the racing horses. Sitting in the shade, the inflatables quickly became loungers for the throngs of locals who came to spend the afternoon. By the end of the day, our friends had to shoo both children and adults away to return their boats to the water.

We are unable to get off the bow of the Aluminum Princess, so she was anchored out and we waded to shore, trying hard not to twist an ankle on the large rocks along the way. Much to Scott’s dismay, she attracted the attention of the local children, and he spent the afternoon fending them off of her, until finally re-anchoring in another spot.

We were treated to not one, but two races this week, as there was a crew shooting footage for a movie of some sort. This time, I realized that standing in the water provided a safe, up close location for photos of the horses as they came by.

This week, the thoroughbred went 1 and 1, running two races against different horses. He lost the second race (I think because he was stinking hot during the second one!) to a surprisingly young jockey.

Carnival brought a larger crowd and multiple towers of speakers putting out music at full volume. We spent the day watching the races, eating some yummy seafood and enjoying time with our anchorage neighbors (the people watching was good too).

Here are some more photos of another Saturday at the races.

“Shells Sink, Dreams Float. Life’s Good On Our Boat!”

 

A Guy’s Hike To The Peak

At 1,200 feet, The Peak is the highest point on Providencia. It is part of a regional public park, that covers 24 acres, and is owned by the Colombian government. Six large streams and bodies of water start at the peak, and these bodies of water and ravines make up the central watershed source for the island.  The park was established to protect this watershed and to preserve and recover the island’s dry forest.

So, 1,200 feet is not a casual hike. I’ve been dealing with some problems in my left knee lately; add in heat, humidity, incline and rocks, and I chose to sit this one out. Luckily, Kevin was up for the challenge, and he an Scott set out to conquer the peak.

It is easy and affordable to hire a guide to take you up to the top. They provide transportation to and from the peak, and provide information local plants, trees and wildlife along the way. However, Kevin and Scott felt no need for a guide, choosing instead to go it alone.

This meant getting there three wide on the back of a local’s motorcycle. Since Kevin was the “lucky” one in the middle, Scott started with sore leg muscles, from holding them in the air on the back of the bike (keeping them off of the ground, and away from the exhaust pipe) for the 15 minute ride to the start of the hike.

The path was clearly marked, and the guys trotted along at a good pace.

By the middle of the hike, things became more challenging, as the incline and presence of rocks increased (rocks, another reason I’m glad I skipped it); it was definitely a cardio workout at this point.

They reached the top in a little under two hours, covering 3-4 miles. Having started later in the morning, the guided tours had already come and gone. The guys had the top of the peak all to themselves while they ate lunch, had a break and enjoyed the views.

Nourished and rested, Scott and Kevin made their way back down the trail to the bottom.

Now for the real challenge….getting a ride back to the dock in town. The guys finished at about 1:30, smack in the middle of siesta time. Everything on Providencia shuts down from 1-3pm, for siesta, something that still slips our minds regularly.

After waiting in vain for a bus, and beginning to make the walk back, the guys managed to flag down a van willing to give them a ride. As they drove along, it became clear that the van was not going toward town, but to Southwest Bay instead (the big horse race was taking place today, with an official cash prize). When this was finally made clear, through a challenging Spanish/English conversation, Scott and Kevin jumped out of the van and continued walking.

Eventually, they were able to flag a man down who agreed to give Scott a ride to town on his bike; his friend would come along behind with Kevin. Along the way, Scott’s driver stopped to argue with a woman about money. After 15 minutes she finally gave in and handed it over, and they continued on. When Scott arrived at the dock, there was no sign of Kevin. He turned to see Kevin already in his dinghy. He’d not gotten a ride on a bike, but instead had hitched a free ride with one of the local police.

On Kevin’s ride to town, the police radio was abuzz with news that someone had been injured at the race. It seems a man had leaned too far out into the path of the oncoming horses, and had broken his leg.

During all of the radio frenzy, Kevin asked the policeman if he needed to go and respond. The officer replied no, with a shrug. We later learned the ferry that runs to San Andres was delayed in leaving, so that the man could be transported to a hospital.

Scott hobbled back onto Sea Life, after his brisk ascent and descent of the peak, and round trip “leg lifts” on a motorcycle. All in all, an eventful guy’s day. Here are a few more photos of the guy’s hike, and views from the peak.

Don’t forget that you can go the Where Are We Now page, and follow the link to our Delorme satellite tracker. It shows the paths for our walk up to Morgan’s Head, Pablo Escoabar’s house, our buggy rides around the island and the guy’s hike up to the peak.

“Shells Sink, Dreams Float. Life’s Good On Our Boat!”

Growing Roots In Providencia

We’d hoped to be on our way to Bocas del Toro, in Panama, by now. However, as usual, the weather has different plans for us, which has been insanely frustrating. The latest window, that opened this week was slim, so Scott let me make the decision whether to stay or go.

Good news, the winds were supposed to die off briefly on Tuesday, before picking back up again on Wednesday. Bad news, this wouldn’t give the seas nearly enough time to lay down. Since I wasn’t up for traveling in 6-7 foot swells, with possible breaking waves on top, I chose to pass.

Good news is, it turned out to be the right decision, because the winds never died. We heard from boats arriving that it was a miserable go out there. Bad news, our next window won’t be for at least another week. As I said, this is becoming insanely frustrating, even Howard is contemplating jumping ship.

Good news, carnival started here on Tuesday! We’ve never been to a proper carnival celebration (the parade in Isla Mujeres was disappointing), and planned to go to town one night for the festivities.  Bad news, the people that have traveled here to attend carnival aren’t the best lot, and it is a zoo in town. It seems safer to stay on the boat, especially at night.

Good news, lots of reggae music is being played from the town dock. Bad news, as you might imagine, it’s at a ridiculous volume, and goes on until after 3 am. This makes sleep challenging, even with my ear plugs in.

Good news, many new boats arrived in a flotilla yesterday morning. They are Colombians, all flying large country flags as well as smaller ones; the anchorage is bustling and colorful.

Bad news, they aren’t the greatest at anchoring, and many boats drug anchor, resulting in at least one collision. Two boats that were rafted together (on the left) drifted into a third boat (on the right). Those onboard the two rafted boats were oblivious to what was going on, until after impact.

As they broke free, the two boats snagged the third’s anchor line, and almost drifted back to collide again.

It was a stressful go for those of us who’ve been here, safely anchored for weeks.  We all held our breath, and prepared to fend off anyone coming our way. Luckily, by dusk, everyone seemed to be set, and all held through the night.

So we’re here for at least another week. Good news, it’s beautiful here, and there are things that we enjoy seeing and doing. Bad news, most of them are out of walking distance. With local transportation being iffy at best, you’re stuck with paying to rent a buggy, which adds up.

Good news, there is great snorkeling here, and places to explore for fishing. Bad news, with stronger winds, visibility for snorkeling isn’t the greatest, and it’s too much of a hard time on the windward side of the island for fishing.

Good news, liquor here is cheap! A bottle of Smirnoff vodka is $8.00 in the grocery stores. Bad news, people here for carnival  are buying up the stock.

Good news, we’re not on a set schedule per say. Bad news, our insurance wants us farther south by July 1st, for coverage against any named storm damage. Yeah, yeah, hurricanes don’t come this far south….I give you Hurricane Sandy, New York, end of October. Never say never.

The forecast is riddled with tropical lows these days. They don’t directly affect us, as far as a hurricane or tropical storm, they just make the winds difficult to travel in. And, the chance of squalls just gets greater this time of year. Scott wants to get farther south sooner than later.

Good news, we’d hoped to travel to San Andres from here, another Colombian island 10-12 hours south. After that, the Albuquerque Cays, where Scott planned on some fishing and snorkeling. Bad news, with all the weather delays, we’ll be doing a three to four day run straight to Bocas del Toro…bummer. You know how I love a multi-day passage!

So it seems that we’re growing roots here in Providencia. We may have to pay taxes! Here are some random photos from the past few days.

“Shells Sink, Dreams Float. Life’s Good On Our Boat!”