Long story short, shortly after I went back to bed from this shift – just when I was starting to feel like we were going to make it to Colombia without any more issues: I was woken up by a familiar person with a familiar sentence: the dinghy is down (again). My brain wasn’t quite working, so what would have typically been a long string of profanity turned into: what, really?
I was sure that the Spectra rig I’d tied had either: a) come untied or b) chaffed through. I saw those being potential issues so I tied safety knots and arranged things to protect the Spectra from chafe. The Spectra didn’t fail. It was the damn chain that was holding my dinghy up. Let me repeat that – the chain failed. This isn’t anchor chain, it’s not rated for 25 tons of shock-load, but it is chain. It should be fine for this limited application. Apparently not.
At this point we were close to shore and I was completely done fighting this fight. It was a stupid fight. We dropped the dinghy from the davits and towed it. Clearly, among the variety of other things that I need to replace, rethink, and fix in Cartagena – my dinghy-carrying rig is on that list. After all of this, I’m considering heavy-duty Spectra as my material: it’s lightweight, has incredible strength, and is very simple to tie/untie/secure.
After this last minor failure – I took another hour nap and then came up and took control for our final approach into the Colombian islands: the Rosarios. We eased in under power at about 9 AM, perfect timing. We navigated around a couple shallow reefs and watched our anchor drop in 15 foot of crystal clear water, and we were the only yacht in sight.
After some inspection of the dinghy and the dinghy engine we decided we could get to shore – we wanted to get a feel for this place. We went in search of a fruit plate, egg arepa and a drink. $10 US for this, at a resort. I have a feeling Colombia and I are going to get along famously.
When we got back it was finally after 11AM, which is our time-rule for drinking onboard. We had been saving two ice-cold Balboa beers for our “Anchor Beers” here. Saving two ice cold beers for more than a week onboard S/V NOMAD is a record, surely. So Luke and I had our anchor beers – in another set of beautiful islands, in another country. And we earned these.
The rest of the day we spent relaxing in calm, blue water. It is beautiful in the Rosarios, but very different from Panama. The coast is desert (ish), and this being a tourist-type area – everything is nicer. There’s some pride in the country here.
Hopefully this “rain” shit stays away for a while – I won’t miss it. Right now, Panama seems like a fraction of the country that Colombia is – but this is pretty early in my relationship with it, and I haven’t seen much of it yet. All that said, the people seem prettier, nicer and I can’t complain about the prices and the landscape. And Cartagena is well known for quality boat-labor; which makes me happy just thinking about it.
Fingers crossed, I hope this country-relationship is a gratifying one.