Curacao to Cartagena

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We left Curacao later in the afternoon on Saturday because the morning was filled with storms and high winds. At about 4pm, the sky cleared and winds died down enough for us to embrace the moment and set out. The sunset was beautiful with huge bright billowing clouds.

As soon as we reached the open ocean, winds stayed around 15 knots. We were in following seas, which is the most comfortable way to sail, and moved out at about 8 knots. Once we’d passed Aruba, we encountered heavy shipping lanes. On night watch when one can’t see much due to the darkness, the electronics are our guide. We rely heavily on our AIS (Automatic Identification System), which shows us where vessels are, as well as all their information. In this photo you can see all the blue vessels, which are mostly over 700ft container ships, and the single black vessel is our home… Tanda Malaika.

We all fell into our usual patterns of multiple day crossings, including watch schedules. I love the sky in open ocean, it’s much bigger out there, with no obstructions. Just water and sky, and us.

Even though we had lines out every flippin day, we didn’t catch one fish – aside from those that flew onto the boat on their own accord. In the mornings we’d wake to little flying fish corpses on the deck.

When Danny had just come off his watch one of the nights, he was still in the main salon at the control panel, and heard Jude yelling out. She started by yelling “Centipede in my bed!!!” followed by a frantic, “Something in my bed!!!” then “Fish in my bed!!!” Needless to say, Danny ran down to her room and found Jude wide eyed on her bed with an extremely traumatized flying fish flopping all over her bed and then onto the floor. She had half woken in her sleep, saw what she thought was a pen on her bed, reached for it and it began slithering and flopping in her hand. The innocent little guy had taken flight, gravely misjudged and flew in through her open hatch. As Danny laughed at his daughters flailing body, he grabbed the intruder and launched it back into the big blue off the stern. I have no doubt it’ll be a while before he gathers enough courage to fly again! Two mornings later, another flying fish lay limp on top of Jude’s closed hatch. They are definitely after just her for some reason.

The creatures got lots of school work done. Emma LOVES learning about anatomy and has interest in being a forensic anthropologist. She tells us all the bones she’s studying on a regular basis. I love it.

Aside from school work, Aidan worked on cleaning some things,

and Emma, who loves her rock ‘n roll just like her Dad, sat with him and learned how to clean an electric guitar.

Something new and crazy happened…when we were about 30 miles off the east coast of Colombia, we were suddenly bombarded with an endless swarm of flies. They ascended in all sizes – which told us they hadn’t just hatched from somewhere on the boat. We searched anyway, but found nothing. So there we were, in the middle of the ocean, killing flies in every direction. 1000’s of them!


Us girls were annoyed, but the guys were bothered to the brink of insanity. Danny and Aidan rushed around the boat on a killing spree until the deck was covered in little black bodies. Poor things had flown 30 miles to greet us and we annihilated them. We eventually shut the boat up, turned on the AC and came inside to escape.

On the morning of our final day at sea (yesterday), the sunrise was simple and so beautiful.

I sat at the helm enjoying the tranquil scene when I heard the sound of a dolphin taking in a breath. I looked off to port, and there in the morning light, was a bottle nosed dolphin, swimming in the wake from the bow. I moved to the bow seat and saw several more as they played in the surf, rising then diving down once more. It’s in moments like these that I feel some of the greatest joy and peace in my life.

The Cartagena skyline is impressive from the water. Such a strange sight after nothing but ocean for a few days. The simple horizontal horizon line is a normal sight, and when tall buildings come into view, it appears so out of place.

As we drew nearer, the giant city became enormous, and Tanda Malaika shrunk.

We made our way in through the green and red marker buoys and were instantly swallowed up in the hustle and bustle of fast water taxi’s, old forts, tall buildings, bridges, and ships and boats of all sizes.

The skeletal remains of a sunken ship lies at the foot of the city, with pelicans perched on top.

Amid the madness, we passed a couple of men in a fishing boat who had a huge net set up, and while one man drove the boat in a circle, the other slapped the water with a long black pole, to scare the fish into the nets.

We made our way into Marina Club de Pesca, where we tied our sweet Tanda Malaika to the dock and gave her a wonderful refreshing bath. She has once again served us so well. We love our Leopard 46, who keeps us safe and carries us so beautifully around the world.


One thought on “Curacao to Cartagena

    magdaleene said:
    December 18, 2016 at 3:27 am

    Oh my heck Jude, that must have been frightfully scary especially when you wante to pick up the pen.LOL!!! So Funny. I would have screamed my lungs out and they would have been flopping all over the place along side your flying fish. Love you/ You must be traumatized Jude LOL!
    Love your Ouma.oxoxoxoxoox


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