Posted by: catamarantwooceans | October 25, 2014

In Colombia part 3

17.10.14 – Friday – Going out of the tight spot we held at the Club Nautico was  made relatively easy by the marinero named Kiko (popular name here). In gratitude we gave him two bottles of beer. Out of the harbor we motor-sailed towards Islas Rosario, aiming at Bahia de la Mantas on the northwest of Isla Grande, where we thought we’d find clear water and reefs. Cloudy skies made the shallow entrance difficult but very soon we had two locals competing for the honor of guiding us in; three guys on a sit-up kayak and one on a small motor boat. Just as our anchor hit bottom, even before we had all the chain out, they were both with us requesting compensation for their effort. The kayak guys were first so they got some of the Colombian money I had left.

Next there appeared a fisherman, offering lobsters, crabs and fish, priced for the rich tourists. Gili wanted a fish for dinner so a deal for a nice red snapper was struck making everybody happy. Part of the deal were two bottles of beer, one for the fisherman and one for the aspiring guide who tried to sell us some touristic trinkets.

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Once those guys left, we could look around and enjoy the view; the bay is nice and green with a few houses on shore, at least one of them is some sort of a resort.

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                          Isla Grande Eco-hotel

We went snorkeling and found the bay almost completely devoid of life; visibility was not that great either. We had the red snapper baked with couscous salad on the side for dinner; it turned out to be big enough for two meals.

18.10.14 – Saturday – In the morning we went ashore to explore; for some reason I imagined the island to be a well kept place revolving around the tourist industry. We found it to be a bit run down, an empty, deserted hotel stood at a beautiful corner of the island; houses of local people were very modest. In one of the "Eco Hotels" they had an aviary in which they kept the most colorful parrots and two toucans; those, in my view, are a marvel of creation evolution. Look at the colors on that beak!

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Back at the boat we went snorkeling again to the reef on the north of the anchorage; dead coral and not a lot of fish but we did enjoy the workout. Around noon the action started. Motor yachts in quantity came by, local fishermen quick to offer lobsters and fish.

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Tomorrow morning we’ll set sail to Panama, our intended landfall – the San Blas islands.

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                          Two Oceans in Isla Grande

We did not spend enough time in Colombia; in the planning stage I thought about it as a "technical stop" on the way to Panama but later, as more information became available I understood that the country is worth while exploring. We did not go to the Tayrona park bays due to the slow bureaucracy. The numerous Rosario islands seem to have a lot of potential for the cruiser. I wish I could take the time…

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