Passage from San Andrés to Providence

January 24-25th, 2013, San Andrés to Providence, Colombia

Both islands belong to Colombia and are part of the same Colombian department but they are surprisingly different, especially given that they are only about 55 miles apart.

Interestingly, even though the islands are 55 miles apart, we sailed 119 nautical miles to get to one from the other. Providence is north and upwind from San Andrés. To our credit, we did sail most of the way — motoring less than 5 miles in total.

We left San Andrés mid-morning and arrived in Providence around the same time the next day. We stopped at Cayo Bolivar for about three hours on the first afternoon. There we lunched and snorkeled.

The statue at Cayo Bolivar.

The statue at Cayo Bolivar.

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An overnight to Haines Cay

January 20th, 2013, Haines Cay, Colombia

For a change of scene, we pulled up anchor off Nene’s Marina near San Andrés town and motored out to Haines Cay, a very popular tourist and local destination. It was Sunday afternoon and the place was hopping with local boats and tour boats. Pete and Tony took the dinghy ashore and checked out the two little islands — sampled a beer at each.

Here's the first island.

Here’s the first island.

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Botanical Gardens in San Andrés, Colombia

January 16, 2013, San Andrés, Colombia

Our favourite attraction on San Andrés to date is the Botanical Gardens (el Jardín Botánico de la Universidad Nacional de Colombia). The garden has only been open for three years, so some of the plants are still small, and the garden itself is not huge — but the whole experience has been brilliantly designed. We opted for a guided tour. We were with a Spanish speaking group; however, the local guide moved between Spanish and English fluently; I really don’t know how he did it, quite amazing. [Also, fun for us to hear the Spanish version too — we got a free language lesson with the price of admission.]

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First Baptist Church in San Andrés, Colombia

January 16th, 2013, San Andrés, Colombia

Having grown up in a Baptist church and having been all over as a tourist visiting churches of other denominations that are of historical interest — I was quite taken with, for once in my life, visiting a Baptist church that is a historically significant tourist attraction.

Baptists aren’t flashy people — they don’t put gold or statues in their churches. Stained glass, if present, is more often coloured glass than imagery. No surprise that Baptist churches aren’t tourist destinations.

However, the First Baptist Church in San Andrés is worth a visit. It is the oldest church in San Andrés, architecturally interesting and provides a wonderful view of the island.

It looks like a structure from New England.

First Baptist Church founded in 1844.

First Baptist Church founded in 1844. Yes, we’re still in Colombia.

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Clockwise circumnavigation by golf cart

January 16, 2013, San Andrés, Colombia

On our second day in San Andrés, we rented a petrol-powered golf cart and drove around the island, clockwise. It was a fun day out. Gayle did all the driving — grinning ear-to-ear. Gayle is a natural driver.

Here is Gayle driving the golf cart.

Gayle and Pete in the golf cart.

Gayle and Pete in the golf cart.

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On Delay goes gunkholing in the Bocas del Toro archipelago

January 1st to 10th, 2013, Bocas del Toro archipelago, Panama

We started the New Year with 10 nights of gunkholing around the many little islands of Bocas del Toro.

There are multiple definitions of gunkholing, but this one* best describes our gunkholing:

“… gunkholing is a more earthy term for anchoring your boat on a pleasant out-of-the-way cove or creek. A simple cruise with peace and quiet, beautiful surroundings, tranquil waters and none of the usual daily grind as your destination.”

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A walk in the jungle

January 7th, 2012, Salt Creek Community, Isla Bastimentos, Bocas del Toro, Panama

Pete, Tony and I took the dinghy, with its malfunctioning outboard, up Salt Creek to visit the Ngöbe Indian Community. We most certainly took paddles (and used them). The dinghy motor has only one speed — fast. (Requires a “neutral drop” to start.) Travelling at a constant but high speed gave the twisty trip up the mangrove-lined creek the distinct feel of a video game.  


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