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Voyage of Traveler / Blog » Traveler Postcard From Cartagena

Voyage of Traveler / Blog

March 23, 2010

Traveler Postcard From Cartagena

Filed under: Year 3: July09 - July10 Greece to Newport Beach, CA, Caribbean — mrlawlerjr @ 11:26 am

Hola de Cartagena, Colombia,

We enjoyed our five-day visit to historic Cartagena.  This was our only visit to a South American port, and my first time ever to this continent.  We now have seen on this voyage six out of the seven continents of the world.

We anchored off the cruisers’ favorite marina, the Club Nautico.  The marina was nearly full and the few spaces available were in shallow water, too shallow for our 8 foot draft.  But we are quite happy at anchor, using the dinghy to get ashore.  The old restaurant and bar at Club Nautico were torn down about a year ago and a new building was under construction for several months.  But the owners got into a dispute with City Hall, and now the lawyers are involved and construction has halted, so it is a mess.

We liked to walk or bike ride around the old walled city, especially early in the morning or at night.  The midday sun is just too hot, in the upper-90s and humid.

Last night, in lieu of a Captain’s Dinner on Traveler, we had a farewell dinner for Kellie at a fun Cuban restaurant in the old town.  Kellie has been with us for the past seven weeks, joining the boat in St. Martin on February 2 for her second long tour on Traveler. This time she got to visit Anguilla, St. Barts, Saba, the British and US Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica and Colombia. She is flying today to Managua, Nicaragua to join her friend, Dylan, to travel around Central America for a month or so.

One of the highlights of our time here in Cartagena was a visit aboard the USS Freedom, the US Navy’s latest and fastest, high-tech, stealth ship.  It is the first of its class, a Littoral (means coastal) Combat Ship.  Its published speed is 40+ knots, but when it is lightly loaded it can reach up to 60 knots!  That is an incredible speed for a ship that is 385 feet!  Freedom is still on its maiden voyage, from Wisconsin where she was built by Lockheed Martin, to San Diego, her home port, due to arrive there on April 23.  She is powered by four Rolls Royce jet engines (no propellers) which combined can pump 12 million gallons of water per minute–the equivalent of being able to fill an Olympic-sized swimming pool in just three seconds!  Anchored just 200 yards away from her, I tried to pick Freedom up on my radar, and there was nothing there!  The stealth technology is amazing!  Google “USS Freedom LCS 1″ for photos and articles about it, or check out their website at www.freedom.navy.mil.  Special thanks to LCDR Mark West for the great tour.

So now it is just Brian and me, and we set sail for Colon, Panama in a few hours.  It is a 258nm passage to the west, and it should be a comfortable down wind run.  It should take us about 40 hours, assuming we average 6.5 knots and sail a straight course.

The good news is that Barbara will re-join Traveler in Panama, although it will be a short ten-day visit while she is on her Spring Break.  But we get to do the Canal together!

Living the Dream
Michael

4 Comments »

  1. Metro, I read about that stealth ship in the paper a few months back and was blown away by those speeds it can reach! How cool that you saw this brand new vessel in person and on her maiden voyage!! And you got a tour? Fantastic!

    Comment by Ry guy — March 24, 2010 @ 10:23 pm

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