Wednesday, October 10, 2007

The Five Bays, Columbia

Our last few nights here have been the quietest ones we've spent on the boat for a long time. Scott made pancakes one morning to celebrate! We are anchored off a caramel colored beach in Bahia Guayraca, one of the "Five Bays", part of Tayrona National Park in Columbia. As we approached this area we were watching for the snow capped mountains of the Santa Marta range, usually visable from the sea.
They are indeed beautiful but not snow capped this year - global warming? These are the highest sea coast mountains in the world - one is 19,000 feet! This was a large indigineous Indian settlement before the Europeans came and the area has been extensively worked over by archiologists and treasure hunters. The grave sites are now pocked with holes for miles. After the bodies deteriorated the remains
were placed in large pottery containers and buried with their possesions. Above right is one still recognizable. Fragments litter the ground for acres and many bone pieces too. At least one grave yielded gold ornaments and everyone's been hoping for another strike since. We met a charming local man, Renaldo, who gave us a walking tour of the area and invited us into his home. His son Jonathan joined us for our tour. Their neighbor Maria invited us for coffee at her home too.
Our Spanish is improving quickly as no one has spoken English since we left Aruba. For the previous 26 hours we motored in flat calm seas from Cabo de la Vela. We dodged thunderstorms but kept out of them pretty well. Most contained little wind, mostly rain. Occasional showers are part of rainy season and so are rainbows. One picture shows one over Unplugged. Unplugged ran through a patch of heavy vegetation and it wrapped around their propeller. We headed back to help them but Tom dove and freed it after the lightning moved away. We experienced a half knot to two knot current against us almost the whole way as well. The 125 miles took five more hours than we expected. Every night down here is a light show but the storms stay mostly over the land.

No comments: