Panama to Cartagena on the Stahlratte

I sailed from Panama to Cartagena on a sailboat called the Stahlratte. 

I left Panama City around 7 AM with a bunch of people, my first time riding with others. I thought it was going to be an easy ride to the port, but not so. It rained hard, and the morning traffic was stop and go. We ended up losing one guy in the traffic who nearly missed the boat. Another guy went off the road closer to the boat. About 5 of us had to get off our bikes and lift his bike out of a ditch. 

At the port we drove straight onto a cement pier, unloaded our stuff, and watched as our bikes were hoisted onto the boat. Super efficient. We rolled out and cruised for 3 hours to a couple small, empty islands. We had the rest of the day to swim and snorkel around the boat. At about 11 we started sailing for Cartagena. 

The wind was strong and the seas were at about a 3 meter swell so it was tough to sleep. I was on the windward side top bunk, so unless I braced myself I would have been tossed out of bed. I ended up staying awake most of the night and catching the sunrise on the top deck.

Flying fish and dolphins followed the boat on and off the following day. Strong winds continued and by nightfall we were in the port of Cartagena.

We unloaded the next day, but the bikes had to stay on for another 24 hours while the paperwork was completed. Apparently the customs official died the night before, so everything was all screwed up. 

A bunch of people got sea sick and spent the time in total misery. I was fine, although a little tired. Great food. $1 beers. Funny German captain who was terribly inapropriate. All in all awesome experience sailing on the open water with no sign of land for the better part of two days. 

I met a guy on the boat who is close to 50, traveling alone, and pretty well off. He invited me to stay in his Airbnb right on the water in a posh apartment complex. Because of that I’ve been spending next to nothing and hanging by the pool a lot. This guy is a hilarious Australian dude with more shit strapped to the back of his bike than you would think possible. He’s got close to 10 cameras, a drone, and a tent that he can drive his bike into. But really nice and fun to hang with. We drove our motorcycles on the beach and got drone footy the other night, which was cool. There is a British guy also staying with us.

Cartagena is insanely beautiful. Colombia is awesome so far. Pretty, cheap, and vast. I think I’m going to like it here. 

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