At 5:00 a.m. one of our party was awoken by items falling onto the floor in the cabin above us. The sea was white with crashing wave tops and spume so much so that the moonlight ’s reflection made it easy to navigate the cabin without lights.
We arrived offshore at Cartagena, Colombia at 06:25 a.m. and navigated the harbour entrance via a 9 mile long, possible flooded river valley, known as a ria.
An early breakfast enabled us to witness the docking in time for us to leave the ship on our walking tour of the old city.
Founded in 1533 this is a UN World Heritage Site. Within its amazingly thick walls and sturdy bastions are preserved churches, warehouses, workshops and cobbled streets. Sir Francis Drake plundered the city in 1586 in an attempt to prevent Spain’s continued expansion of its empire in the Caribbean (The Spanish Main) and most of all to “get his hands” on the gold, silver, tobacco, coffee and bananas. The raid was successful but the Spanish fought back with the construction of the walls and gateways we witnessed today. The Spanish ruled until 1811 when Colombia became independent.
We departed at 3:00 p.m. for Panama, on a flat-calm sea. We anticipate being off the Panama Canal at first light around 06:15 a.m. The explorers will be there to report back tomorrow.