Friday, May 2, 2014

San Andres

The Reef Barrier on the East

Earthling finally departed the Panamanian waters last week. A 220 nautical miles sail took us from Portobello to San Andres on one tack in 45 hours. The weather could not been any better, calm seas, and moderate winds were the perfect conditions especially for the inexperienced Panamanian crew, Marie Louise. I had to make sure to have a Panamanian citizen aboard to get permission to exit the waters of Colon area, smile!  
San Andres is located close to Nicaragua and Costa Rica but it’s part of Colombia. This is a vacation island and mostly visited by Latin Americans, primarily Colombians, Chileans, and Argentinians. It’s flat, sunny, windy, beautiful white sandy beaches, and lots of tourist. There is lots of activity around the main anchorage in front of the town. Jet skis and tourist boats are zooming close by without any consideration, No wake laws are absent here!
In the Background, Johnny Cay
Speed Boats
The first impression of the island was the active people. Many were running along the beach with their nice running equipment. People were biking around on racing bikes and so forth. We were surprised of how athletic people in San Andres were! The following day we went ashore and realized that there was a triathlon!     
The Board Walk along the Beach
When you check in to Colombia you must hire an agent that does all the paper work. In San Andres, the cost of hiring an agent is $80, in addition to the tourist card $25pp required by anyone visiting San Andres and Providencia. (Agent: Rene speaks a little English and can be reached on VHF16 or +57-315.680.7980,  

San Andres is only 8 miles North to South and 2 miles East to West. It’s easy to bike around and explore it. Common transportation is golf carts and motorbikes. Marie and I rented a golf cart and drove around the island. On the leeward side (West) of the island, the water is calm and clear with coral lines and a perfect place for snorkeling. The beaches are mostly on the windward side.

South End
The residents of the island are mostly Caribbean with a Colombian twist. The natives speak Creole, English, and Spanish. On the radio, mixed Caribbean and Latin music is played! It feels good to be back in the Caribbean spirit!
Marie flew back to Panama yesterday and tonight Darius is flying in from Chicago. In a couple of days we are going to sail to Providencia, which should be much more tranquil. 

Love from San Andres   

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