The Colombian coast hereabouts is notoriously windy. In December they had two 70 knot gales in Santa Marta and through January there were regular 40 knot breezes. Now, in early April, things are moderating but last night we sat through a 35-40 knot front. Nothing spectacular, save for the suddenness and violence of the gusts. In the dark there were bobbing head torches and much doubling of lines on all boats.
This morning it is calm in Santa Marta – well, there’s a steady 25 knot breeze. The narrow streets of the old town are noisy and colourful, abuzz with tooting horns, market stalls and jostling locals. Bling is everywhere in evidence and Maxine, one of the world’s most addicted collectors of cheap furbelows and bibelots, is in seventh heaven.
One of the great delights of cruising is making new friends. Even better is renewing those friendships further down the track. We have had just this pleasure here in Santa Marta.
Expats in Santa Marta sing its praises as a safe place. Certainly, it feels that way. But you will not find any windows, doors or front yards which are not protected by robust steel grilles. There are police everywhere and even at midday I was warned by an old lady not to go down one particular street in the industrial sector “muy peligroso”, she warned.