We are currently at 10° 20′ 2.39″ N 75° 50′ 4.84″ W, about 15 miles from Cartagena, Colombia. Part of the fun of being on a working container ship is that you really have no guarantee regarding the port stops.
We knew we’d get to Cartagena this afternoon, we just didn’t know when we’d get to Cartagena. So far we’ve been drifting about 15 miles from Cartagena since about 2 in the afternoon. With the clouds and haze in the air, land is just far enough away to be invisible. At one point in the late afternoon it cleared enough to see some ivory-colored skyscrapers on the coastline through the binoculars.
There’s a lot of slack built into the ship’s schedule. I’m guessing the padding allows us to absorb any unexpected cargo or weather delays. It also means that every day from around 1 or 2 in the afternoon until about 8 or 9 at night, the boat’s engines are turned off and we just drift. Right now we are waiting for the pilot to take us into the port.
We were on the bridge after dinner when we learned that the pilot would boarding at 2230 (in about an hour). We probably won’t be docking until midnight. Apparently cargo operations generally take about 10 hours—but it all depends. We could be leaving Cartagena tomorrow at 10 in the morning, or noon (or later). We won’t really know until they get the cargo plan after we dock.
So, no stories of Colombian coffee, or photos of the old port yet. But Stephanie and I are planning on setting the alarm for 6 in morning to see if we can get out for a quick taxi ride around the city. Fingers crossed. For now, here’s a view of the sunset tonight out our cabin window.