The Captain’s Log Book 33

Thursday, February 21, 2019
Taganga, Santa Marta, Colombia
11°16’081” N, 074°11’541” W


The stars are shining but you never know from where. For our proposition to stage a Curaçao show during the Carifesta Festival, the island happened to be pretty small and too limited its cultural scope. Since Carifesta is a summer meeting, there might have been enough time to mobilize this Curaçao delegation. But the harbour charges exorbitant prices, living up its reputation of ‘The Dragon’s Mouth’ by exploiting its monopoly. Then, we don’t easily pardon them to let us drift at sea at New Years Eve, even if this is the best place to see the fireworks. Neither appeals to us the perspective of witnessing the heaps of people that mega-cruises continuously vomit over town. So we recur to one of the small pleasures of life, that is to look at the map to choose a next destination. That was to be Santa Marta, the oldest colonial town in the America’s. So the fools set sail again, this time with a unprecedented sense of freedom because for the first time in thirty years there’s no project pending. Arriving after a few days of sailing in the bay of Santa Marta, we immediately turned round to Taganga, a nearby village in a natural parc with snow covered mountain tops.

Colombia is a fascinating country. The cheerfulness of it’s inhabitants is tantamount to the misery they’re kept in. You would say it’s a peaceful country if the social leaders, those who could bring about a social change, were not systematically killed. People survive by singing songs or selling sweeties in the auto bus. Taganga bay is a small scale tourist resort for locals that attracts a lot of itinerant street musicians and performers. We befriended some communities of artists and nomads that are settled in the mountains and invited them to mount a cabaret night on board. A fisherman served as the ferry-man. This became a classic in the best traditions of the Amsterdam, Barcelona and Basque theater nights. Most of the acts were circus, a unique feature and quite heroical, since the ceiling is barely two meters high. And not without a touch of melancholy because these copious nights are becoming rare, even if we manage to find a mooring in the big cities of Barranquilla or Carthagena de las Indias.

Now, the Magnum Opus to pursue is the desert trip on wheels to the Uluru rock in Australia – as the apotheosis of the milenary history of The Ship On Wheels. So finally, I unearthed some maritime charts and nautical books to cast a first glance at the challenges that present the crossing of the Pacific. Trade winds, currents, distances, periods, islands, coral reefs, monsoons, squalls, tropical storms. At first glance this is rather reassuring lecture because the most hazardous features are the riffs and tropical storms, both to circumvent with good charts and good timing. The propitious moment to pass the Panama canal seems to be in about ten months.

There’s a XV-th century sermon titled “The Guild of the Blue Barge” that summons all ‘Mates of Wild Manners” to embark on the ship, on her way to damnation. The personification of an indestructible, joyful pagan ritual.or lost souls who do not accommodate themselves to society. This time, we sail for real. Ten month’s to gather these Mates of the Blue Barge. In these regions, there’re plenty of candidates around. Here, the freshly constructed outboard barbecue is most helpful. Next day it highlighted real Italian pizza. In the morning fresh fish is brought by returning fishermen, the Purveyors of the Fool’s Household. The figure head on the bow is a spoon and a fork. Here We Come, We’re Hungry.



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