We left Curacao just before 11 pm. last night and set sail for Cartagena Colombia where we will make a morning stop, tomorrow. Venezuela and Colombia are not small countries and as we also have to sail south along the west coast of Colombia to the Cartagena pilot station, the captain has to keep the pedal to the metal to get there on time. Luckily we have a strong wind in the back and that can easily help with the speed. Except ……….we are sailing as fast as the wind is blowing so the netto effect is zero. But at least it is not blowing against us and it gives a quiet / near wind still situation on the deck. Later today the wind is supposed to breeze up a little bit more and then we will get a little push free of charge. We always have the wind here in the stern as there is, with normal weather, a super charged Trade Wind blowing. Which only loses its velocity when coming close to Panama. We will keep this wind until we are inside the Boca Chica, the start of the inland lake area where the port of Cartagena is located. Then we are surrounded on all sides by land and that often reduces the wind greatly. And as I have now mentioned a few times in the last few days, cruise ship captains do not like wind as it can blow their ship – read hotel – all over the place.
This morning at 08.00 hrs. we crossed the border between Venezuela and Colombia and as soon as we were over it, Dolphins popped up. It was quite remarkable. Nothing on the Venezuelan side and lots of them on the Colombian side. We will now keep an eye out during the next cruise to see if this pattern continues or if it was just a fluke.
I am always happy to answer comments on my blog, so here we go with two that came in recently. One what is the status with the Barometer? As you might remember last year while I was on the Maasdam I went to visit a dear old lady near Boston who was family of one our Directors from our glorious past, Adriaan Gips. Family lore had it that he received an old (200 years by now) barometer as a retirement present or something similar. Could I do some digging???. Well, we are still digging (I say we, as most of it is all done by hobby friends who have much more knowledge than I have) and we have not found any connection yet. There are no farewell speeches in the archives, no mention anywhere about Gips and a Barometer. At the moment our most educated guess is, that it has been in the Gips family for a long time because they had a shipyard in the Dutch town of Dordrecht and it is a ships wall barometer. We are still trying to find a link to the 2nd world war and Gips, as the war archives of HAL have recently been made available but thus far we have not found anything. So the search goes on.
Then one reader confirmed that he had also seen green car carriers with opera names, such as Rigoletto, Carmen, etc. etc. There is a bit more to the story. Mr. Wallenius loved opera, so his ships all had opera names. His biggest competitor was Mr. Wilhelmsen, whose ships were red and all their names started with a T. Too much competition is not good for anybody so they decided to merge but keep their own identity.
The new company was called Wallenius-Wilhelmsen, which was possible as the ships hulls were big enough to take all those letters. When you make a Panama Canal cruise and you see car carriers, then they are most of the time either red or green and they do belong to the same company. I have always wondered if one ship would get the name Tosca, if they would paint it in Red AND Green.
The reason for the T is that the first ship that made a profit for the Wilhelmsen Company back in 1887 had a T name. So it brought good luck and they stuck to the T since then.
I love to see those things in the current age of branding. So stick to your traditions and in the end it forms a brand itself, in the same way as Holland America has been DAMMED ever since 1873. The day the company will call a ship the HAL Holland or something will be the day that I will jump over board. But I do not think that that will happen.
So tomorrow we are in Cartagena and according to the weather guru’s it is not supposed to rain. But as they have been wrong with the wind lately, I will wait and see what we get when we get there.