Galley Wench Tales

Exploring the world through the people we meet
and the food they eat.

Wayne and his newfound amigo keep watch
over the Providencia Island, Colombia shoreline.

Once upon a time if asked, “What word first pops to mind when you hear the phrase, ‘drug lords’?” my answer would be “Colombian.”

We considered bypassing Colombia’s Providencia Island on our way to Panama, but after 7 days passage, the last four and a half days of it getting the crap beaten out of us, we were more than ready for a rest.  Better yet, Providencia Island garnered glowing cruiser reviews as a pleasant place to visit.  We knew it would be a little spendy for check-in – it cost us $100 US – but “What the heck; it’s another ticket to punch on our passport,” Wayne conceded.
These waterfront promenade tiles are
actually flat, though they appear wavy.
Very cool optical illusion!

A crowd of cruisers aboard “Second Wind,” where 4 dinghies rafted on its aft for a sundowner, waved us in.  

We dropped anchor only to discover our windlass* was malfunctioning.  The anchorage was only about 8’ deep, so Wayne manually dropped our reliable Rocna anchor and 25’ of chain, less than the 50’+ minimum we normally put out. 
*For non-boaters, the windlass is the contraption that mechanically lowers and raises the anchor and its chain and line so it doesn’t have to be done by hand.  Doing it by hand is arduous.
Gaily painted panga at Morgan’s Beach,
Providencia Island.

Exhausted, we were quickly putting the boat to bed, so we could follow shortly.  Then one of the cruisers, Andreas of Aphrodite, dinghied up to inform us we were dragging – a first for us with our Rocna.  Apparently the combination of a brisk wind, strong current, weedy bottom and less than our usual chain conspired.  Andreas helped Wayne reset the anchor, which held for our duration at Providencia Island, whilst Wayne fixed the windlass.

Our talent for arriving on the eve of a
3-day holiday weekend where the place
shuts down continues….

We then ate and crashed out for 12 hours!  At the civilized hour of 10 am-something, cruiser Charlotte of Pegasus welcomed us to Providencia Island and handed us the notes she’d pulled together about the island.  They and their buddy-boating posse spent about three weeks enjoying the island.  The weather window they were awaiting for their next destination was just few days away.  “Enjoy the island,” she suggested, “We did!”

Primary means of transportation on
Providencia Island.  All four of these
locals were on the scooter together.

As did we.  

Providencia Island is quaint, laid back, friendly and incredibly safe.  “The check-in agent, Mr. Bush, was insulted when I asked him if I should lock my dinghy at the dock!” shared Charlotte.

Best of all, we were able to pass Charlotte’s notes onto the next cruiser who arrived, shortly before we left.
This church offers a fine example of
Providencia Island’s attractive

architectural style.

Thanks, Charlotte!  

Far from my image of Columbian drug lords, Providencia Island is as safe as Mayberry RFD (but a lot cuter).  While nearly all the signs are in English, the island’s a favorite with Colombians, who head over from the mainland over Colombia’s many 3-day festival weekends.  

If you’re in the neighborhood and are looking for an attractive tropical island to spend a day or three, check out Providencia Island.  You can cover this island in 45 minutes on a moped if you don’t stop, but of course, you’ll want to.

Easy rider Wayne on Providencia Island
in front of one of their many bus stop sculptures.
It was a mere $15 for a three hour scooter rental.

“The square”  — A popular local hangout and
a free wifi access spot – when the wifi’s working

Internet is free at Providencia Island
Colombia’s library – when the library is open
and the internet connection works.

Location Location
We’re in Bocas del Toro, PANAMA now (N09.20.142 W82.40.718); this is a recent retrospective from January 10-14, 2015 in Providencia Island, COLOMBIA (N13.22.789 W81.22.496).  Until now, we had only a few hours of internet since leaving Key West, Florida, December 27, 2014.  Watch for some interesting catch-up posts of our adventures in between!