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Blue Pearl - Surprise Surprise...!

Here we are in Santa Marta, Columbia, 10 days after the start of the Rally and we have already retired from the event once and rejoined it again. Not many boats can claim that accomplishment...!

We also proudly arrived in Santa Marta , the destination of leg 1, as the last boat in and with one fewer crew aboard than we started with. Who could have known.

So, what happened? Well as the health of our crew always comes first we decided to take a detour to Aruba to allow Laurie to recover from a particularly strenuous first three Rally days with boisterous seas but, more importantly, some ailments that don't combine well with passage making. She is in Miami now, doing well and is planning to rejoin us in Panama City.

Aruba was an experience. We had arrived in the dark, found a reef to anchor behind which, however, also happened to be in front of a defunct oil refinery. Made for an interesting morning, beautiful views to starboard and to port the remnants of a processing plant for oil from Venezuela.

No surprise though that we soon found a more fitting spot to satisfy our tastes, the marina at the beautiful Renaissance hotel in Oranjestad. The crew enjoyed all the amenities of the hotel while the Captain attended to Blue Pearl's needs.

We spent 4 days there, decided to retire from the Rally and then realized that that's not what the Captain wanted to do so we rejoined and with Laurie safely in Miami proceeded to Santa Marta where the fleet had gathered.

Fortunately we still arrived in time to participate in a great Rally dinner to celebrate the completion of the first leg. We enjoyed watching a wonderfully energetic Colombian dancing troupe and a small band featuring an electric violin which I had never seen or heard before.

So we are leaving here tomorrow morning on the way to the San Blas Island. There are 39 boats in the Rally from 13 different countries, including Selene from Holland crewed by Tjerk from Assen en Henny from Haarlem both are in their seventies. Just shows all of you what the future holds. Sometimes dreams work out..!

Captain Ruud.

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