| As we passed the sea buoy, there was a tanker coming out of the harbor mouth, and three container ships going ina busy place indeed.* * *|
The anchorage in Cartagena, which is at the very farthest point inside the harboronly a stones throw from the old cityhas a reputation for lousy holding, and we proved rumor to be fact. This is a 500-year-old city, with 500 years of accumulated human-caused sediment, on top of whatever Mother Nature started with. Today, the anchorage is deeply-furrowed ground with a thick layer of soft mud. Although Bernadette and I generally anchor pretty well, it took five tries to get a hold, and like all cruising couples, these anchoring fiascos draw forth some of our least beatific traits. Since our performance was being conducted during the cocktail hour, we provided the evenings entertainment as we dropped, dragged, hauled, circled, dropped, tried again, dragged, hauled, circled, and dropped over and over and over. Everyone on the eight or nine yachts anchored there offered advice and encouragement as we dumbly did our thing, and you just know they thanked their lucky stars it was us, not them. Eventually we quit sliding through the mud, backed down several times to make sure, declared ourselves officially _here_, and then hauled out the celebratory cold beers. The Italian boat arrived the next morning.