Drama leaving Cartagena

Lynn & Mike ..around the world
Mike Drinkrow & Lynn v/d Hoven
Sun 3 Jul 2011 16:39
9:21.89N 078:15.48W   Drama leaving Cartagena 
We arrived back in the San Blas islands on Friday afternoon, after a rather eventful exit from Cartagena. Our aim had been to leave on Thursday at noon, for the 24+hour crossing back to Panama. The customs paperwork, which in Colombia is handled by an agent, did not arrive on Wednesday evening or on Thursday morning as promised. This was quite concerning, as we could not get hold of the agent, and she also had our passports.
Mike who had been looking at different settings on our Furuno Navigation system, discovered that our depth sounder was not working. After many hours of reading manuals, trying different settings, calling the USA and the dealer in Colombia, unplugging and replugging ... we came to the conclusion that the unit was faulty. We will try to take this to Radio Holland in Panama City to assess/ replace. In the meantime we have another depth gauge, but not nearly as efficient.
Then our agent arrived with our paperwork and we decided that we may as well leave. There was some nasty weather coming and we would try to get ahead of it.
I rushed down to the office to pay, only to find that they wanted to charge us more than double what was advertised on the internet. Anyway I stood my ground and got them to charge us the advertised price. Then there was a problem with credit cards not being accepted, and having to offer a second one. We have since discovered that both cards were authorised and we are now trying to sort all this out across the miles.
Finally we cast off, and edged out of the very tight, stern-to slip - as Mike went ahead for me to release the bow lines, the boat got pushed sideways and we scratched the neighbouring boat. As you can imagine, there was much screaming from the shore, as they thought we would just take off. Of course we went back to the club to sort it out - and the marina manager was very helpful. He contacted the owner who agreed that one of the local artisans could polish out the scratch, touch up the fibreglass at our expense. The marina manager found a guy and with a little negotiation we settled on a price, handed over the money and off we went!  Boy oh boy that could have been a lot more unpleasant!
Finally a little after 5pm we were on our way, quite exhausted from the day's dramas!.
After another night of rain and somewhat terrifying lightening bolts, we got back into the lovely San Blas. We headed to a small island called Aridup, a little closer than initially planned.
Yesterday Mike spent most of the day with a local fisherman and his son. They went diving/ spear-fishing and got a good haul of crab, crayfish & fish. Mike was very impressed with the diving ability of these small skinny Kuna people.In the afternoon, he towed their dug-out canoe back to their small village next to the mainland and enjoyed a hand held guided tour with the tiny daughters (5 & 6) of the fisherman.
We are now headed to Coco Banderas.