Salt, Sun, and…Spit?


This captain is having way too much fun cutting across the waves at high velocity.   The boat flies into the air then smacks down onto the water, sending salty spray everywhere.

“I can’t even wipe my eyes!” I complain to Diego.

boy and girl getting soaked, getting pelted with water, hit with ocean spray on boat

Even with my sunglasses on I can barely see. The spray is getting behind my glasses from all angles, in my eyes, up my nose, and in my mouth. Everything is soaked! Diego semi figured out a way to hide my camera bag and cover it with towels so it’s mostly protected, but that leaves the two of us without anything to use as cover.

The bow fills with college-aged frat-type boys who are (trying miserably) at timing their jumping so they can make the boat bounce more. It would help if they could even time their jumping as a group, let alone with the up and down of the boat, but watching them try to jump in rhythm is like watching rich white people try to dance; sad and comical.

Guys trying to jump in unison on a boat, guys in bathing shorts, guys on boat

I walk over to the side of the bow to get some cool angled photos of the spray coming up around the sides and soaking all of us. I’m also trying to get the wind in my face, because, having just finally started to feel better while visiting Playa Blanca, this choppy boat ride is not what my stomach wants right now. As I’m filming Diego, who is also soaked and breathing in salt water, decides to brilliantly walk over in front of me, lean over the side, and…


giant wave off side of boat, boat hitting giant wave, Caribbean sea, boat trip


“DID YOU JUST SPIT ON ME?” I yell in disgust and

disbelief as a giant loogie lands square on the side of my nose.

“OH MY GOD HONEY! I’M SO SORRY!” Diego is profusely apologizing while I am simultaneously disgusted and laughing hysterically at his obvious disregard for physics.

Yes, when you spit upwind from someone, on a boat, moving at rapid haste, said spit WILL fly directly backwards from your oral cavity, not cut outwards and perpendicular to the wind, and you will end up spitting on whoever is behind you. In this particular case, your girlfriend.


I am so thankful it was neither an inch higher (in my eye) or lower (in my mouth), but yes, even through the constant spray, there is a distinct difference in feeling of a warm, slimy spit-wad just hanging out on the left side of my face.


diego soaking wet. guy soaking wet on a boat

It’s actually pretty funny and a few people behind us are laughing at it too. I think they are just thankful that I was there, and not them. I don’t blame them.  It’s still gross.  And Diego is utterly horrified at what he just did.   HAHAHAHAHAHA

I’m getting too wet now though. My eyes hurt from the salt, and I really need a minute to break from this constant onslaught of spray and spit.

“I’m going to go get some video out the back”, and start walking like a drunk person as I try to keep my balance walking through the cabin to the back of the boat.

I finally, after a couple semi-falls, and almost landing on an old dude in the inside cabin, I make it to the back door. I set up my camera, open the door, walk out, and…

sun setting off back of boat, woman sitting on back of a boat


It reeks of diesel fumes! Ok, I can handle this. I just want a little video. I’m fine. I’m fine. I’m fine. Oh my god I’m going to throw up!

I whip around and fling the door open, and walk as fast as I can through the lower cabin, back towards the front of the boat. Between the back cabin and the captains room is a small room that I didnt notice before, with open door to the outside, air conditioning, and a couple of benches. This room is perfect, I can be out of the spray and still get fresh air.

I must look like hell, because some lady takes one look at me, jumps up, and lets me slide into an open space on the bench next to a basket. I try breathing slowly, and telling myself I’m fine, but I don’t feel fine. The residual stench of diesel fuel lingers in my nose and on my clothes. I need fresh air. I stumble back outside and sit next to Diego

The boat has started to slow down and turn parallel with the waves, making the ride smoother. I’m ok. I’m ok. I’m getting better. I’m going to be fine.
And I throw my GoPro at Diego, “I need to go” and run over to the side of the boat.

One of the guys who was behind me during the spit session is standing in my way.

“Por favor” as I look up at him and point behind him. At least, in my state, I can still remember common sense science. I know I look like hell now, because he jumps out of the way and gives me wide berth to get around him.

I slump to the floor and lay my chin on my knees, with my forehead on the rail in that ‘I’m going to try not to throw up but if I do I’m pretty much over the rail’ position and don’t move. I think I fell asleep at some point. I don’t know. I can’t move. I cant look. I can’t do anything or I know I’m going to hurl. I just stay in this position until we start coming back into Cartagena’s harbour.


Now that we are crawling along in the greater harbour area, I slowly feel I can start to move again, though I don’t dare stand up – or god forbid walk – yet, but I can lift my head, and sit mostly straight up. After about 10 minutes of this, I attempt the standingish-while-leaning-on-the-rail-looking-out move, to a surprising success. I stay this way until I see Diego walk to the side of the boat and look back at me with that ‘poor baby’ look. I think I can move now, and slowly test my ability to move without projecting lunch into the bay. I make it to Diego and am amazed that I’m feeling MUCH better. So much better I totally forget I just spent the last hour or so, on the sunny side of the boat, in a sitting fetal position, and start running around taking portraits of people in the sunset.

diego looking at sunset, guy looking out to the sunset


girl in sunset on boat


girl laughing with coastal skyline behind her, caribbean, cartagena, colombia

We finally dock in the harbour.

Oh no Jorge! During the trip back, between the spit, the salt, and my extreme nauseus, I totally put the fact that Diego and I left our friend Jorge stranded on Playa Blanca! We now have to deal with the guilt at our lack of Jorge again.
We rush back tot he hostel as quick as we can. Maybe he grabbed a cab and beat us back?

Nope. The hostel hasn’t seen him. His roommates haven’t seen him. We have just had to admit we left our friend all alone. Well, we have no idea if he’s figured out a way back, and it would suck to pass him, so we decide to shower quick and change. If Jorge doesn’t arrive by the time we are done, we are going looking for him. We haven’t really figured out the logistics of this endeavor, but we have to make sure our friend is ok.

Oh man we are horrible people!


As Diego jumps in the shower, and I’m realizing that I have burned streaks on my forehead, arms, knees, and back (just about every part exposed to the sun when you are in a sitting fetal position paralyzed with nasuea). As im changing out of my damp, salty dress I realize something else.; I BURNED MY STOMACH THROUGH MY DRESS! Im going to be a sexy, skin-shedding mess in about a week.

I hear a knock on my hostel dorm door.



I can’t stop myself from jumping at him in a giant hug!

Standing in front of me is a sheepishly smiling, tired looking Jorge

“YOU”RE OK!” I say, while also thinking, “We didn’t kill our friend. Thank god we didnt kill our friend!”
“Yea. Do you have anything to drink?” he says exausted.

I throw the Gatorade at Jorge and run to the shower to yell at Diego that Jorge is back.

“HE”S OK?!” Diego yells from the shower, also excited and he rushes out as soon as he can.

 2 men and a woman on a boat, 3 people in front of water

Turns out, Jorge went on a walk around the beach. When he got to the end he saw a road, so he decided to loop around and follow the street back. He followed a path that headed back to the beach where the food was, and when he came out through the trees, he emerged right onto …

…an empty beach!

He wasn’t that far behind our departure, but our boat did the Colombian thing and left when it wanted, this time a bit earlier than they said. Even thought our boat captain told us we were the last boat off Playa Blnca for the day, luckily a last, small, fast boat, owned by the same tour company, happened to be leaving Playa Blanca after us, and gave Jorge a lift for free.
But at least we all ended up back fine!

So to recap: Our cheap-skate asses ended up on the wrong tour, got sick, got spit on, got lost, got ridiculously burned, and all ended up back at the hostel with stories to tell. Nothing is ever boring when you wing it.