Many boats have docked at the Cartagena Marina over the years. Just as they have left a part of themselves in the harbour, so has it left its mark on the crews of these vessels, which are now no longer here. Proof of this is to be found in the parting words written and preserved in the Marina archives. Cards, books, pamphlets, photographs, even simple pages with a few lines of thanks, such as that left one day by the writer Arturo Perez Reverte.
Visiting vessels range from the largest to smallest, from boats that are over a hundred years old to others on their maiden voyage; sailing boats, motor boats, mega yachts and solo sailors. Some spent years in the port and some only a few hours … ship owners, captains, sailors, fans, many of them bid farewell with a “see you soon” an “I’ll be back” or “goodbye forever”.
But it doesn’t end there. The marina remains in contact with its ‘old’ friends, scattered around the world, via internet. Often, the postman delivers letters and postcards in English, written from other ports, and almost always telling the story of what has happened or is happening on that boat, wherever it is in the world. Phrases like ‘the journey was good and now we’re in …’, ‘Here in the tropics, it is very hot, so we bought boxes of beer cans that fit in the boat …’, ‘Last night we saw the Southern Cross for the first time … ” handwritten phrases on postcards that usually end with ‘Thanks for everything”, “fond memories” “best wishes”, “love from … “