Friday 18 January 2019

Columbian Coast Part II

Following my last post, I can now report that the Colombian coast is , actually quite windy!  Our last night at sea was another gentle one - 20knots and flat-ish seas.  Another boat, not far ahead but about 5miles further away from the coast had a night of 25-30 knots and big waves and swell - so it's all to do with positioning!  With about 10miles to go, we turned south towards Santa Marta, and went from wing-on-wing to a broad breach.  The wind started to rise - and then carried on rising as we rounded the headland.  For the last 8 miles we had sustained gale force winds - the heaviest gust I saw was 43knots.  The seas increased and we surfed at breakneck speed towards the gap between lighthouse and shore that was the finish line.  As we approached the line, the seas and wind moderated and I took over the steering from Jo for the easy bit!  

Jo on helm, Nicki on navigation at the start of the rollercoaster to the finish
As we crossed the line, we were greeted by 2 boats from the Coast Guard ('Armada') who waved and photographed us cheerily and gave a big thumbs-up when the Colombian Courtesy flag was hoisted.  Parking the boat - involving reversing into berth in a tght marina - went surprisingly well; helped hugely by the dockmaster in a ribs hoving the bows in the right direction.  We were overwhelmed with line handlers ready to tie the boat - we had to get more ropes out of the locker so they each had a rope to tie-up!

We spent the afternoon and evening doing some light bureaucracy, and then heavy story-telling with the other crews - most of whom came in within a few hours of us.  There were tales of big winds and torn sails, but everybody arrived happy and healthy.

Santa Marta is an amazing, lively, loud and colourful place and we're here for 6 days, so will post again about the place.
Salcombe to Colombia - wow!

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