Many people have reported that this leg - and in particular the last
stage along the Colombian coast to Santa Marta can be vicious. The
Atlantic trade winds get accelerated around the coast and combine with a
static area of low pressure over the land to regularly produce winds in
excess of 40 knots even when the rest of the Caribbean is benign.
Combine this with an adverse current creeping up the Columbian coast
and the seas can be horrible. The weather forecast for todays says
"EVENING(20LT) (17/00 GMT)(T + 12): WINDS NE-E(45 - 90) INCREASE
20-30 GUSTS 35KTS. SEAS 4-6 SWELLS NE-E BUILD 5-10FT (2SEC). SKIES
PARTLY CLOUDY. ISOLATED SHWRS/SQUALLS*. CURRENTS FROM S @ 0.6KTS."
We've been ready, sailing with this in mind for a couple of days now,
and now that we are heading SW along the coast from Punta Gallinas (the
northern-most point of Colombia) we have....flat sea and 12-14knots of
wind! We're assuming that it won't last and are ready to reef down and
ride a rollercoaster to Santa Marta, but for now it's hot and gentle.
In St Lucia, we met up with Jo's cousin Peta and her husband Derek, who
were on a cruise in the 3,200-guest 'Celebrity Reflection'. Yesterday
evening, they crossed our wake as they sailed from Bonaire to Fort
Lauderdale and we gave them a wave.
Last night we made good speed with a decent wind and following sea,
and we now have about 170Nm to go - and hope to arrive tomorrow