Log 6. Arrival in Santa Marta. 11.14.54N 74.13.09W

David Batten
Tue 19 Jan 2016 12:19
Thursday 14/1/2015.  Yesterday’s conditions were too good to last!  We had great sailing during day light hours and then 3 disappointing events occurred, the first being that we were overtaken by Chillie B in the early evening.  We really should be faster than her, but she was sailing dead down wind under full mainsail alone, looking very comfortable and going great guns.  Well done her.  The second was another failure to catch a fish, one we never even noticed.  The lure had clearly been bitten off, no doubt by some monster fish out there as other boats were reporting catches of tuna weighing 40 and 42 lbs.  As we have very little idea on how to land or deal with such a fish, maybe it was for the best that the lure was gone, though the Ship’s Boy was a bit nappy about supper.  Instead, we had delicious Kidney Turbigo, so who needs Tuna Sushi.  The third disappointment was that the wind, rather than increasing during the night, decreased so all our preparations before dark for 20 to 25 knots, as per the GRIB files, were worse than a waste of time and after a truly maddening watch with winds varying between 13 to 17 knots, the Skipper’s wife finally blew a gasket and demanded help with taking out a reef.  This is not such an easy thing to do on Alcedo in the dark, as it involves 8 different ropes, all specific colours but difficult to see in dark, so close attention and as many of the crew on deck as possible. Those chosen being the ones that we don’t feel guilty about waking up.   Our reward was an immediate increase in the winds and great sailing. 
Arrival time according to the Garmin varied from 08.00 to 14.30 but by 06.00 we were approaching Isle de La Aguja, where true to form, the wind increased to 25 to 35 knots, with the odd gust of 38 knots.  Very exhilarating sailing and exciting with the Colombian coast beautiful in the dawn light and the finish coming into view.  We followed Chillie B to the finish line and on the way, both boats received a great welcome from the Colombian Coast Guard.   Then it was preparations for being led into the Marina, as we had to take up the keel as well as the usual prep of warps and fenders, while the Marina staff took Chillie B in.  After a false start, when we were put into a berth with a very short finger pontoon, the Marina staff kindly directed us to a much nicer berth, just as they did in St Lucia.  Could this become a habit?!
So the first leg of our adventure completed, we had a strong anchor nip followed by lunch and a very serious siesta.   Tonight there is another WARC social and tomorrow we will try and restore order to the boat, have a tour of the town and then a restaurant chosen by Anthony.  We are much looking forward to exploring as much of Santa Marta and the immediate area and we are very much appreciating our Spanish speaking member of crew who has already sorted repair of the broken pole goose neck.