Fw: Blog 7. Santa Marta. High winds delay departure;

David Batten
Thu 21 Jan 2016 02:25
Sent: Wednesday, January 20, 2016 4:51 PM
Subject: Blog 7. Santa Marta. High winds delay departure;
Wednesday,20/01/16.  It has been an eventful few days in Santa Marta with very little time for R and R or catching up with the Blog.   Today may give us an opportunity as the harbour master at Santa Marta has closed the harbour to any vessel less than 300+ tonnes, which means we are not allowed to leave.   It has been blowing up to 40 knots at night and is now gusting up to 25 knots in the harbour with more wind to come tonight.  There is a very dangerous estuary where the very large river Magdalena empties into the sea, giving very rough conditions up to 40 miles offshore and where yachts have run into trouble in the past, so we are not unduly surprised by the decision.  If we do leave at 12.00 today as planned, we would be in that area just when the GRIB files show most wind and we would be arriving in the San Blas Islands in the dark, not a wise thing to do, so left to our own devices we would have left early this morning or would go as early tomorrow as conditions allow.  So now we are waiting for further information and actually getting some R and R.
So what news.  First day here, we had a guided tour of the City with a local guide whose enthusiasm for passing on all he knew about Simon Bolivar and the local history was unfortunately not matched by his English, which was hard to understand.  However, we ended up in a lovely park with lots of birds and we have seen a bit of Santa Marta.  We then had a great day on the beach to the north of Santa Marta in the Tayrona National Park, courtesy of the Marina owner, who has a very nice motor boat, a helicopter and, we think, a red Porche.  He has been immensely  generous with entertaining us and we have been made to feel very welcome by the Marina staff.  Unfortunately,  the Ship’s Boy was developing a major tummy upset, with Anthony also suffering to a lesser extent, so they did not come to the beach, Then it was up at 04.15 to go bird watching with Angel, with a very successful visit to the Salamca National Park and then on to Tayrona and a delicious lunch at the Taironaka Hotel, where we saw stunning scarlet backed tanagers and a whole host of birds just inside the grounds.  Then off to find the elusive Mannikins, which we failed to see but did hear.  Sadly, Jane and the Skipper also started feeling rough and needing regular visits to the loo, so there has been large quantities of Immodium consumed and a liquid supper, mainly brandy.  Next day, not such an early start and a visit to Minca, where we had excellent bird watching in the morning, followed by another very good lunch and a great view of a Trogan and some Toucans.  With the crew and Skipper feeling well below par, the Skipper’s wife was the only one to really appreciate the lunches.
Yesterday was mainly shopping and we had the Skipper’s briefing and farewell diner and prize giving, which needless to say did not involve us as we do not have a spinnaker and we were nursing the pole attachment to the mast.  We failed to find the market and had to make do with street sellers and the 2 closest supermarkets, with the crew not really focusing well on food, but we have stocked up on the local yoghurt drink, which undoubtedly helps. 
News has now come through that the port will remain closed for the rest of today and tonight and the plan is to leave tomorrow morning, but which time we are hoping the crew will be feeling better.  
Hope to be able to send some photographs when we have a better internet connection.
Today has been a quiet day, with buying yet more Delhi Bellie products from the local pharmacists and