To Providencia

Beez Neez
Skipper and First Mate Millard (Big Bear and Pepe)
Sat 19 Jan 2013 23:44
An Interesting Ride to Providencia, Colombia
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Just as we were about to pull out of Brooksy Point Marina, Roatan, this chap swam past. We took him as a good omen and it appealed to me to put him in in black and white. So prehistoric looking.
 
 
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For the first time Beez Neez joined a small fleet, boats that had been waiting (as is the norm) for a weather window all decided to head out at ten en masse. Sirena of Oare and Beez were the monohull entries, Double Helix, Le Chat Beaute, Nauti-Nauti (catamarans) and later joining us from Guanaja – Ingenium.
 
 
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Beez falling in behind the bunch. Allen (Jack Nicholson lookalike on Nauti-Nauti) soon became Comms Director and for the first few hours we all joined him on Ch 69 for a chat. This was good for all of us all as the group considered this to be our first ‘proper’ session of the season and to hear friendly chatter was very morale boosting. Every hour Bear was still pulling a little water from our diesel drain. At one point he emptied all the water and fuel out of the Racor filter and had to replace the diesel – an engine stop of twenty minutes. Had Bear not been able to cure us, it was nice to know we had people willing us on. Had it not happened we would have finished third instead of fourth, but who’s counting.......
 
 
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As soon as we had cleared Roatan the normal trio of waves from left a la Caribbean Sea – the term lively covers it.
 
 
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One reef in the main and genoa, engine keeping us right for our first sunset. Chats every three hours.
 
 
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Sunrise saw some interesting squalls forming but between times very pleasant
 
 
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Visits from friends
 
 
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Beez smiled all the way. When it did rain it was heavy but short lived
 
 
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Bear enjoying himself, we even had a rainbow (Le Chat Beaute on the horizon) and our second sunset
 
 
The others in the fleet generally tucked things down to a steady five-ish knots overnight, but Beez being Beez was happiest around seven point two and snuck up on the leaders during the dark hours only to be left behind when the cats let out more sail during the day. We were chuffed but realised our sea legs have all but gone. Well when you consider six months on the Rio Dulce and the previous year on the ICW on duck pond smooth water we can’t expect anything else. No captain. Well all I can say is getting out of bed, cleaning teeth and getting out to the cockpit for duty was a twenty minute operation – gaily gathering bruises as I went. 
 
 
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Jan and Ewa - pronounced Yan and Eva (both Polish, now of Vancouver, Canada and smashing, gentle folks) had pictures of Double Helix under sail but not of their very own with them at the helm. They asked if I could take some and I was more than happy to oblige. These tinkers left slowly, went along steadily, cut the corner in amongst the reefs, took off at speed and arrived first. Well Done.
 
 
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Similar business of night and day. I had had a really uneventful 02:00 till 05:30, just thinking bed at six would be wonderful when a cheeky little thirty six knot squall slid in. Thankfully it was over in a few minutes but it made the James Patterson I was listening too seem a little less exciting somehow.
 
 
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Providencia comes into sight
 
 
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New flag, even I got to hold it this time.
 
 
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The guide book says, line up by the sea buoy, head straight for Split Hill that the locals call Morgan’s Ass and settle in the harbour. Fleet all in safely. Our journey was three hundred and eighty four nautical miles in seventy eight hours and twenty minutes or three nights and four days. Not bad at all.
 
 
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As the sky darkened with rain once more, we all went to find Mr. Bush, Bush when you know him of Bush Agency. He had assembled all the various ‘officials’ and the great game of logging in began. The guide book said this process would be easy and inexpensive. It was indeed easy with everyone welcoming us to their island but just shy of a hundred pounds, we didn’t think it cheap.
 
 
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The hubbub was so very funny. “Have you got a pen” “How many crew lists have you got” “How long you stay”
 
 
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There may have been a little more seating but there were one or two things in the way. Bush’s office end of the room was quite neat, complete with Brother typewriter.
 
 
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I got to read Eric’s tee-shirt
 
 
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Formalities done, it was time for a Fleet Beer O’Clock, only to wait for Bush to find us at six with our Passports
 
 
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Bush – the man himself.
 
 
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Bear posed by a happy wall. The black crabs live in the hills and wander down to lay their eggs each April and May.
 
 
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Crabs everywhere, no complaints from me as we all wend our way to our respective nests tired but happy.
 
 
 
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ALL IN ALL AN EXCELLENT SHAKE-DOWN TRIP
                     CRACKING SAIL