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Date: 22 Jan 2015 17:24:04
Title: Friday, 16th January

Noon Position: 12.42N 73.11W

Daily Run: 144 miles

With wind strengths around 22 knots, a double reefed mainsail and a few rolls in the genoa, we were just making 4.5kn towards Santa Marta. A strong 2kn counter current prevented us from making an early morning landfall and so we took the reefs out which made Luna Quest power along at 8kn on a broad reach into the current, which had set up a very lumpy sea with plenty of water mounting the decks. The wind then strengthened to 32kn (near gale), which proved too much for the Hydrovane. We had to help her from time to time, especially as we neared the coast to find the entrance to the bay in which Santa Marta Marina lies. At 09.40 this morning we found ourselves accompanied by a naval press boat that took many shots of Luna Quest thundering into the bay, where the winds abated quite rapidly. We were tied up at 10am, being the last but one boat to arrive. It had proved a great sea trial.

The World ARC organisers had laid on a City tour of Santa Marta in the afternoon, the oldest city in Colombia and while the guide tried her best to paint a great picture of its history, we found Santa Marta an uninspiring town. Tomorrow we are being taken to a National Park, which we are hopeful may prove more uplifting. A loud steel band has been organised in the marina to welcome us and dancing is expected. It is the first time that Santa Marta Marina has been visited by such a large number of boats. The people seem very friendly and cooperative and would contradict the violent nature we have pictured at home with guerrilla forces and drug lords killing one another in profusion. The guide told us that the bloodshed had now greatly diminished, but that she and her family suffered much at the hands of the guerrilla forces.

Eric

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