Famous last words!
We closed the coast of Colombia and
the seas became increasingly confused with a light following wind. The swell,
squeezed up by the rapidly shoaling but very uneven bottom, became steeper with
white caps . There was also a possible counter current and some mixing from a
large river that enters near here. The upshot was that we were eventually
I was looking astern and saw an
unusually steep wave approaching that broke just as it reached our stern and
exploded over the rear coaming and in through the transom gangway. The cockpit
filled with water nearly to the level of the bulkead into the saloon.
Fortunately the small window into the stern cabin was shut..something we rarely
close, and the only damage a very salty cockpit, a slightly salty saloon from
spray that came in and a bedraggled skipper. The beauty of an open transom like
ours is that the water drains quickly away with little to slow it down. No
Starting the watermaker up again
after its biocide storage whilst in the Windward Islands where it wasn't needed.
We stopped overnight at an attractive
bay 50 miles north of the city to avoid reaching Cartagena in the dark. It was
surrounded by fishing camps and there were men standing up to their waists in
the water throwing circular Seine nets to try to catch small fish lurking in the
shallows. At the same time a jet ski-ier appeared and roared around towing
someone on a wakeboard. We are learning that Colombia is a country of big
contrasts between the rich and poor, the old and the new.
The next day, having had a good full night's sleep
after all our night watches, we started early and in a light mood looking
forward to an easy sail and a calm sea. I needed some milk for coffee and opened
the bilge to find diesel running through it. A panicky investigation proved that
it was not the engine but a 5 gallon spare diesel can in the aft locker. Almost
2/3 of the diesel had leaked away. The plastic can was one of two bought new
only a year ago at great expense because we wanted extra strong ones that could
be stored in the bilge. However, this one had split along the weld on the bottom
edge. The diesel was everywhere and it took the rest of the day to bail, sponge
and wipe out the mess. A faint smell lingers despite our best efforts and
Lorraine's back has paid the price of spending hours cleaning the cabin floor
and the internal bilge. The joys of Cruising. Much damage done.
On a lighter note we have started to
catch fish. We caught a beautiful yellow fin tuna weighing in at 5 lbs, which
fed us for a 4 days. Unfortunately the next fish we caught was a barracuda twice
the length of this fellow. We threw it back, the danger of ciguatera is
increased in barracuda over 3lbs in weight and it was much too big for us
anyway. It was tricky getting the hook out of the fiercely toothed mouth but we
managed with pliers and heavy gloves before holding it's tail waist and sliding
it back. Hopefully we will catch many more tuna as it saves us a lot of money
and is delicious when served up by our haut cuisine chef.