Watching the waves again

Wed 15 Jan 2014 20:22
11:11.78N 74:51.3W

You know how it is when you're sat around the fire at night, watching the flames? How they flicker and glow, caves forming then collapsing, bright blue, or yellow or orange, then glowing reds... Watching the waves is rather like that. Especially on a lovely busy sea like we're on now, white horses all around us. You can see them gather their strength, crescendo, then spread and fade before doing it all again somewhere else entirely. Peaks rush in on our quarter, flicking the tips of their fingers at us when we're just out of reach, the taste of them on my cheek. A rolling hill flows towards us, the light passing through the very crown so it's glowing aquamarine, swirls and caves and peaks forming and reforming. With them comes the sounds, not crackles and pops like a fire, but swooshes and slaps and the patter of drops flung on deck. And it's a whole body experience, as the wave reaches us you feel the boat respond beneath you, lifting and swinging, then dropping as it passes under us and rolling back again.

We left Santa Marta about 8:30 this morning, a day later than planned as we were laid low by a stomach bug yesterday. It was a bit uncomfortable motoring out into the bay in a big swell when you're just recovering from being ill, but pretty soon we had set some sails and Lochmarin was riding comfortably at 7 or 8 knots in around 20 knots of wind. We took it all slowly, pacing ourselves. I'd not even left the boat yesterday let alone making ready for passage, sorting lines and fenders and setting sails. We set the jib, staysail and mizzen but balked at the main, which was fine because the wind gradually strengthened as we'd expected so we had plenty of speed without it.

We are sailing along the coast that we went along in the bus to Cartagena, but we can't see anything much. It's very low land and a hazy day so we got out of sight of land quickly. The sea started of a chalky green in the bay, turned blue again, then just East of the Rio Magdalena is turned brown, very brown, all of a sudden. Strange to watch chocolate waves trying to climb into the back of the cockpit, one associates brown water with lazy rivers, but the Magdalena is so large she colours the sea for miles from her estuary.

I'll leave you now, I've brown waves that want watching.

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