O-boy what a night 2 - and then greate days in Columbia

Jan Morten Ruud
Sat 23 Jan 2010 08:16

Dear readers,


You better be advised, this is the trickiest cost we ever sailed.


The second night we were sure would be much better than the first night. Down the cost, together with our American sail friend from Aruba, everything went well down to a big cape – actually it went well several hours after the cape also. At this cape there where 130 miles to the next cape, in a large arc. We took the direct line between the Capes, The American followed the cost in the larger arc. Around midnight the sea started to build up really ugly. After an hour we had large breaking seas – as large as we never have seen them before. It was quite scary. I thought – oh Good our American friend must be even more miserable, since he is “squeezed” towards le shore. I hailed him on the VHF and he answered immediately – not tensed at all. They had flat sea and only wind in 15 knots he said. I could hardly believe him – it was only 3-4 miles further in. After being slammed by several other waves, we set a course into the bight we as well. And magic – after only 15 minutes the sea started to settle and we found us in just excellent sailing conditions. I will not declare us to be any experts in sailing the Columbian coast – on the contrary, but our advice to others is: sail close to shore. There you will that the sea and wind is calm, even if there are severe conditions in the weather forecast. (which it often are). The conditions will detoriate while rounding the different capes, but that is only for a limited time.


Finished with the night, and passed the frightening cape “Punta de Nenguange”  - in excellent weather conditions, we entered bay no. 5 of the 5 bays there. It was a beautiful bay with a beach in the end of the bay. We stayed here for 3 hours to bath, and then we set of to Santa Marta – a commercial harbor further down. We stayed the night here, in 36 knots of wind in the anchor area. The harbor area was also awful, so early in the morning we hailed the anchor and went of to Gaira, 4 miles further down the coast. Gaira is an excellent area, a beach resort area with restaurants, condos, in beautiful surroundings. The anchorage is greate to, with excellent holdings. Be aware of the “holes” in the waterfront where there are no buildings – there the wind can blow quite hard during the night.


After two days in Gaira, we pulled up the anchor early and headed for Panama, Shelter Bay to rejoin with the World ARC. The weather forecast is excellent, we only hope it will not change during the 48-60 hours we need to get there.  Even in excellent conditions, the crossing of the river Rio Magdalena, was quite rough. It is an enormous river, that influences the sea many miles out. After passed Rio Magdalene we have had excellent conditions, and Ronja are now zooming in towards Shelter Bay.


Position 10:39,898N, 76:13.536 W



Hope all is well with everybody, we are fine in Ronja

Looking forward to rejoin the WorldARC, and thereby be part of a group of boats again.


Best wishes from all of us in Ronja.