Saturday 28th January 2012
Distance run: 31 nmiles
Up with the light, anchor up and we were headed for the Canal de Rosario (Rosario Channel) back out into the Caribbean Sea. The channel was well marked with red & green buoys and apart from the breaking waves on either side of the channel we would not have known that the depth had changed from a few metres to several hundred in no time at all. We were pleasantly surprised to find that the wind was coming from just east of north at about 10 knots and so the first 10 miles were a lovely beam reach at about 5 knots. By the time we reached the headland to change course it had come around and was trying to head us, so we stood on and tacked our way in at a leisurely pace in gentle seas. If I HAVE to sail to windward, this is definitely the way to do it!
We reached the break in the reef soon after lunch and headed up towards Cayo Largo. The channel was well marked, but once inside we had a job to make out where we should be going. We felt our way across the shallow water and eventually picked up the necessary buoys. The chart was rather out of date with depths and the echo sounder read zero twice, but we made it into the marina without incident and were soon tied alongside a modern floating pontoon. We were immediately visited by the officials who wanted to see our paperwork, and we had to own up to having expired visas. No problem, they said. We needed to buy some stamps at the Bank and then take our passports, visas and stamps to the tiny airport where immigration will extend the visas. And we can do it tomorrow. What a difference!