Santa Marta, Colombia
Saturday 17th November 2012
Distance run: 226 nmiles
We had a peaceful night in the strange mooring at Islas Monjes, broken only by the coming and going of fishing boats, and were up before dawn to make ready for sea. By 0620 we had enough light to see by, slipped the lines and headed west once more. We now had the infamous windy coast of Colombia ahead of us, but at present the wind was blowing at 10 knots. We had carefully selected our weather window and were not, therefore, expecting the huge winds and seas this coast is well known for. We had a very comfortable run downwind under both headsails until the wind dropped away altogether around 0300 Friday. Then the squalls began, and we spent the rest of the night dodging them – or trying to. We were caught in an enormous line squall that had no rain but lots of wind, and got wet a couple of times in other squalls, but all in all not too bad.
The rest of the trip passed in a similar vein, with periods of sailing in fair winds, motoring in no wind and either dodging or riding out squalls. At one point we were joined by a large pod of dolphins with very frisky babies that entertained us with their acrobatics for an hour or more. We arrived in Santa Marta Bay just after daylight this morning and were delighted to be escorted into the bay by another huge pod of dolphins. Our first radio calls to the marina went unanswered, but as we drew close to their entrance a voice answered in English and gave us docking instructions. We hadn’t realised we had crossed into another time zone and it was an hour earlier than we had thought. The dockmaster was just waking up and answered us on his handheld from his apartment off the beach!
Now safely tied up on C dock and have just enjoyed a hearty breakfast of eggs, bacon mushrooms & beans. Soon we’ll be making use of the facilities and having very long showers, but first we have to wait for the agent to arrive to start the checking-in paperwork.
Scott-Free sailing into the sunset (courtesy of Rod & Mary – ta!) Sunrise over the Colombian coast as we approach Santa Marta.
The old girl – still looking good at 20 years old. Dolphin playing around the bow as we entered Santa Marta bay.
The high rise apartment buildings along the beach at Santa Marta.