Thursday 3rd January 2013
Distance run: 29 nmiles
After a night in the anchorage behind Isla Linton, we set off for Shelter Bay Marina in Colon. Peaceful nights without the anchor alarm, and long showers without worry of how much water we used beckoned.
Again there was a big swell running, especially as we came out from behind the island. With 18-20 knots of wind coming over the starboard quarter, we made good speed, surfing down the swell. Once we rounded the corner the wind came behind and we unfurled the genoa just enough to balance the yankee and ran downwind under both headsails right into the approaches to the entrance to Colon harbour. Here we were surrounded by anchored ships, plus a few that were just motoring around slowly obviously waiting for permission to enter the harbour. We furled in the genoa and continued to run downwind under the yankee. Just over a mile out, we called up Cristobal Signal Station for permission to enter through the channel, and were given leave to proceed, keeping clear of ship traffic. Fortunately at that point there were no ships coming or going, but we put the engine on and furled the headsail anyway, and made our way through the gap in the breakwater. Once inside, the enormous swell that had built up in the entrance subsided as we turned right and headed for Shelter Bay marina.
By lunchtime we were tied alongside on E Dock in the marina, enjoying an arrival beer.
Since leaving Grenada on 2nd October, 3 months ago almost to the day, we have sailed 1300 nautical miles exactly. Almost a thousand of those have been in company with Sheer Tenacity, and we have enjoyed sharing the highs (and the lows!) of the trip with Rod & Mary who have become good friends.
Now it’s time to give Scott-Free some well-deserved attention and a well-deserved rest, as we get her ready for another ocean crossing. Oh, and we might even give ourselves a short break too, if we can get all the jobs done in time before the canal transit in early March….