HEAVY SEAS off the Columbia Coast....and some very muddy water for a bit of a surprise!
11 04.306 N 075 00.591 W
Well, never say anything is “easy” when it comes to sailing; within an hour or so of yesterday’s blog entry, wind backed/shifted to tracking dead behind us and we had to put out the pole for “wing on wing” or “gull winged” as the Brits say. And then before midnight, the winds and seas were getting too heavy to maintain that configuration as the swells were making the steering very demanding for “Auto”. So it was back to broad reaching and accepting that we were going to gradually move off our intended course and track closer and closer to Columbia’s coast. A VERY HEAVY seas night but all went well with Sea Mist even if it was a tough time to get sleep.
And then at noon today, we got a bit of a shock as we were approaching close by the Columbia Coast at Punto Faro; one of those cases wherein you have to believe your charts not your eyes. Ahead of us a very short distance was what looked at first like very low lying land offshore from the buildings and higher topography about 2 miles distant. We were just coming to the spot where we needed to gybe the boom and sails to go on the opposite tack as land was in front of us but what we saw was SCARY for a moment or two. The heavy weather conditions had churned up the seas to a brown soup that initially looked like low lying land to the eyes. We quickly got the sails in and stowed and turned on the motor for the first time since Sunday and did an about turn to stay in clear water until we checked everything by way of charts and by way of depth readings, etc to ensure all was safe. After a few minutes of reassuring ourselves, we again turned back on our intended course change and got ourselves away from land and these miles of BROWN SOUP that had a remarkably clearly defined boundary like a straight line with the clear Caribbean turquoise waters that we had been in “forever”.
We have decided to forego the turn into Cartagena and are now extending our current track to continue directly to Puerto Escoses, the landfall destination in the San Blas Islands. Expect to arrive there mid-afternoon tomorrow, Thursday, Jan 28th. We will pass by the entrance to Cartagena in the dark hours of the evening tonight and we had committed to ourselves that we would NOT enter there at dark and expose ourselves to possible dangers of boarding, theft, etc of which recent cases have been reported.
DTG to Puerto Escoses 203 nm.