14:0094N 71:34.05W Skirting the Colombian Low

Fri 19 Feb 2016 18:06
Skirting the Colombian Low.
Not only the evidence from our viewing the weather grib files but also advice from John Halley, the Manager of Shelter Bay Marina at Panama, warned of unusually high winds around the Colombian Low this year causing coastal waters around Barranquilla and the Magdalena River where the low is centred and off Cartagena to rise up and become uncomfortable, if not dangerous to some.
So we set a course North Westward to the 14’ Latitude line which should take us above the Low. Then we would turn due west and allow the NE Trades to carry us along to somewhere around Longitude 78’ before turning South and heading for Panama, where the wind is less and the seas more comfortable.
Zoonie, in her wisdom, feels the acute corners we have placed are unnecessary and is taking a slightly more curved route, so far so good. We are clearly only being affected by our old friends the Atlantic Trade winds, and her route will reduce the miles.
The bright orange storm jib is rigged and ready for the ‘up’ on the baby stay just in case and everything else is well stowed.
Our first night at sea was restless and we are both catching up on sleep when we can. There is frequent shipping around here, commercial vessels that have come through the Panama from the Pacific and are heading through the Caribbean Sea to the US east coast or across the Atlantic for Europe; Gibraltar was the destination of one of them who altered course 4’ to give our stern a wider berth.
This morning the new day imperceptively drew its light across the sky and the sun rose at 7.00am sharp. Zoonie climbs willingly to that magical pathway along Latitude 14’.