Saturday, June 18, 2011


After an extra month at Bocas Marina while Randy's injury healed we're ready to head further north. We anchor in Bastimentos Bay "staging" for our trip either to San Andres 200 nautical miles or Providenca approximately 260 nautical miles.
We leave the anchorage by 0715 the next morning. (April 27th). We have light winds and a gentle swell. We decide to fish which usually causes the winds and seas to pick up. Five miles out we get a strike!!! Rats-- wire leader, lure and fish gone.
After two hours of motor sailing we finally have enough wind to actually sail. Unfortunately with the current against us we are traveling at 4 knots.
We knew we were going to be in for a challenge leaving from Bocas to head North. The breeze shifts from the west right onto our nose..You probably know the drill now.. Motor back on, adjust our course and pull in the jib.
1340hours; 161 nautical miles to go and we continue to motor sail 4.6 to 5.1 knots SOG and we've got company and not just this dragonfly but a very large navy patrol plane circles us twice. All we can do is wave.
By 1855 hours we start getting prepared for the evening..the main is reefed, life jackets on, flare gun, ditch bag and harnessses are out.
Throughout the night we check the radar at regular intervals. We've got a sliver of a moon, 15 knots of wind and a choppy sea.
Friday April 28th. By 0700 hours we've got enough wind to shut off the motor in a 6 to 9 foot swell. We're still heading east to try and find the north west current and we're still averaging only 4.5 knots.
1220 hours we are becalmed. Randy is putting 5 more gallons of fuel into High States.
2350 hours and we finally have the current with us.
Sat. April 29th 0600hours. We had a calm fairly clear night. The stars were quite bright.
We see one freighter about ten miles off our port. First boat of any kind we have seen these past two days.
0915hours, finally the motor is off and we are doing 7 knots with San Andres a few miles off on our port. We decide we may as welll take advantage of the wind and seas and head for Providencia.
1300 hours and we are still doing 7 knots; what a great ride. We've still got 35 miles ahead of us just to reach the Southern tip of Providencia. It doesn't look like we are going to make the anchorage before dark. We also were circled again by the navy plane. We wave again and commented to each other it's nice that they know we are out here.
By 1730 we put the motor on to try and give us more speed. We're on the West side of Providencia however the entrance to the anchorage is still 15 miles away.
Sure enough by 1950 we are still a couple of miles from the sea buoy so we decide to anchor on the bank for the night.
Sixty hours since we left Bocas.It really feels good to have the anchor down.
Sunday. Last night was a bit rolly but we've anchored in worse seas. We're ready to enter the harbour and see a large freighter heading for the harbour too, so we decide to let the freighter go first....she's alot bigger than us. We heard the Captain constantly challenging the Port Captain on the harbours depth.
Finally we start working our way into the Santa Catalina anchorage. The entrance is very well marked and we can see if we ever return we can actually enter in the dark, By the time the anchor is down we have 2.7 feet under the keel. We haven't been in shallow water like this in a while.
Randy takes time to lubricate our mast mainsail slides and finds a small tear in the mainsail. I know what my job will be tomorrow.

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