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Arrival in Colombia

November 13, 2016

Coastal mountains near Santa Marta, Colombia. Snow capped peaks of more than 5700 meters (covered by clouds) in the background.

We  had two wonderful but hectic weeks in Sweden and met family, friends and ex working
colleagues in Göteborg, Trollhättan, Stockholm and Uppsala. The weather was a perfect Autumn experience with all shades of yellow – red and green on the trees. The day we left for Curacao the weather changed dramatically with plenty of snow and a chilling – 5 degrees. Back in Curacao we worked a couple of days in the intense heat to get TinaP back in the water, bunker food and drinks and clear out.

After 54 hours sail we have now arrived in Santa Marta, Colombia. Adjusting to a long haul sail after close to 6 months anchoring in Bonaire and Curaçao took a while. The route passes close by an infamous headland where depths of more than 2000 meters change to less than hundreds of meters in no more than a couple of km’s. With a fetch of more than 500 nautical miles, and swell and/or strong winds, this route can quickly turn into extreme breaking waves that are dangerous to sailors. We choose a departure from Curaçao that promised no more than 20 knots average winds, and the forecast was accurate. Not covered in the forecast was thunderstorms lingering along the last 24 hours of the sail. The thunder didn’t bring any strong winds, but the constant lightning, although at a large distance did get on our nerves. A Swedish sailor got unlucky a week ago in Bonaire with secondary lightning damage (a catamaran got direct hit close by), resulting in severe and costly damage. It seems thunderstorms and lightning is a common theme in these areas at least this time of the year.

What made this sail special was the spectacular coastal scenery. Close to Santa Marta are the 5700 meter peaks of Sierra Nevada Santa Marta, the world’s highest coastal mountains. As we tried to get some photos of these impressive mountain peaks, a large school of Atlantic Spotted Dolphins greeted us to Colombia. Never fails to make us happy and appreciate the fantastic nature we are able to enjoy.Here is a short clip of these lovely animals.

Now our plan is to spend a month in Santa Marta. Besides enjoying the plentiful grocery markets and abundance of wildlife we plan to make Ciudad Perdida, “The Lost City” hike. The hike is a 4 to 6 day steep walk to the ancient, 5th century AD ruins of an outstanding civilization. This hike rivals the more well known Machu Picchu ruins in Peru. We also plan to make a 2 day excursion of Cartagena.

As I am writing this, at around 5 am local time (UTC -5), loud music starts to play from a nearby parking lot. It seems a large crowd of sporty Colombians are gathered for a bicycle race – of course with very loud music! Feels like we are back in Spain…

From → Sailing Notes

One Comment
  1. John & Elspeth permalink

    Glad to hear that you’ve arrived safely. Sounds better than 37cms snow [last week in Uppsala.]


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