Monday, May 02, 2011

Bocas del Toro to Providencia, Columbia

Jay, Natasha, Sol and Luna’s boat The Messenger is a pure sailboat and does not have a motor.  We agreed to leave the Red Frog marina with them and sail a short way out into the bay.  They were moving their boat over to an anchorage close to Bocas del Toro town and we were headed off to Isla Providencia.   The wind was light as we tacked out of the harbor trying our best (an really almost succeeding) in keeping up with them.  We had a wonderful sail and realized that, without their challenge to a race, we would have motored quickly out of the bay and missed out on a lovely experience.  A gentle reminder that sailing can sometimes just be for the sake of sailing and not always just a means of getting from A to B.  
Isla Providencia, Colombia is located, oddly enough,  about 250 nautical miles NNE of Panama and 130 nautical miles East of Nicaragua.  We expected this to be a nasty trip headed into the trade winds in the Caribbean Sea and we were, unfortunately, not mistaken.  It took us about 12 hours longer than planned,  involved long tacks into the wind or no wind at all,  and included short uncomfortable choppy seas.  A boring and frustrating trip saved only by the fact that it was relatively short.  We arrived with the big Pjotter in the dark and, judging from the chart and pilot that the entry was straightforward, we  slowly moved into the channel towards the anchorage.  It became very quickly apparent, however, that the GPS was off by approximately 200m.  It was a calm night but rather dark so we chose not to risk the reefs and rocks and anchored a little outside of the town to wait until morning light to attempt the shallower water of the bay closer in to town.  

No comments:

Post a Comment