Friday, 22 November 2013

Rainbows, Shooting Stars and Flying Fish

Three rainbows in a two and a half day passage has to be a good sign, doesn't it? And it was. The sea was very calm, the moon was full, and the wind was light. Too light, actually. We motor sailed, helming by hand, the whole way from Bocas del Toros to Providencia, with the exception of about 4 hours sailing, 20 minutes of which were handled by the wind-vane self steering. (An autopilot for when we're motoring is now on the top of our list for Santa Claus.)

Of course, the best sailing wind came up a few hours just before we heading into Santa Catalina Bay to anchor, and it was just slightly off the angle we needed to make, so taking the time to tack upwind would have meant we'd have to enter the harbour in the dark. Instead we kept the motor on and dropped anchor in a very shallow anchorage, watched the sunset while eating cheese, olives, sausage and drinking beer, and then went to bed.

On passage, we saw only one other boat and no dolphins, but the flying fish skimmed the tops of the waves frequently. There were birds who flew slow circles around us, looking for a place to land, and strangely enough, little black butterflies came flitting past the boat quite far offshore. We dodged small rainstorms that came from single clouds, provoking intense discussions between Captain and Crew over which way was best to go around the cloud, (these argements left zigzags in our track as charted on the navigation system). Trusty Diva took us 270 nautical miles without any problems, although the lid to the fridge broke in the last 5 hours of our journey. Our fridge now smells like contact adhesive, yum!

Providencia is quite a hilly island, formed by an ancient volcano. The people seem friendly enough, the navy boat that woke us up last night to tell us we were anchored in the shipping channel was very nice about it. Rather than get run over by a ferry, we pulled up anchor and moved over 50 meters, set the anchor and went back to sleep.

There will be further investigation of the people, the place, and of course, the food. Full report to be posted right here, just as soon as I catch up on enough sleep to go exploring...

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