Monday, March 11, 2013

A Fish Full Passage

Another 270 mile passage brought Earthling to Santa Marta, Colombia. This leg delivered many fish to our boat! We were fortunate to catch a good size Mahi Mahi followed by two Tunas, in addition to 21 flying fish that landed on deck. Literally we caught a fish every time the line was put out in the water!
Mahi Mahi
Flying Fish
 The passage from Aruba to Santa Marta can be tricky, it’s important to watch the weather before setting sail, specifically the wave transformations. One of the sources is weather passage. In the map below you can see how Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico currents can interact by Colombian coast. It would be wise to avoid finding yourself in the middle of 10 footers crashing against each other! Timing was perfect and we did not run into any of that!
Wave Directions, Source:
The passage was divided into two 135 mile legs, Aruba to Cabo De La Vela and further to Santa Marta. The first leg was calmer and easier than the second one. Once you leave Cabo De La Vela to Santa Marta, you will be in Shallow waters (100-200ft) and the waves can build up close to each other, which makes running down wind more or less challenging. With winds of 15-20 and swells between 7-10ft at 6-7 sec, the autopilot could not hold and we had to mostly be behind the helm. My crew/friend, Hector, does not have much sailing experience but he got to steer and can manage being behind helm during day time now. I had to stay awake most of the night! I was tired and desired a power nap after midnight. During the first attempt to get a nap while the auto pilot was engaged, as soon as my eyes were falling asleep, a flying fish landed on my face, scaring the heck out of me! I could hear the fish flapping around in the cockpit, and in this cloudy moonless night, it was a fun game to catch the fish and throw it back in the water! The second attempt for a quick nap was followed by a nice fresh cold splash of salt water on my face from a large swell hitting the stern of the boat. I guess the universe was trying to say, “Stay awake!”
Cabo De La Vela N12º11.77 W72º9.30

Ensenada Gairaca N11º19.31 W74º6.45

Once the sun rose, the tall mountains of Colombia appeared like we entered a new world, the best sight you can imagine after 10 hours of darkness. The five bays between the mountainous nature were looking so attractive that we had to change course to go in one (Ensenada Gairaca). The breakfast rest and a swim was perfect liberation before going to civilization in Santa Marta. These bays are beautiful deserted anchorages that should not just be passed by. The last bay before Santa Marta is Taganga, where we biked to on Sunday. The beach is mostly visited by local tourists and the hippie society. There are many small restaurants, shops, and handmade jewelry street vendors.
Santa Marta in Sight
Sunset by Taganga Beach
Taganga Beach
Earthling is docked in Santa Marta Marina (IGY) for now and will be cruising Colombia for another month till my Spanish gets more ground. We are planning to cruise the coast down to Cartagena and also travel inland to see more of Colombia.             

Love from Santa Marta

Click here to view the Album of Colombia


  1. Way to go, George! Congrats on another successful passage.


  2. nice George Nice I hope Good keep blessing you!