Originally Posted by Ryban
Weather for a westward passage
isn't looking great right now, but it's never super great northwest of Columbia anyway, and I'm trying to decide whether it would be better to stay really close to the coast, or head
far out to sea, and then work
my way back south.
Out to sea would mean a few hundred extra miles, but would keep me far away from land and presumably boat
traffic, which is important to me as a singlehander.
Really close to the coast might keep me from the worst of the winds and waves, and give me a shorter passage, but I would also risk losing a lot of sleep, and that could be much more dangerous in the end.
What are people's opinions?
The passage from Bonaire
is considered one of the 5 roughest passages to undertake.
We sailed from Haiti
, Colombia in 3rd week of Jan. Blowing 25+kn most of the time. The boat
did better than me. I was seasick :-) made landfall on the 4th day.
Your boat is good.
The waters off Colombia will have some waves. not to worry. The moment you round off the northern most point and get in the lee, things will improve a bit. :-) suggest stay close to shore.
Senor David is a good clearing agent. He will handle all your paperwork. Señor Manfred Aldwart is no more. He passed away in Nov 2016.
is an amazing city. I got my whole boat refitted at Marina Manzanillo, few kilometres from Club Nautico.
taxi would charge about 12,000 pesos or maybe 15. A bike ride will be cheaper.
There is a foundry close to Manzanillo. they can do all kind bronze
, copper works for you.
chain is galvanised at Barranquilla. One of the local guys can take your chain on a pickup truck. cost of truck and galvanisation is equal :-)
There are three marine
stores around club Nautico. If you want really tough rugged blocks, pulleys, etc you can get from local fisherman's stores. I saw one in the favela next to marina Manzanillo. they had some really good stuff at cheap price
Club Nautico charges 20$ every week for dinghy dock
from the docks.
Aguila is a good Colombian beer
There are plenty of people on the docks who are 'experts' in something or other. I am forgetting the name of the young kid who is a good electrician, Professor Elvis the mechanic
, Zimmerman the radar
and electronics repair
Once we left Cartagena, we didn't go seaward
. most backpacker boats after leaving Cartagena go a bit south and then head for the eastern most edge of Western San Blas islands - Cayos Holandes. These island chains are beautiful but strewn with dangerous reefs
. DO NOT TRUST digital navigation
apps. They are about a cable or two off the mark and thats enough to put you on a reef. Get a hard copy of Michael Bauhaus's Panama
cruising guide. costs about 70$.
Every year one or two boats hit the reefs
We sailed down to Gulfo de Uraba to a small beautiful fishing
town called Sapzurro. Surrounded by Darien forest. Easy entry in daylight. if you are familiar with the harbour you can enter in the night too.
Instagram - @storyinframes lots of pics
And then we sailed to Puerto Lindo, Panama, keeping 20-25 miles off the coast. the mountains are still visible.
Going West you will encounter a 1 kn current
Panama is expensive. hard to find trained techs.
In late summers the thunderstorms can be really nasty.
hope these tips help.