Passage to Providencia
It was hard saying goodbye to Oom Steve and Lady Di at the Red Frog Marina. They are such wonderful people and we have come to love them so much. But, in the cruising community, you find yourself constantly running into people you’ve said goodbye to. Hopefully this will be the case with them. Our last sunset in Bocas was beautiful, and the next morning we pulled up the anchor, raised the sails, and set out to open water.
A beautiful 20 knot wind was blowing which made us move out beautifully at 10.4 knots on a port tack. Ah, to be setting out away from land…what a glorious feeling.
All the creatures got busy with what they like to do on crossings. Skyler always sleeps the entire way to avoid sea sickness, Jonathan and the twins did school work, helped us out when needed and then read, fished and played games, Mycah and Jude played games and helped on deck. Jude seems to be the Battleship queen!
The wind died down quickly so we tried to chase after squalls for their wind, and were successful periodically. The remainder of the time we had to motor sail due to no wind at all. Seas were calm.
At night, Danny took a couple kids with him on night watch from 9pm to midnight, Jude took a couple from midnight to 3am and I took Jonathan with me from 3am to 6am.
Nights can be so black on the ocean. The only lights are from navigation equipment screens and also our navigation lights on the bow, mast and stern.
When the sky is clear of clouds and the moon hasn’t risen yet, our surroundings are absolute blackness except for the millions of stars shining so brightly, and all around us the bioluminescence sprays out over the water, which makes it look like we are traveling through space and completely surrounded by stars. It’s magical, and there is no way for me to capture it in a photo. I love sharing moments like that with Danny and the creatures. Last night I looked starboard off the stern and saw the Southern Cross proudly hung and ahead was the great dipper.
The following morning I made a huge fruit salad and toast for everyone to enjoy for breakfast. All the precooked meals I had prepared while in the marina really came in handy. In the afternoon, a little bird that the creatures named Wilson, flew onto Tanda Malaika, and into the salon. He flew around inside for a minute then settled onto the sunglasses shelf and fell asleep. He was about 150 miles from land, and must have been so exhausted. He stayed with us till morning and then took off again.
This morning at about 6am Danny set the fishing rods up to continue our uneventful fishing adventures, when all of a sudden the first rod he’d set up, shot out of it’s holding place and flew out into the ocean. Something big had grabbed the entire thing!
Finally after about 290 nautical miles, (348 land miles), Danny yelled ‘Land Ho!’ I ran the bell in the salon and called it out to all the creatures. Everyone gathered on deck, and right when we were about 12 miles from land, Mycah began sneezing. She has determined that she is allergic to land.
As we drew closer, we were so mesmerized on how beautiful the water was. Various shades of turquoise and cobalt blue, mixed with deep navy patches. It was spectacular.
Isla Providencia is part of Columbia, but not dangerous like Columbia. This island was the site of an English Puritan colony and was established in 1629. It was briefly taken by Spain in 1641. Henry Morgan, a well known pirate, used Providencia as a base for raiding the Spanish empire, and many believe that much of his treasure remains hidden on the island. I’m thinking we should give the creatures shovels and set them free.
We dropped anchor in water 5 feet below the keel, and immediately jumped in to cool off and scrub the bottom.
We decided that Emma gets the award for craziest hair of the trip, and the only fish we caught was the one that jumped on deck in the night.
Some kids from a nearby boat came over in their dinghy, asking if our creatures would like to join them at the beach, so they got ready for that while Danny and I took our dinghy into town to meet with customs and immigration. The creatures are excited to have a Columbia stamp in their passports. Most people use motorbikes and scooters for transportation here.
We went into a little grocery store and at first I was really confused by the prices. 12,000 for Coco puffs! Danny explained that the exchange rate was 2700 pesos to $1. So this cereal is $4.44. Still pricey. A friendly old man was selling mango’s for a dollar, so we bought a few to ripen up.
When we were done we rode the dinghy past where the creatures were. They were taking turns diving down into a cave, and also went cliff jumping.
This evening we will take the creatures into town for chicken balls. They different from Rocky Mountain Oysters, so there are not castrated chickens running around, but they are rather a mixture of mash and chicken and who knows what else cooked into a ball of deliciousness. Jude and Danny had them when they were here last time and recommended them. We are also going to try find sweet corn ice cream.
I have no doubt we will all sleep well tonight. I’ll be writing more about tomorrows adventures.