Monday, December 28, 2009


Just to let you know we have made it to Cartagena. We will be clearing in today and then looking for a better way to communicate if possible (phone or web). We are anchored with about 140 boats from all over the world. Will send more when we get cleared in.

Punta Hermosa

We left Rodadero at 2 AM in order to make it to Punta Hermosa in the daylight so that we could find our way in around the reef. We also wanted to get past the Reo Magdalena before the winds built up. After leaving one of the boats we were traveling with developed engine problems and we turned back to assist. He had broken motor mounts and electrical problems and we planned to tow him back to Rodadero but luckly he is Puerto Rican and speaks spanish as his first language. He got hold of the coast guard and they towed him back. We turned around and started motoring on our way. The wind filled in a bit later and we shut down the engine and sailed. The winds built to 25 to 30 knots with higher gusts and the seas exceeded 10 feet. So much for getting past the Reo Magdalena before the winds built up. When we crossed the river outfall the sea turned muddy brown and the seas actually went down. It was a lumpy ride but we arrived and anchored in Punta Hermosa at about 1 PM. The anchorage had 25 knots of wind blowing when we arrived.

Sunday, December 20, 2009


Last night was very comfortable and we were able to get caught up with our sleep. Although this is a very deserted looking spot, there were about 20 people standing on the ridge of the the mountain that comes right down to the water to watch the sunset last night. Local fisherman have been all around the boat casting out their nets early this morning. As we take in all that is happening around us, we have made a decision to not move so quickly to Cartagena, but to go more slowly along the coast to see more of Colombia. We will be traveling with 3 other boats and that gives us a feeling of additional safety in numbers.

Tomorrow we will leave on another overnight and head about 120 miles to an area called Five Bays. We've been told that they are fjord-like and that some of the mountains behind them may have snow on them. The weather pattern is very different right now than what we were expecting - there is very wind. Hope that it continues that way. If we hear that the winds will be starting to build, then we will move more quickly since we are getting near the area that is know for it's high winds.

For our family - Because of the change in our plans that means we won't be in Catagena by Christmas, and are not sure how we will get in contact with you, but will make every effort to see if we can find wifi further down the coast.

We made it to South America

We anchored in Cabo de la Vela, Colombia after a 24 hour sail. We went with 3 other boats and they are all anchored here with us. The land is very desert like. The trip was unbelievable for this area, which is known for high winds and waves. We sailed much of the way down wind in 10 knots of wind and 4 - 5 foot seas. We actually motored the last 25 miles. This was partly done to charge the batteries.

Upon our arrival off the coast of Colombia we were greeted by a large pod of dolphins (about 50 -100) They stayed with us for almost an hour and Moira and I stood on the bow of the boat watching schools of them playing in the bow wake. There were many babies with their mothers. We were so lucky to have this encounter.

Now we are ready for a nap.

Off to Colombia

There is a weather window that is indicating that the winds will be diminished for a few days, so we are getting ready to head for Colombia today. We need to go into customs and immigration first and then we will be ready to take off sometime this morning. There are 5 or 6 boats leaving today from here and others left yesterday from Curacao. Our original plan had been to head straight to Caratagena with a 4 days sail, but with that number of boats going we will travel down the coast - still hoping to reach there before Christmas. We will try and give daily e-mails to let you know how we are.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Still in Aruba

We rented a car yesterday and Moira and I took a tour of the island. There are beaches all along the north western side of the island and you just have to pull over and jump in. The water is various shades of blue and very clear.

We did not go in yesterday but just toured the island. There are all kinds of off road trips you can take but we were told not to take our rental car off roading. There were many folks riding four wheelers and jeeps all over the place. We did get to see the eastern side of the island with huge waves breaking on the rock shore. We also visited the California Light House, the natural bridge and Charlies Bar. Today we went to the beach but the snorkeling was not great because the large waves stirred up the coral sand enough to make the water turbid but the swimming was great. Later we noted that the snorkerlers were out further where the waves had less effect.

Moira took the women from 2 other boats shopping in the afternoon, while I shuttled diesel fuel and water back to the boat to fill the tanks. We are preparing the boat for the trip to Colombia. At this point we are planning to head out Thursday or the weekend as the winds and waves are supposed to reduce over that time. Currently we have been having winds in the anchorage in the 20 knot range. This is great as the wind generator has been keeping the batteries up and we have not run the boat engine or honda Generator since we arrived. However it makes the dinghy ride back from town very wet.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


We arrived in Aruba at 2:30 PM after leaving Santa Cruz, Curacao in the dark at 5:30 AM. The sail was not pleasant as we had two sets of seas. One from the southeast and the other from the northeast both about 7 - 8 feet with 20 to 25 knots of wind. We only had the jib out and with the current we were doing about 6.5 knots over ground. But the ride was corkscrew like and Moira took some seasick pills. When we cleared customs and immigration we moved up to Oranjestad and anchored at the end of the runway. We anchored between 2 boats that we did a lot of cruising with on the first trip. They all look great. We will go to bed early as we did not get much sleep last night because we were concerned about our anchor and we had a few squalls. Then we left at 5:30 and the seas were such that we could not nap.
We will visit with out friends tomorrow.

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Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Moving on from Curacao

We decided to keep moving even though we did not really get a chance to get well acquainted with the island and the cruising community in Spanish Waters. We are concerned that if we don't keep moving we will miss the window to get to Colombia. If we miss it we could be stuck in the ABC's for months. Although this is not a bad place to be stuck in.
This morning Moira caught the 10 AM shopping bus to go to the grocery store, while I caught the 10:30 AM bus to clear out. This entailed visiting Customs. then walking a mile to Immigration, and then visiting the Harbor Authority. By the time I got back to the dinghy dock I could see that Moira had left for the boat. The fellow that rode back with me on the bus gave me a dinghy ride back to the boat. We then had to haul the dinghy aboard and prepare to go to sea. We left at about 1:30 PM with a 20 mile sail to reach the northern end of Curacao at a place called Santa Cruz. We arrived just as the sun was setting and anchored. One of the other boats was a boat that had been Trinidad with us in 2006 but it was the newer and larger version as the went from a 38 foot boat to a 52 foot boat.
In the morning we will be heading off to Aruba. We will let you know when we arrive. Its about 55 miles.


We had a wonderful down wind sail from Bonaire to Curacao covering about 40 miles in 6 hours. Equinox is currently anchored in Spaanse Waters and we are visiting the capital,Willemstad. The old Dutch buildings are beautiful and there is an excitement in the air as they are getting ready to celebrate Siint Klaus today and Santa Claus on the 25th. It's interesting becuase all the Christmas signs are in English and the language spoken here is a mixture of Dutch, Spanish and English. We aren't sure how long we will be here because we may go to Aruba to meet up with 3 boats that we knew from our cruising before. They are waiting for a window to head to Cartegena and may leave before we get there. If they do, then we will stay here and wait for the next window. This will be the most difficult part of the journey so far - the winds and waters off the coast of Colombia are something to really contend with. If we don't get a weather window soon, then we will be here for at least 2 or 3 months (or more) because the winds will be too high to sail in. Hope to have pictures uploaded to the web site soon.