Posted by: catamarantwooceans | October 25, 2014

Sailing From Colombia to Panama

Hi All! I published two posts at the same time so please do not miss the post below (Colombia part 3).

19.10.14 – Sunday – We had 157 miles ahead of us to the Cayos Ratones (Mice Islands) in San Blas. With a forecast of light southerlies I figured it’ll take about 30 hours of motoring. Wishing to arrive in good light, we started out at 0700. Frustratingly the wind was from the west southwest; exactly on the nose but apart of a few periods of 7-10 knots it was less than 5 and we were advancing according to plan. Another frustrating issue was our complete failure in the fishing department; we kept changing lures, giving each model a few hours, but no fish was taken.

As the sun came down we noticed a yacht at our 2 o’clock on a converging course; they slowly came closer and just before it became too dark to see them clearly, I called them on V.H.F. Having our navigation lights on, I wanted to suggest they do the same thing but they never answered, probably having their radio closed.

20.10.14 – Monday – During the night a favorable current added one knot to our speed. Gili did the first shift, I did the second and just before she came to relieve me at 0530 I let the fishing lure out, briefing her to close the throttle to lower power when a fish is caught and holler my name. In less than five minutes I heard the engine noise change and rushed into the cockpit. It was still quite dark and as I brought the wildly struggling creature to the aft steps and tried to gaff it – the hook broke and a nice size tuna escaped to  live another day.

I couldn’t go back to sleep and sat waiting for another strike. When it finally came it was a skipjack tuna, a fish I’m not crazy about so I put the fishing gear for another try and bingo! a small Spanish mackerel was caught. Cayos Ratones came into view and about two miles from them we met a local Ulu, dugout canoe, with one man rowing and two guys diving for crabs and lobsters. “Let’s give them the tuna” I said, slowed down waving to attract their attention. “Do you want a fish?” I asked lifting it for them to see. Smiles of joy appeared on their faces and they rowed over and took it.

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We still had a mile and a half to the anchorage. “Shall I put the lure in again?” “Yes” said Gili and it was done. Half a mile to go, I started reeling it in quickly and when it was about 20 meters from the stern another Spanish mack took the lure!

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Not big ones, those, each a meal for two; we’re not complaining.

We took all sail down and entered the anchorage searching for a sandy spot to drop our anchor. The fishing excitement did not diminish the one the island’s view created. The fronds of the coconut trees waving gently in the wind, the white coral sand and the clear water in the anchorage – we were back in paradise!

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