Sailing from San Blas to Providencia, Colombia

'Bad Bunny' Waiting for Sunrise at Harbor Entrance, Providencia, Colombia

‘Bad Bunny’ Waiting for Sunrise at Harbor Entrance, Providencia, Colombia

El Nino, for us, means more possibility of Cyclones in the Pacific. Because of it, we were unsure of our next destination. Finally, we made a big decision postponing going to the South Pacific for two years. That means we are not crossing the Panama Canal in February, 2016. It is disappointing; however, it brought us many options. Looking at a world map, we picked Providencia Island, Colombia for now. Providencia is far away from mainland Colombia. It is near Nicaragua. We read good things about it, especially about the nature.
At dark, I saw a bird resting on the rail while we were sailing at rough sea to Providencia, Colombia.

At dark, I saw a bird resting on the rail while we were sailing at rough sea to Providencia, Colombia.

It is about 270 miles to sail from San Blas to Providencia. The wind was good so it took about 38 hours of sailing; unfortunately, the sea was very rough two to three meter waves. Even though we prepared for it by taking sea sickness pills the night before, I was miserable for the first 15 hours of sailing. It was like riding a rollercoaster sailing up and down between waves of mountains and valleys. Finally when the direction of waves was favorable, I felt better and I was able to eat something other than drinking water. When sailing a long distance, John and I take a watch schedule every four hours. When I am on watch schedule, John sleeps and vice versa. It worked out smoothly this time.

Going to a new place, we try to schedule to arrive during the day as entering a strange anchorage or port at night is difficult and confusing. It doesn’t work all the time as the weather is not totally predictable. We ended up arriving at Providencia at midnight. We have three different charts but none of them showed the channel markers that we could see. We waited outside of the channel for seven hours sailing back and forth until the sun came up. Once sun came up, everything was clear. We were tired but it was worth the wait. It is better to be prudent when it comes to weather and entering channels. By the time when we cleared the customs and immigration and had lunch, it was around noon. It is bright daylight but time for us for a good night’s sleep. Lying in bed, I wondered how people can do this when they are a lot older than we are…


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