(Puerto Velero, Colombia)
After a night back at Taganga (because winds were screaming offshore) I don’t know who was in more of a hurry to get away from the marina, Greg or Oceanna. Evidently it was Oceanna.
If we’re sailing anywhere between 7 and 9 knots we’re quite happy and feel like we’re making great ground. So today when Oceanna hit 16 knots with no jib and the main double reefed I was a little uncomfortable to say the least. The winds were strong and we had a big following sea. Who needs to go surfing on a board when you can go surfing in your catamaran? Sheesh. Whatever sea courage I had tricked myself into thinking I had had certainly dissipated with everyday spent at dock.
Basically everything our friends Menno and Val told us back in North Carolina we’ve taken as gospel. So today it was Val I heard in my head when a large pod of dolphins came to play with Oceanna. She had told me she thought dolphins were a sign of good fortune. Good fortune I could deal with right then.
With the dolphins to entertain us we made it through the rough seas and eventually made our tack around Baranquilla’s point. Here the wind let up a bit (a wee bit) and the seas seemed to pull themselves together as well. Or maybe it was just me pulling myself together? Anyhow, sailing became more enjoyable and we were treated to the strangest sight we have seen yet on the open water.
The Rio Magdalena is Colombia’s principal river which is 1500km in length and dumps into the Caribbean Sea precisely at the point we just tacked around. We had read about the river and its associated delta before we made the hop and knew to give it a 10 mile margin. Then as we headed south towards Puerto Velero we were met with a very confusing sight. At first I thought I was seeing land, then I realized it was continuous with the waves just an entirely different colour. From deep, clear ocean blue, to a milky, dirty green. We had found the river delta. And it made a perfect east-west line at its farthest reaching northern boundary. As we approached the foreboding line I couldn’t help but feel we were about to fall through the sea. Luckily water is water, regardless of colour, and we just kept sailing on.
After at least an hour, as the wind and swell was headed in near the same direction as us, the colour start to diffuse back to something more resembling blue. It was then that Greg felt it was time to start fishing. And wouldn’t you know it, we had a Spanish Mackerel on board before we made it to our anchorage!
The last noteworthy thing to happen today in a day full of noteworthy events is – a Colombian Coast Guard Official called me fat. Yup, we don’t even speak the same language but a girl knows when she’s being called fat. After getting anchored and settled we were visited by the Armada Nacional. They came aboard and went through our paperwork. Everything went swell except for the moment when one looked at my passport photo then looked back at me pointing his finger and puffing out his cheeks and laughing. Thanks bud. Somebody get me a sandwich.