Our passage from Curaçao to Puerto Velero in Colombia was a nice and fast sailing experience. We did a first small day tour from Spanish Water to Santa Cruz, which is a nice bay in the west of Curacao and a good starting point for trips to Aruba (where we’ve already been, so we’ve decided to skip it this time) or to Colombia.
The bay Santa Cruz offers a few interesting things to discover in the near vicinity. There is, for example, a nice spot for cliff jumping or the blue cave, which is a nice spot for snorkeling. We’ve visited the blue cave with some friends in our new dinghy and enjoyed it a lot.
After we’ve left Santa Cruz (and hence Curaçao) we enjoyed a fast sailing. Enjoyed? Maybe not everything. Right after the start, we’ve lost one of your spinnaker poles that we use on downwind tracks for our foresails. We often use two genoas when we go downwind. So we had to do a “spinnaker pole overboard manoeuvre”. That was good exercise, but not necessarily enjoyable.
From Curaçao, we had to pass Aruba and the Venezuelan “Monjes” islands which are basically some plain rocks in the Caribbean Sea. On one of them, Monjes del Sul, is a small coast guard station and you can meet a few fishermen nothing and see a small lighthouse – nothing else. All the others (Monjes del Este, Monjes del Norte…) are uninhabited. It is usually possible to have a stopover on Monjes del Sul which would allow doing the sailing from the ABC islands to Colombia in several steps and day trips. However, we’ve decided to go from Curaçao to Puerto Velero in one go. Usually a trip of 3 to 4 days with a boat of our size. We decided to do so because the weather-forecast was quite favourable for our sailing, so we wanted to use the good conditions and we were really crazy to get to Colombia as soon as possible.
On the second day, we got a visit from a huge dolphin school. So far we haven’t met such a large group of dolphins. They stayed quite a while and seemed to enjoy playing with Maya. During following the night we also faced in an invasion of flying fish. We rescued more than 10 flying fish which jumped on deck and put them back in the water, but for even more of them our help was too late or we didn’t see them right away.
We’ve passed the cape of the Peninsula de la Gaujira in very pleasant conditions. Nice sailing with the wind about 4-5 Bft., current with us and very little waves. The last part from the cape along the Colombian coast was supposed to be in very calm conditions. The weather forecast indicated almost no wind and we thought that we might have to use the engine a lot. However, we got some very strong winds. Which means it was a very fast ride, but with the upcoming waves also a bit rough at times. Only when we passed Barranquilla the wind calmed down and we had to start the engine to make the last few miles to the marina. Overall, we travelled less than 3 days, which we think is not too shabby for a cruising yacht like Maya.
The distance travelled:
- from Spanish Water to Santa Cruz: 23 NM.
- from Santa Cruz to Puerto Velero: 365 NM.