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A rather late 2nd blog entry-but rather late than never!

Being surrounded by sea,without any land or any other boats in sight is a surreal experience.
It's just you, your fellow sailors and your boat; it makes you feel quite insignificant, floating on this massive stretch of water.
This is how we flow and will be flowing for days.
Sails,stars,sky,and sea.

It is a strange analogy,but preparing the boat for a night sail, cast my mind back, to a hospital night shift! By this I mean, preparing your ward and getting your patients ready for a comfortable, restful and hopefully uneventful night, thinking ahead of any eventualities that may occur. How strange that this should spring to mind!

And then was darkness. Stars shining through the endless black sky, stars, that by the end of a solitary Night Watch appear to be your friends. The deep ocean, sounds, and somehow seems deeper in this darkness; quite eerie. I hadn't really given Night Watches much thought prior to this adventure.

The sea,was thankfully generally kind to us on the leg from St. Lucia to Santa Marta, with moderate, following seas. We were thrilled to be entertained by 15 or more Pilot Whales along the way and so many dolphins, that gave us a wonderful performances.

After 6 nights at sea, we finally saw land. SOUTH AMERICA! Phew, that was a bit of luck, we went the right way!

We were 'welcomed' into Santa Marta by 40 knot winds, gusting 50, which was another first for me, heeling over like never before. Exciting! Then, when we were nearing the marina, calmness, beautiful, calmness.
This calmness, was sadly interrupted when I noticed that one of our fenders (that had been tied on by me)was floating back out to sea and so calmness soon abandoned our 'ship' as we had to turn around to retrieve it!

Santa Marta, is a fab town with colourful colonial buildings and a great kind of '1960's vibe. A backpackers paradise.

The second leg of the World Arc was delayed by a day due to high winds and seas. The coast guard advised delaying by a second day, but, surprise surprise , it was the decision of our two skippers to leave anyway!

We set sail for the San Blas Islands on 24th January.

Incredibly rough seas....5 metre high waves and winds, tossed and drove us towards Panama.

Sleeping, was very interesting tricky, in the Forward Cabin. With the tremendous slamming down of the yacht and crashing of the waves against the hull, I can only liken it to, sticking your head in the drum of a washing machine, while also being a jockey and attempting to jump Beacher's Brook in the Grand National and trying to sleep at the same time!

Arrived in the San Blas Islands, at 6.00hrs on 26th January
There are 340 islands and they are home to the indigenous Guna Indians, who have preserved their cultures and traditions, with little or no influences from the Western World. The unbelievably unspoiled beauty of these palm fringed, white sand islands is breathtaking. Would love to have stayed longer.

Checked out in Porvenir and sadly had to leave this remarkable place and continue onto Panama.

We arrived in Panama on 31st Jan, in time to prepare to go through the Panama Canal on 3rd Feb
and also tackle some boat repairs, of which there are quite a few, which is why have had time to write such a long blog!

Next adventure- passing through the Panama Canal.....EXCITING

JR ,

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