Tintin - The Vicious Colombian Coast
Many people have reported that this leg - and in particular the laststage along the Colombian coast to Santa Marta can be vicious.TheAtlantic trade winds get accelerated around the coast and combine with astatic area of low pressure over the land to regularly produce winds inexcess of 40 knots even when the rest of the Caribbean is benign.Combine this with an adverse current creeping up the Columbian coastand the seas can be horrible.The weather forecast for todays says"EVENING(20LT) (17/00 GMT)(T + 12):WINDS NE-E(45 - 90)INCREASE20-30 GUSTS 35KTS.SEAS 4-6SWELLS NE-EBUILD 5-10FT(2SEC).SKIESPARTLY CLOUDY. ISOLATED SHWRS/SQUALLS*. CURRENTS FROM S @ 0.6KTS."We've been ready, sailing with this in mind for a couple of days now,and now that we are heading SW along the coast from Punta Gallinas. read more...
Tintin - ABC Islands to port
We are making great progress towards the northern Colombian coast, overhalfway to our destination,Santa Marta. It is wonderful to be atsea again.This morning the perfect downwind sailing conditions are continuing,with just the right amount of wind. In addition, Steve Withers hasguided us towards the most favourable pockets of the west-goingequatorial current. It is easy for us to spot when we are in it becausethe boat speed over the ground (as opposed to through the water)increases significantly - imagine it is a bit like going on the movingwalkways at Gatwick airport. But unlike those, it doesn't take areliably straight line, and when we are out of it we don't know whetherto turn to port or starboard to find it again. Hence Steve's valuablehelp from Carlisle, where he has internet. read more...
Tintin - Sailing downwind
Nicki here, Rob and Jo have an unusual sail for downwind which is effectively ahuge double-sided genoa which they call the 'stingray', as it lookslike a white stingray swimming head-down when it is set, with aspinnaker pole set to windward to keep it stable.It has a sail areaof approximately 129 square metres, which is close to the floor area ofour 3-bedroomed house in New Zealand (excluding the garages andsheds)..... i.e. a massive display of canvas! Just after dawn this morning as Jo came on watch to replace me weexperienced some squalls of wind under towering dark clouds, so wereefed the stingray as a precautionary measure - and 10 minutes laterhad over 20 knots of true breeze for which we might otherwise have beensomewhat overcanvassed. The squalls passed through within an hour andwe. read more...
Tintin - The joys of Caribbean provisioning
We have been stocking up on our provisions prior to departure tomorrow, and there were a few items on the shelves that we felt we had to have on board.A new friend of mine at Rodney Bay, Vincent, has been extolling the virtues of sea moss which will cure almost all know ailments, counteract any acidity in your system, and apparently provide 93 of the 102 essential minerals our bodies need!IMG_0922_2. read more...
Tintin - Ready for the off
Now we are ready to go to Colombia.The rally start is at 12 noon, the sun is shining and the wind is fair. We are excited and looking forward to it. We expect this leg of 815 miles to take around 5 daysIMG_0930_3. read more...