Welcome to the Maunie of Ardwall blog

This is the blog of Maunie of Ardwall. After a six-year adventure sailing from Dartmouth to Australia, we are now back in Britain.

Saturday, 23 March 2013

Bonaire to San Blas, day 2

We're making good progress but this is a relatively long (680 mile) passage so we'll be at sea for 5 days.
Our last full day in Bonaire saw us hire bikes to cycle around the southern half of the island. In hindsight, we were a tad optimistic given that the only ones available were sit-up-and-beg Dutch city bikes so we were pretty exhausted by the end of the 30 mile trip. The island is very arid and the road back through the centre felt like Mexico, with cactus all around.
So far our sail has gone pretty well. Last evening it was enlivened by a close encounter with, first a pod of dolphins under our bows and then a super tanker at sea. Bonaire has a huge Venezuelan-owned oil storage terminal on its north west coast and so there are several tankers waiting for the right price on the spot market to go and load up for world exports. The water is far too deep for them to anchor so they shut down their engines and drift slowly northwards away from the island until their receive orders to load. Normally we'd go nowhere near the sharp end of a tanker but we radioed this one and he confirmed he wasn't under power so we passed about 300m ahead of him.
As we write, we are north of the Venezuelan / Columbian border and we'll stay in deep water, following the 1000m depth contour, as we turn left a bit down towards the Panama coastline and the beautiful San Blas islands. The coast around Santa Marta, Columbia, has a reputation for being windy so we'll have a couple of bumpy nights ahead, though the forecast looks pretty steady. All being well we'll arrive on Wednesday morning.

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