The sun was already shining brightly, the water smooth and a gentle wind so we put up full sail. Our course had us sailing 2 to 8 miles offshore as the seas on the coast were quite shoal. I would have preferred to stay closer inshore to see more scenery, but did not wish to risk the uncharted waters. Our Navionics charts for the area were quite poor and the Garmin not a lot better. It was calm enough I was able to rustle up some homemade biscuits and scrambled eggs in the galley, which helped the crew forgive me for the early start.
Later in the day a five foot northerly swell kicked in making for another uncomfortable ride. Periodically we would lose the wind and crank up the motor, but wind or no wind the swell was persistent. We spotted our first two oil platforms about 8 miles offshore and gave them good clearance. Surprisingly in this same area we saw a small open fishing boat sailing fast with a green tarp for canvas. Another fishing boat stopped to take our picture.
We motored all night in an uncomfortable swell. Waking up from a fitful sleep, with an upset stomach to take my 2 a.m. watch was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. I was downright miserable, but it was my turn, made a little more ginger tea, wedged myself into a corner in the cockpit and sat there for two hours questioning my life choices. It was a long night.
Morning saw us nearing the 5 Bays which are part of a national park. The bays are described as being similar to the fjords in Norway, with snowcapped mountains in the distance. The cruising notes we’d been using for Colombia mentioned we could stop there for an overnight, but both Noonsite said it was not permitted. Another cruiser had tried to stop there a few days before and was asked to leave. We debated back and forth and finally I decided to stop there and had a backup plan on where to go if we were run off. We picked the last of the 5 Bays as it was said to have the most protection from the swell. Sailing into that bay was amazing! Our little boat was moving along in a gentle breeze, mountains all around us, a huge white sand beach at the far end, the water was clear. It felt like being in a dream. We sailed around a bit before we settled upon a place to anchor that was away from the crowded beach, and dropped the hook in 37 feet almost next to the shore. It was truly one of the most beautiful and peaceful places we’ve been. Later that night I heard a terrible commotion and went outside to find that we were surrounded by jumping fish. Huge masses of fish were jumping as far as we could see all around the boat. It was quite the sight.
Next morning I jumped out of bed at 6 a.m. so as not to miss seeing the sunrise over the mountains. I had a long wait as it didn’t pop up until a little after 7. Meanwhile I enjoyed the peace and serenity, watching all the birds. I felt like the luckiest person on the planet and wished we could stay there for weeks. However, we were still not checked into Colombia and we’d finished the last of our fresh food. It was time to move on.