Day 34 Off again.
18 April 2012 | Low Cay, Columbia, SA
Wednesday, April 18. We met with Mr. Bush today @ 10:00 and he had all our paper work completed and our passports to return, stamped. It was very efficient and his $40 fee was well worth all he does for cruisers. We have had on going discussions about this developing low in the Gulf, but what we finally decided was to relocate to Low Cay today (only about 8 nm North and still within the same barrier reef), sail for Vivarillos tomorrow, and decide when we get there what seems to be happening with this low and whether it will be good to stay and enjoy the Vivarillos and Hobbies or if we should go to Guanaja for better protection. Shortly after lunch, I raised the main with a single reef in it and then we pulled anchor and were off. Wind was in the 20-25 kts range and I added a second reef by the time we cleared the harbor buoys. With double reefed main and ¾ gennie, we were making 7-7.5 kts close hauled. The seas were w bit lumpy, but not bad as we still had some protection from the reef even though it was several miles away. When we turned to enter the hook at the Northern end of the reef that is known as Low Cay (there is no real cay here, just enough area of drying reef awash that a light has been erected), we had to drop sails and motor directly to windward. We had to eyeball in to anchor and we left breadcrumbs to assure an easy exit. We anchored in ~16' over bright white sand, though we dropped the anchor in 8'. When I swam the anchor, I discovered we could have gone much closer to the reef as the 8' depth held for quite aways. If we were staying longer, I would move, but for one night we are fine. Salida and Silver Sea were an hour or so behind us and I talked them in following our route. I put the dinghy in the water and went up to the spit of land and the light and then went to Silver Sea to try and help George with his autopilot that had quit working on the way up. It was a chain drive and some links of the chain were frozen. He hit them with WD-40 and worked each one loose while I held the wheel. It looks like it should be tightened a bit, but it does seem to be working again. Hope it holds. Back at Always, I made chili verde for dinner and we will turn in early as tomorrow we get up to leave @ 5:00. The Vivarillos are about 185 nm away, so at 6 kts. we would get there by noon the next day, only one overnight. Yeah!