By Pat, as I spent about 17 hours of this day curled up in our cabin in the fetal position.
The day started with a slow morning departure from the calm waters of Holandaise, with rain that soon followed once we left the small chain of islands. As the rain escalated into a monsoon, higher winds allowed us to put up the sails to speed us along. The energy amongst the passengers was rather timid, as we were unsure of what was to come.
With small waves turning into pumping swell, Poseidon made an appearance around our now seemingly tiny vessel. Many of our mates were going to lose their breakfast in a short while. As the hours passed by, larger swell came along. Soon enough, we were in 10 foot breaking swell, and items and people were flying about the boat as we descended sideways into the trough of each large swell. Every 5 minutes was punctuated with a wave that made it seem like the boat was sure to capsize. Only 3 passengers and Federico were left on the main deck, while the remaining folk returned to their cabins to hide from the storm (Kelly included). One hour seemed like four as we bounced our way through the unrelenting Caribbean Sea.
Eventually the wind and the swell became large enough to put a bit of fear into even our highly experienced, ex-navy captain, Federico. After fear had crpt into the pores of everyone on the boat, Federico made the decision to land early along the Colombia/Panamanian border in light of the continual deterioration of the weather.
We were are very relieved, even though the storm continued for another 13 hours through the night until our arrival into calmer water. LAND. We could see land. We slowly trolled into a small bay shrouded by towering mountains of tropical rain forest, upon which Federico began whipping up a very welcomed breakfast of ham and cheese sandwiches accompanied by delicious smooth, chocolatey colombian cafe.
It wasn’t quite how we pictured our arrival into Colombia, but we were happy to be safe.