Well we woke this morning to calm-ish weather, but apparently we are in a small pocket of tranquillity. The local Coastguard have issued a warning to small craft as out in the bay there are still high winds and very steep seas, so the departure has been delayed again until 10:00 am tomorrow. The earlier start will enable us to get past a notoriously bad patch of water off the coast at Barranquilla (about 40 miles down the coast) which is the estuary for the largest river in Columbia and which frequently has tree trunks floating in it, so to be able to pass that area ion the daylight is preferable.
This does of course mean that we will have one day less to enjoy the San Blas islands which is a bit of a blow as we still need to arrive in Colon at the head of the Panama canal on the 31st January. Still, we will have plenty of other islands to experience in the Pacific, so we have to take a pragmatic view of the second delay. I spoke at length with one of the organisers this morning and am now convinced that it is the right thing to wait.
That said, some of the skippers in the fleet have made the decision to go today. Typically these are the racing boats that have several crew on board and which are built to withstand severe conditions under full sail. We are only two crew and so we have to be a bit more cautious as you might expect. Plus the fact that we are here to enjoy the passage, not beat ourselves up, either in the physical sense by putting ourselves unnecessarily in danger, or mentally for looking as though we are wimping out. The local Coastguard knowledge is king and we respect that.
We are the radio net controllers this evening and tomorrow, so we will be talking to the crews that are leaving today to find out 1) if they are safe, and 2) what conditions they are experiencing out there on the water. It will be an interesting conversation!