This 2017/2018 Winter Season we are offering an experience of a lifetime on a 47’ Catana Catamaran.
You have four itineraries to choose from OR combine any two, three of four! There are two types of sailing that we are offering “Open Sea Passage” and “Cruising”.
Cruising is mostly island hopping where we are leisurely making our way, always in sight of land, and never sailing over night. Each night we are anchored in a snug bay or overnighting in a marina. We recommend this trip for never-sailed-before newbies and salty sailors who want to chill and play.
“Open Sea Passage” is just as it sounds. Offshore sailing and occasionally sailing thru the night. The ten days of sailing are not entirely offshore. We will be stopping here and there to swim, explore and overnight and occasionally dock or anchor to head to shore for sightseeing and provisioning. We only recommend this voyage to those who are familiar with ocean sailing and are comfortable being out of sight of land.
October 29 – November 5, 2017
OPEN SEA PASSAGE: Aruba, Dutch Antilles to Santa Marta, Colombia and the National Park of Tayrona
10 days – 300 Nautical Miles
Arrival in Aruba international airport
Most sailors agree this blue water route from Aruba to Santa Marta, Colombia is one of the most fascinating and challenging in the world. Utilizing the trade winds, the best time to make the passage is October to November between the wet and dry season. This is the time when conditions are more likely to be calm, which will reduce the rough navigational features typical of this area of the Caribbean, known to be one of the more daunting passages around the world.
It is 135NM from Aruba to Cabo de La Vela. Leaving Aruba in the early morning, we arrive at Cabo de la Vela the following morning with plenty of time to explore the bay and select a secluded anchoring spot. If necessary, our itinerary allows us to stay a second night. There will be a bonus: you can happily use your fishing gear during the passage as there is an abundance of lemon fish and various kinds of tuna all along the way.
During the 125NM route from Cabo de La Vela to the Five Bays we anticipate a comfortable passage, tacking downwind in 20-25 knots of sustained wind from the ENE. There is also a chance to experience periods of very light wind, with sudden wind gusts, especially as we approach Cabo San Juan del Guía. Regardless of the wind conditions, expect to navigate in moderate to rough seas, and to encounter some mild counter current along this stretch.
We will clear customs in Santa Marta, a charming touristic town full of life and a great spot for provisioning, withdrawing money or simply enjoying its historical sites, museums, restaurants, and night life.
The next day we will head back to a succession of inlets known as the Five Bays.
The beautiful bays of the Tayrona Natural National Park, are home to a rich biodiversity native to the Sierra Nevada mountain range. The classification of animal species living in the park, includes more than 108 species of mammals and 300 species of birds. The Mantled howler, the oncilla, deer and over 70 species of bats are among the park's typical residents. The park's 300 species of birds include the montane solitary eagle, the military macaw, black-backed antshrike, white-bellied antbird and the lance-tailed manakin. There are also approximately 31 species of reptiles, 15 species of amphibians, 202 species of sponges, 471 species of crustaceans, 96 species of annelids, 700 species of molluscs, 110 species of corals and 401 species of sea and river fish.
Look for the snow covered mountains as you approach Taganga, a highlight of the region. The coastline will gradually shift from the ochre plains of the Guajira peninsula to the green hills and sharp cliffs of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. With snow-capped peaks reaching over 4.500 m it is the highest coastal mountain range in the world. In the early morning of a clear day, you will enjoy the unique spectacle of a snowy Caribbean.
Departure from Santa Marta international airport
Coastal Cruising - Santa Marta to Cartagena, Colombia via Puerto Velero
10 days – 120 Nm
DATE: November 9 – November 16, 2017
Arrival in Santa Marta international airport
We will clear customs in Santa Marta and spend one day in this charming touristic town full of life. It is a great spot for provisioning, withdrawing money or simply enjoying its historical sites, museums, restaurants, and night life.
The next day’s excursion is to Parque Nacional Natural Tayrona which hosts a 37,000 acre ecotourism park, with breathtaking underwater reefs, beaches, mangroves and Tayrona Indian ruins.
Another 16Nm west of Magdalena River and 55 Nm South-west of Santa Marta, lays the town of Puerto Velero, where a new international marina has been completed, making it a convenient and lovely stop before heading to Cartagena. Puerto Velero is an off-the-beaten-track secluded spot only known to wind sports lovers from Barranquilla and people from the neighboring villages. We were surprised to learn that most Barranquilleros had never heard about the place.
We will leave Puerto Velero at dawn and arrive in Cartegena before sunset. We may experience a slight counter-current, and less wind along this stretch requiring engine power at times. Our itinerary allows us some flexibility at this point. Either we sail directly to Cartagena or take an opportunity to anchor mid-way near Ciénaga del Totumo. El Totumo is a local tourist attraction and home to the Volcán del Totumo. It is a 50ft mud cone that looks like a steep-sided, giant ant hill. There is a long history of volcanic activity in this area extending offshore. For a small fee one can climb to the top, be immersed in the viscous mud, dry to cracking, and then wash off in the swamp waters. A delightful lunch will be served at one of the small restaurants at the base of this unique and little known natural attraction.
Cartagena is one of the most beautiful cities in the Caribbean and the capital of the Bolívar region of Colombia. Here you will find a perfect blend of location food, culture and entertainment. The delicious cuisine sources an extensive variety of ingredients, from jungle flavors and mountain-grown herbs to Caribbean seafood and all types of pork and beef. The hustle and bustle of the colorful streets of the old-walled city wouldn’t be complete without taste testing its many street food stands, which can be found at every corner, park and plaza, day or night. The best street food in Cartagena is unique yet traditional, and as a formative component of the character of this lively city, it is not to be missed.
Shopping is very convenient here: from traditional handcrafted gift to jewelry or fashion stores. Walking the multicolored streets can become quite hot and humid, so by mid afternoon you may choose to lounge under the canopy of a bar. Save your energy because Cartagena comes alive at night!
Departure from Cartagena International Airport
Coastal Cruising Loop - The archipelagos, Isla del Rosario and San Bernardo
7 days – 50 Nm
Date November 18 – November 28
Arrival in Cartagena at International Airport
We will spend the first day enjoying the city of Cartagena, its Latin atmosphere and dozens of things to do. Provisioning and shopping here is very convenient, you will find a gift for everybody!
Then we will sail to the Island, and depending on weather conditions and on the forecast we will plan the most suitable and comfortable schedule to visit both archipelagos.
The Islas del Rosario, also referred to as Corales Islas del Rosario is an archipelago located off the coast of Colombia, approximately 15 miles from Cartagena, under the status of national park created to protect one of the most important coral reefs of the Colombian Caribbean coast. The park has an area of 120,000 square kilometers; biodiversity, tropical flora, corals and sea life are there at their maximum beauty.
Far away south, the archipelago of San Bernardo is a set of nine coastal coral islands. Even here the territory is under protection of the Rosario and San Bernardo Corals National Natural Park. Snorkeling there is an unique experience, you will live there unforgettable memory of pristine nature.
On our way back to Cartagena we will have a call in Cienaga de Cholon, a coastal peninsula with a lagoon connected to the sea. Clear and calm waters of the eastern islets are trimmed with lovely little beaches. The surrounding landscape consists of mangrove forests, which conceal several villas and the colorful fishing village of Barú, on the southern tip of Isla Barú. This village was born as a palenque, a secluded settlement established by fugitive slaves of African origin, and the population is mainly Afro-Colombian. There you will enjoy the delicious local flavours of fish soup, and fried fresh fish with a side of arroz con titoté (rice with raisins and coconut) and patacones (fried mashed plantain).
Departure from Cartagena International Airport
Open Sea Passage - Cartagena, Colombia to San Blas Islands, Panama
10 days – 200 Nm
Date: December 10 – December 18, 2017
Arrival in Cartagena International Airport
We will spend one day in Cartagena, enjoying the thrills of life there, with his Latin atmosphere and other dozen of things you can do there. Who doesn’t want to see this jewel of Spanish Colonial and Baroque architecture and seasonal playground of the world’s wealthy?
After suitable provisioning in Cartagena, and clearing customs, we will make for Panama. The passage is relatively trouble less, even if Caribbean Sea represent often a demanding to sail, and we will drift our fishing gear to catch our fresh meal! Wind is supposed to be trading, consequently the comfort and speed will be presumably adequate. The season is quite rainy, there will be the possibility of bumping into heavy rainy squalls, but fresh water is often welcome.
The San Blas Islands offer an exceptional cruising ground worthy of further exploration for its uniqueness and beauty. There are more than 365 islands and cays, of which only 49 are inhabited. They lie off the north coast of the Isthmus of Panama, east of the Panama Canal. It is part of the Comarca (district) Guna Yala along the Caribbean coast of Panama is home to the Kuna Indians. San Blas and its surrounding area is a pristine haven. Notable locations in the Archipelago are the main capital El Porvenir, the densely crowded island village of Carti Sugtupu, and the two keyes, Cayos Limones, and Cayos Holandeses, both renowned for their clear waters and abundance of sea life.
We will reach the capital of San Blas Island, a little village called El Porvenir. After clearing customs there, and after provisioning, we will immediately schedule our itinerary through the islands, which require short passages to access. Upon arrival, deep into nature’s cove, enjoy snorkeling and swimming in bathwater warm sea and walk along silky white beaches where the leaning palms will provide welcome shade. The Kuna will provide you fresh fruits or handcrafted gifts, but otherwise they will just let you be. It is, genuinely, a little piece of paradise.
Departure from local airport of Porvenir, with a domestic flight to International Airport of Panama.