Ainia - now in Ecuador
Had a pleasant, slow sail from Panama to Bahia to Caraquez. Much better than we thought it might be based on Cornell's book. We had none of the nasty convectional activity he mentions. The Humboldt Current and ITCZ were certainly interesting. We left Panama and had a couple of days of favorable currents (light to no wind) and then came to a wide area of overfalls along with a wind shift from NE to SW and lots of clouds. The current meant that we were moving 35 degrees to the right of where we were pointing (close-hauled). We were aiming at Bahia which is half way down the coast toward Peru but were heading pretty much to the border of Ecuador and Colombia. When we got within about 40 miles of the coast, the current pretty much was on the nose but not very strong.
Bahia is a really nice place. Apparently it was the major port in Ecuador into the first half of the 1900s but they could not keep up with the shoals forming at the river mouth. Now you can only enter at high tide and with a pilot. The bureaucracy here is so complex that you basically only come to one port and stay there since entering other ports is almost like entering other countries and they require the use of an agent.
Our initial impression of Ecuador is very positive. Country is beautiful, city is clean and people are very friendly and helpful. Almost no English spoken so it is a good chance to practice our not very good Spanish. Off to Quito on the bus on Saturday for about three weeks of backpacking.
I read your blog post about Ecuador. Very interesting. We meet so few sailors who arenīt afraid to go exploring inland. We are thinking about sailing to Ecuador along the Pacific coast of Columbia and are gathering information about it. We would be putting the boat on a truck for a tributary to the Amazon though instead of continuing on to the Galapagos (a little far for our boat!)
Glad to hear Ecuador is not as dangerous as some other sources would have me believe.
Do you think the entrance to Bahia could be navigated by a boat with 1 foot draft and no motor without a pilot? Did you see pongas coming and going or is everyone regulated in their entry?
mars - just looked through your blog. Holy crap! That is one small boat! You guys are tough as nails - and look like you're really enjoying it.
Any good sailing stories you can copy here?
"You can get an autografo which allows you to visit four islands and stay for 90 days. This costs about $800."
Plus a $100 fee? Dear lord.
Love blogs like this though. They're an information gold mine.
We have so many stories I wouldn't even know where to start! We're just putting together another blog update that will be up today or tomorrow and we have a lot of old posts on there too.
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