“The bar to exit the Bay is smaller by ten percent” says Rogelio, the pilot who guides the boats in and out of the river.
4 AM Matt gets the documentation ready to meet Immigration and Port Captain and get our “Zarpe” (permission to leave). He returns by 5:00. We tie everything down, close all the hatches, put the dinghy on deck and hoist anchor. We approached the bar which still looked very intimidating. The timing had to be perfect, the direction had to be extremely accurate. Gregorio, the pilot, looked nervious. He warned us of all the possible mistakes. “if the boat is thrown sideways, I don’t even want to imagine what will happen” he says. Richard is standing on the bow of the boat counting the waves, Matt is at the helm keeping the boat straight and on reverse mode until the signal is given. At that point he has to go full throttle to escape the next set of waves. He only has a minute and a half to cross. I was working hard on keeping myself out of the way with camera on hand to get that perfect shot of the waves breaking on the bow. As I am ready to shoot, the kids woke up seasick and hot.. the boat was slamming hard on the water, bobbling in all directions. The boat was an oven. There was a lot of anxiety; we were ready for the worst, hoping the best. The signal was given, I could hear the motor roaring, instructions were coming in all direction; “keep it straight”, “faster” “almost there” “YOU MADE IIIT!!” Great feelings of relief were expressed. We were out!, free!. Our two day passage begins!