Five Bays – a restricted anchorage

Published 12 years ago, updated 6 years ago

Posted 5 April 2012

Cruisers on Cruisers_Network_Online are reporting that whilst the Coastguard are still pretty active out of Santa Marta, 5 Bays is no longer a prohibited anchorage, just restricted. If you are on a zarpe with destination Santa Marta, the Coastguard will force you out of 5 Bays to go and check-in, and then you can come back to 5 Bays! If you are on a zarpe to Cartagena, it seems you can stay at least one night before being forced to move on. Some cruisers have been able to get people in 5 Bays to take them to Santa Marta to check-in.

Posted 29 July 2010

For many years yachts have taken the coastal route from the ABC Islands to Cartagena, Colombia.

We made the passage from Aruba to Cartagena a couple of months ago. A very easy trip with light winds and a lot of motoring.

The only thing of note to report is that while we were at anchor in the 3rd bay at Five Bays, the coastguard came up and told us it was now prohibited to anchor in Five Bays and that we needed to go round to Santa Marta and clear in with an agent. They were very polite but made their point clearly.

This seems extremely reasonable to us. Very few countries will tolerate ad lib stops prior to clearing it.

This seems to be a clear change of policy and one that yachties will need to know about. Maybe this is in response to the two recent incidents that occurred to yachts in this bay.

We sauntered around to Santa Marta arriving on dusk. Suspect the agent had gone to the pub.

We anchored just to the south of the moored smaller boats in the port and north of the brilliant new marina that is under construction. The sea walls are already in and work is starting on the rest. This marina, we are sure, will become a boon for cruisers.

We departed at midnight for the Rio Magdelena as the weather window was so good.

In hindsight, we should have taken our time, cleared in and enjoyed Santa Marta and the wonderful hinterland.

Dan and Yolanda

Jacana of Melbourne

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