As of 10am Thursday, March 7th, Coley had made it to the northern-most tip of Colombia (and South America) on the La Guajira Peninsula. That was our last data point, but chances are good that he continued out over the Caribbean Sea for the non-stop 500-mile plus flight to the nearest land to the north, probably Hispaniola or Cuba. If so, he would arrive sometime Friday morning, March 8th. Weather yesterday was good with rather gentle winds from the southwest so hopefully he had a rather uneventful flight. Here are some details of his first two days on the move:
March 5th – Left his winter home in Bird Marsh (the Ciénaga Pajaral) on the west side of the Ciénaga Grande de Santa Marta (the Large Marsh of Saint Martha) shortly before 10am. By 5 pm, he was some 60 miles east northeast of Bird Marsh along the north coast of Colombia. He spent the night at this location, about 30 miles east of Santa Marta.
March 6th – Sometime between 7 and 8am, Coley continued east along the north shore of Colombia and up the La Guajira Peninsula. He covered about 130 miles, flying between 10 to 17 miles each hour through the day. He seems in no hurry at this point, and stopped around 6pm for the night despite still plenty of light.
March 7th – Off to a fairly early start before 7am and covered over 40 miles before we last checked in at 10pm. At that time he was heading east at about 10 mph and was just around 13 miles from the coast. As I mentioned, my prediction is that he kept going to the north coast and beyond.
The 500 mile crossing of the Caribbean will likely the most dangerous part of the trip for Coley. We know the weather was fairly good there yesterday so that reduced the danger level considerably. However, it will take him about 24 hours to make the crossing without food as he will not fish along the way. He will rely on his body fat and metabolic water (water produced as he burns the fat) to carry him through.
Below is a map with his most recent flights.
STAY TUNED and I will report as frequently as I can on his movements north. Next report should show Coley already past his 500-mile over-water non-stop flight and somewhere on the islands of Hispaniola or Cuba.
We are off to a great start! Coley and Dr. Bob Signing off.