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07/02/2014

American Spirit II - Day 34; Last Full Day in Las Perlas Islands; Thursday, February 6, 2014

Today is one of the few days that we had to get up early for a Rally event. At 7:15 AM something called a 'Hash' is being run by the World Cruising Club. During this event we walked around the island following symbols left in the road way. Once done, drinks and fruit awaited us back at the Romantica Hotel. The fruit included pineapple, water melon and mango. During the Hash we walked past a mini mart, so I jumped in and bought a bunch of groceries for the boat. Some items we were short of. Once back on the boat, we spotted a fuel barge tied up to a mooring buoy in the anchorage. Motoring over in our dingy, we bought 15 gallons of diesel fuel at $5.00 a gallon, which was put in our yellow jerry jugs. With that extra fuel, we'll have no problem making it to the Galapagos Islands even if we. read more...


06/02/2014

Free & BrEasy - Bye Bye Turkey Vultures of Panama!

Well we are still here at Playita, Panama City, but soon to go. The anchorage at Playita is busy with fishing boats and ferries so every so often Free and BrEasy has a little Rock and Roll dance with herself. At nights it's like being a foetus when your Mother runs for a bus with the bouncing and squishing noises of the water on the hulls. Most of the rest of the fleet has up anchored and is exploring the delights of the Las Perlas islands some 40 nautical miles south east of here. The delay in going to the Las Perlas islands has been caused by the wait for a Pactor Modem to allow the SSB radio to talk to a computer and download weather forecast maps or send emails while in the Pacific Ocean. We were lucky enough to find David, a computer whizz, who eventually diagnosed a dead. read more...


05/02/2014

American Spirit II - Day 33; A Lazy Day in Isla Contadora; Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Up at 5:30 AM today. No reason, just woke up. Made a cup of coffee, read a book, and watched the stars disappear and the sun rise. When sailing around the world, you see a lot of sun rises. A work project today was to change the 3 filters on our Spectra Water Maker. The reason for changing the filters is because our water production was being reduced to making 2.2 gallons per hour instead of the plus 6 we had been making. Since it takes a lot of energy (battery power) to make water, we need to make as much as possible in as little time as possible. The 3 filters we changed out were the carbon filter; 5 micron; and 20 micron. When we took out the 5 and 20 micron filters, they were both covered in algae. We only put those 2 filters in 3 weeks ago, so I was surprised that they had gotten so. read more...


05/02/2014

Flomaida II - Zusammenfassung der letzten 10 Tage

Wie die Zeit vergeht! Endlich hab ich mal wieder Muße und Lust, etwas zuschreiben.Wir liegen gerade vor der Insel Contadora/ Las Perlas-aber daswisst Ihr ja, falls Ihr uns "verfolgt"- und genießen die Ruhe nach turbulenten 10 Tagen! Im Großen und Ganzen gibt es nur Erfreuliches zu berichten (liegt sicher auch daran, dass wir unser Schiff wenig bewegt haben und uns daher nichts kaputt gehen konnte!!) Die Fahrt quer über den Eingang des Panama Kanals war schon sehr spannend, da wir im Slalom durch das Ankerfeld der großen Pötte mussten, die auf ihre Passage warteten. Ein Kapitän sagte über Funk;" what the hell are all these sailing boats doing here! "Wir kamen ihm wohl vor wie eine Horde durcheinander hüpfender Wasserflöhe! Das kommt ja nun wirklich nur einmal im Jahr vor. Die Marina war. read more...


05/02/2014

Celebrate - Log Day 14 - Part 2, Amazing Panama Canal Adventure

6am at Gatun Lake bright and early in the morning Ricardo and Irwin were delivered to our anchor spot.The instruction was to go at 8 knots until we caught up with our transit rafting partner S/V CLEMENTINA.On the way, we passed by the picturesque Smithsonian Institute Nature Reserve and the very contemporary looking Century Bridge.When we reached CLEMENTINA and rafted up they kindly allowed us to borrow Augusto from their boat for additional help with our lines through the Canal.Then, it was into the Miraflores Locks, under the beautiful Bridge of the Americas and we were through the Panama Canal and into the Pacific! Next, anchoring in La Playita below the Flamenco Signal Station.Cathy. read more...


04/02/2014

American Spirit II - Day 32; Survivor (Las Perlas) Panama; Tuesday, February 4, 2014

At 8:40 AM we observed an act of nature seldom seen. Thousands of birds, different species intermingled, flew together in giant groups at wave top level from the surrounding islands to an area the size of half a football field, along the shore where they dove into the water with reckless abandon. A fish feeding frenzy had begun. Hundreds of other birds just sat in the water watching this spectacle. It lasted for a half hour. Breathtaking!Weighing anchor at 10:15 AM, we passed by another Rally boat just anchoring, Firefly, and after chatting with them briefly, we proceeded north toward the Islands of Chapera and Moro Moro. As usual, the winds were light and we sailed and motor sailed to our destination. At 12:25 PM a couple of Atlantic Spotted Dolphins swam in front of and behind our. read more...


Flomaida II - Zusammenfassung der letzten 10 Tage
Flomaida II - Zusammenfassung der letzten 10 Tage
04/02/2014

Celebrate - Log Day 13 - Amazing Panama Canal Adventure t

The adventure begins with an excellent briefing pre-transit given by Paul Tetlow, including a canal video.Also, Suzana Buraca was there smoothing the way. The next afternoon was a short stay anchored in the "flats" before the start into the Gatun Locks.Also, our terrific advisers, Ricardo and Irwin, came aboard around 4:30pm and we were off!They were invaluable as the leaders of our Transit Team 2 of 14 boats rafted together in twos and threes to make our way through the locks.We were grateful not to be sharing a lock with the cargo,tankers or cruise ships that use the locks.At 8pm our great experience of seeing the line handling Locks process and taping oreo cookie packages to the lines to send them to the Canal line handlers was over.Suddenly, we were done with Gatun Locks!Now, we were. read more...


04/02/2014

American Spirit II - Day 31; Dingy Wipe Out; Monday, February 3, 2014

This morning we got in the dingy and proceeded a half mile along the very rocky sea shore, in the lee and east side of Isla San Jose. The tide was going out and what was a small beach the night before was becoming a huge beach. Just before we got to the shore, we had to dodge an underwater rock that was becoming visible as the 17 foot tide gushed out. Then about 50 yards from shore we killed the dingy motor and raised the shaft, not knowing how deep it was. The water was not clear due to the massive tidal action. Joel and I were paddling in when a swell turned into a 3 foot breaking wave. Just before we started riding the crest, I told Joel that we're going to flip. He confidently replied that we were not. A few seconds later we were surfing with the crest when the bow of our dingy. read more...


04/02/2014

Firefly - Cruising Las Perlas

Situated only 40 miles South East of Panama, the Las Perlas Islands we have visited so far are surprisingly remote. Our first landfall was Isla Bayoneta one of the most westerly of the group. Since leaving the Panama Canal we have been re introduced to tides and currently there are very large springs, with a negative low water i.e. the level goes below chart datum. These islands are therefore very different to the Coral Cays of San Blas. In fact the tide, the spacing and the sand are more reminiscent of the Isles of Scilly! The water is very heavy with plankton so visibility is lower and the water is also about 5 degrees cooler than it was in the Caribbean. Similar to the San Blas Islands our charts are not as accurate as they could be so combined with extreme tides and poor visibility. read more...


04/02/2014

Hebe - Exploring Las Perlas

Weighed anchor at dawn, why am I ever asleep at this time? Must PhotoShop this with pelicans off on an early sortie.We weaved our way between the islands, Immy using the lat and long in the pilot book chart and a ruler, the GPS is wrong and has many a yacht aground, still there's always a good tide to whisk you away.   One channel was bubbling with overfalls as we crept along hoping the engine held. A massive line of cormorants flew over head in V formation you could hear Dam Busters playing.Imo has been having a nightmare as her computer with all her gorgeous photos and her whole life has been corrupted and she's spent the past few days talking to Apple, oh dear. It meant we had to dodge about to find phone signal on our journey south. Our present anchorage off Isla Del. read more...


Hebe - Hebe - Exploring Las Perlas - Beach
Hebe - Hebe - Exploring Las Perlas - Beach
Hebe - Exploring Las Perlas - Sunrise
Hebe - Exploring Las Perlas - Sunrise
04/02/2014

Celebrate - Log Day 12- Friends & Happy Hours at Super Shelter Bay Marina

What a super "welcome" for our expert crew, Andy Barrow, & us at our slip in Shelter Bay Marina by Joel of the World Rally, the dock master and our wonderful friends John & Kat Langenheim.John & Kat immediately treated us to cocktails and dinner on the lovely veranda at the dock restaurant overlooking the beautiful boats in the marina.They would move aboard CELEBRATE the next morning to help us prepare for our Canal Transit on the 28th. Yet to come were the yummy rum tasting and the pig roast. For a trip into Panama City we had a delightful lunch at Bennigan's on the Pacific side, shopped at the designer mall, Multi-Plaza, and shared a cab with Brian of American Spirit who was meeting with Davide to arrange his haul out after the Canal Transit.Also, CELEBRATE had it's own 3-D. read more...


Hebe - Exploring Las Perlas - Stone
Hebe - Exploring Las Perlas - Stone
Flomaida II - Christoph im Paradies
Flomaida II - Christoph im Paradies
Flomaida II - Mädchengeschnatter auf "unserer" Kuna Insel
Flomaida II - Mädchengeschnatter auf
Flomaida II - Flomi im Paradies
Flomaida II - Flomi im Paradies
Flomaida II - Mmmhhh der Lobster
Flomaida II - Mmmhhh der Lobster
Flomaida II - Da kommt unser Lobster
Flomaida II - Da kommt unser Lobster
Flomaida II - Dagmar im Paradies
Flomaida II - Dagmar im Paradies
Flomaida II - Der teuflisch leckere Rum in der Cocosnuss auf Chichime
Flomaida II - Der teuflisch leckere Rum in der Cocosnuss auf Chichime
Flomaida II - Bericht der letzten 10 Tage- sorry für die lange Pause
Flomaida II - Bericht der letzten 10 Tage- sorry für die lange Pause
Flomaida II - Das schwarze Jesusbildnis in der Bucht von Portobelo
Flomaida II - Das schwarze Jesusbildnis in der Bucht von Portobelo
Flomaida II - Christoph vermisst Guiseppe!!!!!
Flomaida II - Christoph vermisst Guiseppe!!!!!
Flomaida II - Mit Elisabeth von der Ceduceus
Flomaida II - Mit Elisabeth von der Ceduceus
Flomaida II - Blick auf Panama City vom höchsten Punkt
Flomaida II - Blick auf Panama City vom höchsten Punkt
Flomaida II - Kleines Rätsel- Verkehrsschild vor dem Präsidentenpalast
Flomaida II - Kleines Rätsel- Verkehrsschild vor dem Präsidentenpalast
Flomaida II - Christoph mit obligatorischem Panamahut
Flomaida II - Christoph mit obligatorischem Panamahut
Flomaida II - Fensterputzen nicht nötig in Panama City
Flomaida II - Fensterputzen nicht nötig in Panama City
Flomaida II - Im 3. Päckchen links liegen wir durch die Strömung etwas krumm und müssen gegenhalten
Flomaida II - Im 3. Päckchen links liegen wir durch die Strömung etwas krumm und müssen gegenhalten
Flomaida II - Unser Advisor fühlt sich sehr wohl!
Flomaida II - Unser Advisor fühlt sich sehr wohl!
Flomaida II - 100 Jahre Panamakanal
Flomaida II - 100 Jahre Panamakanal
Flomaida II - Das geschnürte Päckchen Caduceus, CHIKA-lu und wir vor der Schleusenkammer
Flomaida II - Das geschnürte Päckchen Caduceus, CHIKA-lu und wir vor der Schleusenkammer
Flomaida II - Wir im Kanal
Flomaida II - Wir im Kanal
03/02/2014

Hebe - Boat life Highs and Lows

It's taken the Hebe crew some time to come to terms with the loss of one of their longest serving crew……Dart.  Sadly this brave little goldfish found life onboard too much after 4,500 miles and committed suicide on arrival in the San Blas islands. He jumped out of his cereal container whilst we were all out partying our first night.  Imo was distraught, not sure about Harry's feelings as he was always cursing the little creature.  Dart did have a tough life, on passage getting splashed out in the sink when the cooker was in use but we all really thought he would hang in there until Australia. His place on the side is still known as Dart's place, used for sunglasses and a conch.Laundry is also sometimes a hazard, now we are in clean water the water maker is working and also. read more...


Flomaida II - Nacht in der Schleusenkammer
Flomaida II - Nacht in der Schleusenkammer
Flomaida II - Der Advisor kommt an Bord vor der Passage
Flomaida II - Der Advisor kommt an Bord vor der Passage
Flomaida II - Großeinkauf- einer von vielen!!!
Flomaida II - Großeinkauf- einer von vielen!!!
Hebe - Boat Life highs and lows - making a shelter
Hebe - Boat Life highs and lows - making a shelter
Hebe - Boat life highs and lows - Shelter is completed
Hebe - Boat life highs and lows - Shelter is completed
Hebe - Boat Life Highs and Lows - Tim prepares lunch
Hebe - Boat Life Highs and Lows - Tim prepares lunch
Flomaida II - Christoph mit den beiden Glücksbringern bei der "Arbeit"
Flomaida II - Christoph mit den beiden Glücksbringern bei der
Flomaida II - Paradies auf den San Blas Inseln
Flomaida II - Paradies auf den San Blas Inseln
03/02/2014

Celebrate - Log Day 12- Friends & Happy Hours at Super Shelter Bay Marina

What a super "welcome" for our expert crew, Andy Barrow, & us at our slip in Shelter Bay Marina by Joel of the World Rally, the dock master and our wonderful friends John & Kat Langenheim.John & Kat immediately treated us to cocktails and dinner on the lovely veranda at the dock restaurant overlooking the beautiful boats in the marina.They would move aboard CELEBRATE the next morning to help us prepare for our Canal Transit on the 28th. Yet to come were the yummy rum tasting and the pig roast. For a trip into Panama City we had a delightful lunch at Bennigan's on the Pacific side, shopped at the designer mall, Multi-Plaza, and shared a cab with Brian of American Spirit who was meeting with Davide to arrange his haul out after the Canal Transit.Also, CELEBRATE had it's own 3-D. read more...


03/02/2014

American Spirit II - Day 30; In the Las Perolas Islands; Sunday, February 2, 2014

Departed Panama City at 9:35 AM today, en route to the Las Perlas Islands. The name means Pearl Islands. The northern islands are only 31 miles from Panama City. The islands got their name when in 1515 Spanish conquistadors Gaspar de Morales and Francisco Pizarro robbed a large amount of pearls from King Toe. The 31 carat 'peregrina' pearl of Queen Mary Tudor of England came from these islands. The Archipelago de Las Perlas consists of more than 220 islands and islets, of which only 90 are named and even fewer are inhabited. One of our pilot books states: "Existing charts of the Perlas are very inaccurate." Fortunately, Eric Bauhaus in his The Panama Cruising Guide supplies charts that he purports are accurate. As Ronald Reagan used to say, 'Trust but verify.'There was almost no wind, so. read more...


03/02/2014

Nexus - Ness is a Grandma!

Vanessa's daughter gave birth last night (11:30am South African Time) to a grandson, 3.8Kg, name to be chosen soon! We're having a celebratory breakfast and helping Ness come to terms with being "Grandma".Got up to check the anchor bridle at 4am this morning with Laurie, as the tide was running opposite the wind, and witnessed a cool phenomenon. The moonless night was dimly lit by the Milky Way, and the bioluminescence in the water revealed fish movement traces, which a large flock of pelicans were tracking and feasting on in nearly total darkness. We could hear them diving in and saw the bigger splash they made outlined by the bioluminescent glow! How cool is that?Russ and Laurie on Nexus still at anchor near Isla Canas 09:13 2/3/2014. read more...


03/02/2014

Starblazer - 02/02/2014 – Cruising, boat maintenance in exotic locations.

The above definition of cruising leaves out two other major items, passage making and fun.First the fun part of cruising: making landfall in new places, exploring local culture and shopping.Entering the breakwater for Shelter Bay Marina and the Panama Canal was very easy, Portsmouth Harbour often has more big ship movements in any 15 minute period and as for Dover….Our time in Shelter Bay was quite busy including shopping for the next month to six weeks.We seem to have bought an awful lot of steak, I might get fed up with it by the time we empty the freezer!We had a day trip to an Embera Indian village which included a 45 minute trip up river in a dugout canoe.The best known tribe in Panama is undoubtedly the Kuna who live in the San Blas Islands.The Embera are spread between Panama and. read more...


02/02/2014

Nexus - Isla de Canas

We're currently in a beautiful anchorage behind the Isla Canas on the East side of the larger Isla del Ray, and the water is clear and full of fish, with pelicans diving from above and large fish feeding on smaller ones below. We went for a long kayak a couple of beach walks around the bay this afternoon, and the scenery and wildlife in and out of the water are great. We and one other boat have the bay to ourselves.This morning before we left Morro Cicique we took a dingy ride over to an adjacent island, Isla San Telmo, to look at a submarine that was over 100 years old, that apparently mysteriously washed up on the North facing beach. I guess given its age and lack of propulsion, it is technically a diving bell, but it was largely intact with large holes rusted through the sides in. read more...


02/02/2014

American Spirit II - Day 29; Rudder in the Tube Day; Saturday, February 1, 2014

Before I describe the climatic event of the day, putting the rudder in the tube and attaching the steering arm, since when we're in port not only can we see what our log and others look like by going to the WCC web site, we can actually read COMMENTS left by our log readers. With that in mind, I'd like to encourage anyone reading our log to post any comments you want, or even ask for clarifications if something written is unclear. We won't be able to read these comments until we reach our next port of call, but other log readers will be able to before then. For example, one comment by Diane Lantry-Erler, a friend and neighbor, was that she also had visited the Indian Tribe that some on our boat did last Tuesday. Just how small a world is it we live in?Yard day number 3 started at 8:00. read more...