Tag Archives: catamaran

Pushing to the Finish

One more sleep to till daybreak.. Uh? Loosing your mind??.. Of course daybreak happens after a sleep. Lets try this again, One more sleep till we arrive, there will be plenty of naps between here and there.

Sun is out, wind is cooperating and giving us a boost to arrive in on Thursday morning well ahead of the changing weather. Not taking any chances tho, burning some diesel to make sure. Temperature is brisk, so tolerable with 3 layers on. I’m sure 19C/65F degrees is warm for some.. but it’s darned cold at night. And the cold front hasn’t even arrived yet.

Finally saw sails on the horizon to further the proof that we are going some where. And even more interesting is that we all have ESP and we can read each others mind even if we are miles apart. Imagine the possibilities.

In almost synchronized swimming precision, we all decided to raise the canvas at the same time. Well could have been daybreak and the ‘slow wind’ from over night was starting to fill in enough to use it as propulsion instead of just making noise flapping back and forth.

Ready set raise!

Doing pretty good on finishing the pork products, a couple of chops will be donated to the incinerator as we can’t eat everything. And there is no way Christine will let the pulled pork go to anywhere else, so that’s for lunch and to be followed with Gumbo for dinner since its getting cold..

All in all, nothing but making the miles today, and checking on boats that also on this hear fun passage. And fresh baked cookies, now time for another one of those naps. And restraint, save some cookies for the officials. Must save cookies… Must save cookies.

All good all day, Last night out. 90 miles to go, nice winds, decent seas, scattered clouds

Cheers to tomorrow’s sunrise and learning to speak Kiwi again. Sweet As.

Penultimate sailing day is spectacular

Still one reef in the main, couple wraps on the foresail but still managed to squeak out 196miles toward destination in a 24 hour period. Not too shabby. The sun is out, the waves are not being (&(@#&$ (obnoxious) so it’s pretty spectacular.

Gorgeous day

Well the Jib fairlead decided it wasn’t happy with the strain of its job, so it parted ways. After all they have been through these past few years, couldn’t they keep it together a few more days? He hadn’t even been expressing his discontent. He had come onboard only a couple of years ago as replacement when his predecessor did the same thing. Seems that stainless pivot point isn’t really up to keeping them together, but no worries, nothing a little bit of creative macrame bondage can’t solve temporarily. Call it therapy. When we tack, I’ll clean that up a when it’s not under load.

Knots that bind us together

Burning though the meats that are illegal, marinated some pork loin to create some Vietnamese Bahn Mi sammiches, Mexican style. Roll’em up in tortilla with the last of the fresh veggies. Might have made too much, we still have to have dinner.

Wind will die later tonight and on will come the drone of the engines to keep us going toward the goal.

250 miles to go.
All well on board, except its getting colder, layers are being added now 19c, or 66F inside the cabin.

Vista Mar Marina pool

Isla Otoque and Vista Mar Marina

Instead of sailing 44 miles straight to Vista Mar Marina, we decided to stop at Isla Otoque.  This island is about 20 miles from La Playita and has two villages Otoque Occidente and Otoque Oriente.  Just a mile away from Isla Otoque is a very, very small island called Isla Bona which used to have an industrial operation in the past, but only remenants of heavy equipment are left behind.

It was a fairly quick motor over to Isla Otoque as there was no wind.  We swung into Isla Bona first as it looked really pretty in our guide book.  However, the wind and current direction made for a bad swell so we decided to head back to Isla Otoque.  There was one fishing boat, close to shore at the entrance.  It was a huge bay, so we selected a spot closer to shore and on the opposite side of the bay.  There is not much on the island other than old, broken down equipment that we could see from shore.  We hung out on the boat, had a great rice bowl dinner with chicken, rice, corn, diced toms, chipotle peppers, black beans and cilantro – YUM!

In the morning, we headed to Vista Mar Marina where we are to drop off our old batteries and meet up with “Itchy Foot.”  It is 22 miles from Isla Otoque to Vista Mar Marina, and to our great surprise, it was a perfect beam reach.  We were thrilled to unfurl our jib and hoist our main.  Just enough wind to keep us going at a steady 7 knots with an occasional 8 or 9 knots.  There is nothing like the feeling of sailing in perfect conditions.  The sun on our back, the wind on our face, and the beautiful sound of the ocean lapping around us.

We arrived too quickly for our liking as we were having fun – 3.5 hours.  We were tempted to turn around and do it again, but alas we had things to do.  The water drops to about 9 meters about 3 miles from the breakwater.  As you get closer it drops to 4 meters.  Very strange.  We decided to fuel up first, so the marina met us at the fuel dock.  Pretty painless and fairly reasonable at $3 per gallon. (about $.20 cheaper than La Playita).

Photo courtesy of Vista Mar Marina

Photo courtesy of Vista Mar Marina

Vista Mar Marina

Vista Mar Marina

After we pulled into a slip, secured the boat, and said hello to Jon and Mia, I headed to the office.  We only decided to pay for a slip because it is really inexpensive.  We thought about anchoring outside, but having access to free water, wifi, and electricity was too good to pass up.  It turned out to be $25 per night ($.50/foot).  Keep in mind that we normally pay $2-$2.50 per foot plus an additional 50% because we are a double wide.  So, this is really cheap.  They are trying to attract more boats to their marina, since they are new.  With rates likes this it is hard to say “no.”  We know of 4 other boats here: Itchy Foot, Freya (from San Blas Islands), Iris, and Kefe.

We headed to the pool to cool off and have a beer with Jon, Mia and Teo (Itchy Foot) and enjoyed a nice sunset.  The top pool is about 2′-4′ and has a nice negative edge overlooking the marina.  The bottom pool / jacuzzi is RED which looks like a pool full of blood in the photo, but in real life it is actually interestingly pretty.

Vista Mar Marina Pools

Vista Mar Marina Pools

The next morning, Mia and I went for a walk and then enjoyed a little noodling in the pool.  I used the water aerobic / noodle routine we did in Bonaire.  The book was written by a fellow cruiser, Awilda (“Willie”) Haskins called “Noodling at Sea.”

Matt took this opportunity to wash down the boat with the pressure washer and fresh water.  He also swapped out our old batteries with the new which was no easy task.  Trying to manuever 90lb blocks within the settee proved to be a challenge, but he got the job done and they are working like a charm!

IMAGE: Top photo is of the old battery bank. Middle photo is the old batteries (gray), with the honda generator and the new batteries (black).  Bottom is the new battery bank installed and working.

Swapping out the house batteries

Swapping out the house batteries

We dropped off two of our older batteries to “White Shadow” (Barry is visiting friends in London), and the marina took care of disposing the other 5 batteries.  We kept one for emergencies.  The marina also took away our old window coverings that had yellowed and ceased being “presentable” and old defunct honda generator.

We finished cleaning and putting oil on our teak sugar scoops and they look lovely, finished our fruit, helped “Itchy Foot” with their rigging, cleaned up the boat, more noodling and pool time.

Sugar Scoops cleaned up with a new coat of teak oil.

Sugar Scoops cleaned up with a new coat of teak oil.

A group of us went to dinner at the local restaurant called “Boga Bar” with Jon, Mia (Itchy Foot), Johana, Timlo (Iiris), and John, Becca.  Not my favorite place, the food was average to poor and it was pricey, but the company was first class.  Top image is the bar and bottom image is Mia and I having a tasty cocktail.

Boga Bar dinner with good friends.

Boga Bar dinner with good friends.


  • 150 mile passage around Panama Point
  • Exploring dozens of small islands between Panama and Costa Rica
  • Costa Rica