Tag Archives: cruising

What a difference a day can make

Waited till daybreak to shake out one of the reefs on the main sail. Good thing, it’s much easier to see in the daylight. The spaghetti of lines were soaking wet and not running as ‘free’ as usual so took a bit more to shake out that reef.

After a lumpy, “bash your way into the wind”, waking up with a little better sailing angle was like “pinch me, is this for real?” Wasn’t actually Champagne sailing more like Prosecco sailing, pretty good in its own right, but just doesn’t have that same feeling. There were still some waves to contend with, but all in all a beautiful blue sky sailing day.

That “bash” for 24-36 hours was just demoralizing, we knocked off a mere 100 miles toward the destination but sailed almost double that back and forth. Oh well, that part of the trip will be referred to as the “bash” and never discussed again. It’s now over, and we replace it with a beautiful day of sailing.

Prosecco dance moves

Pulled pork over a baked potato for a lunch snack and bbq chicken enchiladas for a late dinner.

Wind piped up after dinner, but still rocking along with 420 miles left to Marsden, looking like we are on track to be in before the next cold front.

Oh, and that spinning thing in Vanuatu got baptized today. It was given the name Lola, the first cyclone of the season, and she is very premature arriving before the season actually starts. And to top it off, one of the models has Lola swinging down the west coast of New Zealand next week. Oh my!

Still out here

Along with some of our closest friends we have an ever met and are really not that physically close.

New Zealand bound boats

You can see the gaggle of boats that left Tonga on the right and boats that left Fiji at the top and outer proposed tracks directly into the wind. 😉

I think it might actually called a fleet of boats? if they are only bound by their destination are they actually related? Might just be a group..

The boats look close together, but there is only one boat within 10 miles of us at this point.

All good out here, 750 miles to go. Engines running making progress toward destination. Making water and batteries are full from the motoring. Looking for positives for listening to the engine noise instead of the wind noise. It is getting cooler but still shorts weather. At least 5 more days to go, especially if we don’t get some favorable winds soon, and it looks like it might be another day or so. For now the waves are way down and only 5 knots of wind on the nose so it’s time to catch up on sleep and just relax.


We all have our vices.

Journey from Las Perlas to La Playita

Up and away we go, time to leave Las Perlas.  We have a 45-mile journey back to the next anchorage, La Playita.  It was eerily quiet, with flat, flat seas and a strange haze all around us.  Our wind indicator pointed to our location which meant we had no sails up. But, with 2000 RPM’s we were averaging 7 knots of boat speed.

Eerily still and hazy on the way to La Playita.

Eerily still and hazy on the way to La Playita.

A small pod of 5-6 dolphins came to play with us for a while.   They did not stay long on our journey, but they made a big impression.

Dolphins swam with us on the way to La Playita

Dolphins swam with us on the way to La Playita

I took this picture of my reflection in the water while we were underway, that is how still the water was on this trip.  I am laying down on the tramp, you can see the mast behind me.  Pretty cool.

My reflection on the water while underway.

My reflection on the water while underway.

We were all enjoying the large amount of wildlife around us, tons of birds, dolphins, sting rays, turtles, fish, and whales.

Heather enjoying the wildlife in the Pacific.

Heather enjoying the wildlife in the Pacific.

As we approached La Playita, we were accosted by huge cargo ships, car transports, and mega yachts.  The commercial vessels are waiting to transit the canal or they just transited the canal.  And evidently, La Playita is home to many, many mega sport fishing boats and mega yachts.

Large cargo ships & yachts in La Playita anchorage.

Large cargo ships & yachts in La Playita anchorage.

There is a beautiful view of Panama City as you approach and leave the La Playita anchorage.  Bottom photo is La Playita anchorage.

View of Panama City and La Playita on the bottom

View of Panama City and La Playita on the bottom

There was no wind when we arrived to the La Playita anchorage so all of the boats were facing every which way.  Great!  We found a spot close to a few familiar boats and dropped the hook.

We enjoyed a little leisure time, each doing our best to cool off as it was stifling hot with the lack of wind.  Not getting much relief, we headed to shore to grab some lunch.

On the way to the dinghy dock, we saw Barry from “White Shadow” who told us which restaurant had the best wifi.  Now we have a destination, which is always good.  We easily found the dinghy dock, unloaded, and went on our way.  I stopped by the marina office to pay the dinghy dock fee ($50 per week-OUCH) and met the others down the road.

We walked by a mini market, Abernathy (chandlery), and a few tourist traps before we found the main road.  There is a row of restaurants, but we headed toward a pizza place called La Eskinita, where we enjoyed a cool breeze while overlooking the marina.

We did a little window shopping as there are tons of tourist stores, found a great ice cream parlor and a café with decent wifi.  All the important things in life.  We ran into Johanna from “Iriss” and she showed us another place with decent wifi called Hacienda.

We all have our vices.

We all have our vices.

It was late in the day when we headed back to the boat.  On our way, we stopped by “Kokopeli” (Brian and Mizzy) who were hosting “Nomad” (Tom and Susan) for sundowners.  We chatted a bit and headed on.  We had not seen these boats since Portobello.

Since we ate so late in the day, we were not hungry for dinner, so we served cheese and crackers and left-over pizza.  It was a rolly night as the fishing boats, tankers, and pangas go by at crazy fast speeds.

The next morning, Heather, Michael, and Wayne packed.  It was time for them to head back to the states.  We transferred Heather’s great photos from her camera to our phones, made breakfast, and chatted until we had to make our way to shore.  Omar, the taxi driver who picked up Wayne would pick up our group and take them to Tocumen airport.  It has been an amazing journey and we were thrilled to have them on Sugar Shack.  Always sad to say “goodbye.”

Matt and I wandered around the little town to get the “lay of the land”, headed back to the boat, did some laundry and tried to stay cool as it was a hot one.

Wildlife in the Pacific Seen in First 2 Days:

  • Whale spouts
  • Dolphnis
  • Stingrays
  • Jelly Fish
  • Variety of Birds
  • Turtles