s/v Always & All Ways

06 July 2016 | Bocas del Toro, Panama
05 July 2016 | En route - San Andres to Bocas
03 July 2016 | San Andres
02 July 2016 | San Andres
02 July 2016 | En route to San Andres
30 June 2016 | En route to Providencia
30 June 2016 | En route to Providencia
27 June 2016 | En route to Cayman Brach
27 June 2016 | Cienfuegos
26 June 2016 | Cienfuegos
23 June 2016 | Cienfuegos
23 June 2016 | Macho de la Fuera
22 June 2016 | Jardines de La Reina
22 June 2016 | Jardines de La Reina
21 June 2016 | Jardines de La Reina
19 June 2016 | Jardines de La Reina
18 June 2016 | Cayos Machos de Fuera
17 June 2016 | Cayos Machos de Fuera
16 June 2016 | Havana
13 June 2016 | Havana

In Praise of Jaguars

21 November 2012 | Back in Panama
Mark
Some of you may remember that we sold our 1990 Jaguar XJS convertible and bought a Panga for about the same price. I guess it is appropriate as a Panga is what we use instead of a car here in the Bocas del Toro archipelago, but a 3 cylinder 50hp outboard is not quite the same as a 5.3 litre V-12 – and the outboard's 4 mpg makes even the Jag's mileage look good. Of course, 4 mpg is actually quite good for a boat, but it cannot match the Jag for acceleration. Any way, it made sense as we were not living in the US and did not need a car there.
Or did we? We plan on about 3 trips back to USA a year, for about a month each time. In the past we have been fortunate enough to borrow my brother's “extra” car. During good weather (the only time we plan to come North) he prefers to drive his Porsche and we could use his Focus. This summer, however, the Porsche was ill and Dave needed to use the Focus. To rent even an econo-car was nearly $1500! We DO need a car in the USA! For what we would pay in a year or two for rentals, we could buy a used car. Since we only plan on visiting in good weather, it could be a fun convertible. And whichever child agreed to keep the car for us when we weren't there could enjoy it as well. We searched about for used convertibles and test drove a variety of cars ranging from an old Mazda RX-7 to a Beemer to a newer Miata. Thinking more deeply about our needs, we realized that what we needed was not so much a sports car as a true Grand Touring machine - something that could take the two of us comfortably and enjoyably over many miles. It needed to be a convertible as we are both addicted to open air cruising, but it needed to be comfortable for longer trips. When we get in the car, it is rarely for less than 100 miles, often longer. It also needed to have room for enough luggage for the trip – something most sports cars are rather short on. In the end we kept coming back to our XJS – if only we hadn't sold it, it would be the perfect car. Extremely comfortable, more than adequate power (as the Brits are wont to say), and real luggage space.
So, we found another. This XJS is a 1992 white convertible. It still has the wonderful V-12, the luxurious Connolly leather seats, a power convertible top that actually seals well, and a huge trunk.
We used it this summer and left it with Curry upon returning to Panama. She enjoyed it a few times, but complained about the cost of gas for it. (If you have to ask what it gets for mileage.....)
Last month we returned to USA to visit family & friends and for both of us to have surgery. In about 4 weeks we put more than 1500 miles on the Jag. It truly was the perfect car. A joy to drive – plenty of acceleration, good handling, very comfortable, and plenty of room. Not to mention style. Everywhere we go, it turns heads and gets comments. The crowning touch came when we drove her to Portland before leaving. My friend, Jack, had offered that we could keep the Jag in the underground parking area at his office – perfect for the winter, so we loaded all our luggage for return to Panama plus luggage for our time in Portland and to leave in Boston with Lucas. In all we had 4 x 50# suitcases to check, two carry-ons, two back packs, and a carry-on to leave in Boston – plus the car cover for leaving the Jag in Portland. It all fit! And, of course, all that weight had absolutely no effect on performance or handling. That is what I call GRAND TOURING! I cannot imagine a better car for our needs.
Comments
Vessel Name: Always & All Ways
Vessel Make/Model: Fountaine-Pajot Belize 43
Hailing Port: Hancock, NH, USA
Crew: Mark & Deb Parker
About: Mark, an ER doc, retired 10/08 to become a sea gypsy. Deb, an educator, has been retired since 5/07 and was equally anxious to leave the cold of New England far behind
Extra: We now have a hurricane season home in Bocas del Toro, Panama. We still plan on spending many months cruising every year.
Always & All Ways's Photos - Main
Cruise of Albuquerque Cays and Providencia, Columbia
19 Photos
Created 12 June 2013
Pictures from our 2012 cruise from Bocas del Toro, Panama, to the Bay Islands of Honduras and back. Posted each time we have internet
2 Photos | 7 Sub-Albums
Created 28 March 2012
Pictures of our home at Discovery Bay, Isla Solarte, Bocas del Toro, Panama. More (older) can be found in Discovery Bay album.
49 Photos | 1 Sub-Album
Created 5 August 2010
Pictures of our recent trip to the San Blas Islands of Panama with friends Ron & Cynde
58 Photos | 3 Sub-Albums
Created 29 April 2010
Pics from the month we spent at some of the out of the way places in the Bahamas, May 2009.
39 Photos
Created 22 June 2009
Birds, animals, etc. that we have seen along the way
14 Photos
Created 11 April 2009
Pictures of some of the improvements we have made over the past few months
37 Photos
Created 11 April 2009
Pictures from Rio Dulce
20 Photos
Created 11 April 2009
Pictures from our travels
29 Photos
Created 11 April 2009