s/v Always & All Ways

20 February 2017 | Zapatilla Cays
19 February 2017 | Bocas del Toro, Panama
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

On the sea at last

20 February 2017 | Zapatilla Cays
Mark
This morning we left our island by 10:00 AM. The water was like glass - no wind. We motored across Laguna Paulos and then Dolphin Bay. No dolphins, but in Bahia Almirante we saw a turtle swimming near the boat. We picked our way visually through Crawl Canal as the lightening had destroyed all our way points. It went well - only once did we get below 20'. As we exited the canal to head for the Zapatillas, the wind appeared. We raised sails and sailed (NO motor!) in 8-10 kts of breeze to our destination for the day. After anchoring, we took dinghy ashore to beach comb and just hang out in the shallow water, rolling with the swells. Back at the boat, I baked bread and changed the Raycor filters on the engines (final maintenance chore) while the others played dominoes. The breeze is nice, the swells are gentle - it should be a great night. Tomorrow we head for Escuda de Veraguas, an island about 30 nm. from here and our first off shore destination.

Shakedown

19 February 2017 | Bocas del Toro, Panama
Mark
Eric & Lynda arrived Wed. (a day late due to snow storms in NE). We finished provisioning and fueling over the next couple days and Friday we left Discovery Bay and sailed in to Bocas Town to anchor in the South anchorage. We went to dinner at El Ultimo Refugio, a very special restaurant that we usually cannot go to as they only serve dinner and we cannot come home after dark. Saturday we sailed (motored, no wind) to our island with a stop at "Sin Nombre" a restaurant in Dolphin Bay for lunch with a group of our friends. We have discovered a variety of minor issues over the couple days which we will address before REALLY getting underway. This morning we will go to breakfast at Ernie's. (Ernie makes Eggs Benedict with all the fixings each Sunday morning at his 'Chicken Shack' where he sells fried chicken the rest of the week.) Eric & Lynda are really getting a taste of the variety we have here for eating opportunities.

Arrived safely

06 July 2016 | Bocas del Toro, Panama
Mark
Just a quick note that we arrived safely in Bocas del Toro. We are at anchor awaiting officials to complete the clear-in process. More later.

An Unexpected Return

05 July 2016 | En route - San Andres to Bocas
Mark
We left San Andres yesterday morning without difficulties. Winds and sea were still up and we were having the same problems with Otto and balancing sails. Finally I took the main down and just used the stack-pack as a 'mini' main or trysail. With about 75% gennie, this balanced quite well and Otto was able to handle it. That is when the Armada Nacional showed up. A very impressive boat with strap in seating for 6 and 3 x 250hp outboards. After lots of shouting back and forth (we tried radio, but I think theirs was just so strong it totally overmodulated.) we finally understood, much to our dismay, that they wanted us to return to San Andres (now ~7 nm behind - and up wind of - us.) We really didn't have a choice. They had a much faster boat - and guns. So we turned around and slowly sailed and motored back to San Andres. Once we were anchored, they boarded us and searched the boat - most thorough search to date. They explained that we did not clear out with Port Control on VHF 16 like we were supposed to. (Well, we didn't do that because we hadn't cleared in, we just anchored on the W side and made repairs and rested.) I honestly did not think of calling in as we left because I thought we were 'under the radar.'' WRONG. The Coastie in charge said it was a serious offence and punishable by fine, but he could tell we just made a mistake so no fine, but we did have to go around the island to the port and clear-in (to the tune of $250) and get a Zarpe before we could leave. Fortunately I remembered Renee, the agent for San Andres. I called him on the VHF and h said he would be at the dock near where we were anchored @ 3:00 PM. That satisfied the Coasties and they left. They were all very polite and friendly (we gave them Coca-cola) but were firm in their resolve. At this point it looked like we lost a whole day and probably $250 or more. At 3:00 I went in and met with Renee. I explained that we were in a hurry to get back to Bocas and that we had not intended to stop except we had a problem with the bridle of our dinghy (true) and needed to make emergency repairs. Also the crew was very tired after 5 days at sea and we needed sleep. He asked if we were ready to leave now, and I said yes. He talked briefly with the Harbor Master of the bay we were in and then the Harbor Master called the Port Captain (during which time I gave Renee $20.00 for his trip out to see us) and everything was OK. We could leave without checking in as long as we left NOW. Well, it means 2 nights and 1 day instead of the reverse, but it saved $250 and a lot of hassle so I thanked Renee and the Harbor Master and we left. So now we are ~90 nm miles from Bocas motoring in no wind except for frequent squalls. It will be ~24 hr to get there, but we should arrive in time to clear in to Panama that day. And then HOME!

Lay Day

03 July 2016 | San Andres
Mark
Today was a 'wait for weather' rest and recovery day. There were pretty bad squalls done by Bocas tomorrow so we want to wait for them to pass. I am sure we will still get a few, but leaving tomorrow AM seems like the best window. Slow day, slow internet (but internet nonetheless!) Baked bread. This morning a pod of 50-100 dolphin swam past us. Some quite close to the boat. A couple leaped up into the air, but most just swam past eating. Nice to see them. We saw NO dolphins in Cuba or any along the way down here. Lobster and blackened snapper (yes, both!) for our last night at anchor.
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