Sailing Aros Mear

Vessel Name: Aros Mear
Vessel Make/Model: Norseman 447
Hailing Port: Dundee
Crew: David and Gitte Bushby
02 December 2015 | La Plaita, Amador, Panama city , Panama
22 February 2014 | Panama
07 May 2013 | Ecuador
13 March 2013 | Panama
23 February 2013 | CR.
23 February 2013 | CR.
23 February 2013 | Dominical
03 February 2013 | Puerto Azul, CR.
24 January 2013 | Puerto Azul, CR
14 January 2013 | Puerto Azol, Ponarenas. Costa Rica.
06 January 2013 | Comrie, Scotland. UK
Recent Blog Posts
02 December 2015 | La Plaita, Amador, Panama city , Panama

Back in Panama

after our summer break we are back on the boat in Panama and getting organised for our next step which we hope will be crossing of the Pacific to New Zealand if all is well with the boat. We are anchored at La Plaita anchorage in Panama City. The holding here is very poor and they have put out moorings [...]

22 February 2014 | Panama

La Plaita,

We arrived in Panama January 5. and are refitting the boat. We expect to be here for another month.

07 May 2013 | Ecuador

Puerto Armistad,

The Night Watch at 01.00 am. 28.-4.-2013.

13 March 2013 | Panama

From Costa Rica to Pamana City

Saturday 9th March, 2013.

23 February 2013 | CR.

Manuel Antonio

Aros Mear form the park.

23 February 2013 | CR.

Manuel Antonio Nacional Park

White faced , Capuchin monkey.

Back in Panama

02 December 2015 | La Plaita, Amador, Panama city , Panama
Gitte/ strong breeze from North
after our summer break we are back on the boat in Panama and getting organised for our next step which we hope will be crossing of the Pacific to New Zealand if all is well with the boat. We are anchored at La Plaita anchorage in Panama City. The holding here is very poor and they have put out moorings which limits us. We have dragged several times in the high winds, and at the moment we are reluctant to leave the boat un-attended.
We hope to set sail some time in January 2016.

La Plaita,

22 February 2014 | Panama
Gitte
We arrived in Panama January 5. and are refitting the boat. We expect to be here for another month.

Puerto Armistad,

07 May 2013 | Ecuador
Gitte
The Night Watch at 01.00 am. 28.-4.-2013.
I am on watch and it is one of our last nights at sea before we reach Puerto Amistad in Ecuador. We are coasting along in balmy moon light. Later today we will cross the equator. What an exciting thought! But I have just killed a cockroach! Ugh!
We left Panama last Sunday morning and have been at sea all of this week. We have had an amazing sail, even if we have motored part of the way. It took a few days to get out of the Gulf of Panama due to shortage of wind and the Hobolt Currant going north-west. It has been hot and the fans have been on inside the boat both day and night. The sun is baking hot, but for some of the time we have had a nice cloud cover. Two days age we went through the doldrums, as we had little to no wind and confused motion of the sea. Daily we have had electrical storms with thunder and lightening. Two days running David got himself soaked in huge down- pours of rain. Yesterday the rain storm lasted several hours and the wind which followed managed to correct our course back along our rhumb-line. The el-storms took out our navigation instruments twice. It was bad loosing the wind indicator, which gives both direction and wind strength. It took a long time before it got back to work. Yesterday the el-storm was so near that we turned off all instruments including AIS, VHF, SSB, GPS and radar while it lasted. It was a quite frightening. El-storms and heavy rain are typical to the tropics.
Passing along the coast of Columbia we were over 100 NM from the shore. We had been warned not the go to Columbia due to the tensions there and cautioned against piracy, drug-trafficking, loose guns and crime generally. Our insurance had disallowed landing there. I am really sorry about all this, as I am just reading a book about the indigenous (Indians) people in the rain forest on the shore in there. I reckoned it would be well worth visiting and very exciting. The Columbian rain forest is the second largest in the world, and its people are friendly and very clever at basket weaving. They live in houses on stilts along the rivers, and connect with each other in their dug-out canoes.
Sailing in big seas is tiring, as you move all the time just to keep balance. It takes a few days to get used to interrupted rest pattern, with three hours watch and three hours sleep at the time. One night David went off watch in the middle of the night saying: “Here’s a bit of excitement for you: ‘We have no compass light and there is a big tanker 18 Miles away ‘not under command’. Have fun! Steer by the Southern Cross! Good night.”….. “Many thanks, David”. I managed though, no problems.
Doing chores in the galley you have to plan what you are doing more carefully than normal. In heavy seas there is never a still place. The whole boat is in motion! Doing such a simple task as making a coffee for two people is not straight forward at all. It is a challenge! The stove is on the gimble, so the kettle is level, but cups, milk and coffee can not be put down, as it might spill, move and break. So far so good. Only once did an accident happen I cooked beans and left the Tupperware container on the stove - lit off- to cool before refrigerating. When I came back after my sleep, David had tacked in rough seas and believe me, half of the beans were on the stove…… silly jumping beans! Otherwise, no damage has happened during this passage. Well, during a rain storm, our bed in the stern cabin got very wet. One of the catches to a hatch was broken and fresh rain water came in from above. In Panama at the Playita anchorage we got soaked by seawater three times through those hatches. The supply- and pilot boats to the canal traffic went through the anchorage without any consideration or thoughts for the boats at anchor. They were doing much more than the permitted 5 knots per hour amongst about 50 yachts at anchor. Bloody-minded Panamanians! I had to wash the salt water out of all our bed linen three times. Chores like that is such a struggle in the heat! I had to strip the bed, transport the wet bedding in the dinghy to shore, take a bus to the Balboa Yacht club two miles away, use the washing machines, transport it all back to the boat again, hang it all up to dry on the boat to dry, and put it all back. Draining and exhausting tasks, believe you me!
A week seems just the right length of time for keeping food fresh in the tropics when you don’t have a freezer. Well, we have one, but it needs to be fixed, so I use it for cool storage for vegetables bread and chocolate. Before leaving Panama I bought meat, chicken, cheese and eggs. Meat and chicken kept well in the fridge but I always give it a ‘sniff-test’ before cooking and eating. Eggs get turned every day and checked for breakage.
It is mango season right now. Trees are laiden with these beautiful fruits everywhere, and the ground underneath is covered with them and nobody takes them!. Before we left Panama I collected two big carrier bags with mangoes, probably 100 altogether, and we have lived on them all the way from Panama to Ecuador. Wonderful!

From Costa Rica to Pamana City

13 March 2013 | Panama
Gitte
Saturday 9th March, 2013.
Isla Contadora,
Pearl Islands, Panama.
I am sitting in the cockpit watching a bunch of forty bananas ripen. I bought them from a native who knocked on the hull a couple of mornings ago. He had rowed out from the village in his dug-out canoe, three miles into a strong adverse wind. Good going!
We gave him $4.00 for the bananas and a large papaya. The bananas were quite green then. They are ripening, but slowly, and patience was not my second name!
We left Pontarenas ,Costa Rica, 15th February with crew of Fi and Jules till 23th Feb. Sailing South we had a lovely time. Jules and Fi were fishing. We visited Los Suenos Resort at Bahia Herradure, where we saw a big family of colourful red and blue parrots, macaws, in the treetops. The next stop was Manuel Antonio Nacional Park. We anchored in the bay, as always, went in and the beached the dinghy through the surf on the sandy beach . The park was absolutely beautiful with rain-forest with amazing tall trees, climbing plants, monkeys and sloths, and of course the backdrop of white beaches and the azure blue sea.
Fi and Jules left us at a very small idyllic village of Dominical early Saturday morning and caught the shuttle bus at 06.15 am to San Jose airport.
Drakes Bay was our next stop. The pirate, Sir Francis Drake, captured a Spanish ship full of emeralds and other precious stones here and gave them to Queen Elizabeth 1, so he was a hero, and he was knighted!
In Drakes Bay we did some shopping so we were ready for the long leg to the Pearl Island in Panama.
Still in Drakes Bay we explored a small river into the jungle which was amazingly beautiful. At the dinghy dock belonging to a jungle hotel we spotted a crocodile 15 yards away crossing the river. The crocs are quite small here, no longer than 1,5-2 meters long. From the hotel terrace we saw a lot of toucans and parakeets in the treetops.
We left Drakes Bay on Tuesday 26th Feb. and arrived at Bahia Telmo, Isla del Rey at the South end of the Pearl Islands on Sunday 3rd. . March. 300 NM had been sailed over the five days at sea. During the first three days and nights we had the north-going currents against us at 2-3 knots permanently, which made our progress slow as the winds were very light South to South-easterly. We encountered many large tankers and cargo ships en route to or from the Panama Canal. Thank goodness for radar and AIS (Automatic Identification System). When we cleared Punta Mala and the Gulf of Panama opened up, the wind direction changed and increased to a Force 4-5 dramatically. With 20 knots of NW winds we reefed in both main- sail and genoa. This happened at 17.00 on Saturday. All through the night we battled with the sea and wind in the dark. At day-break we were south of Isla del Rey, Islas de Las Perlas. The tide was going south and the wind was still 15-20 knots , so it took us till afternoon to get into a good shelter in the Bay of telmo, Isla del Rey.
Next stop is Panama City!

Manuel Antonio

23 February 2013 | CR.
Gitte
Aros Mear form the park.

Manuel Antonio Nacional Park

23 February 2013 | CR.
Gitte
White faced , Capuchin monkey.
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