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O'VIVE PACIFIC CROSSING
A family travels from Florida to New Zealand aboard their St Francis 50 catamaran
Las Perlas
David
05/20/2011, isla San Jose, Las Perlas, Paanama

Not sure what I posted last but we managed to repair both rudders with only two nights in dry dock. Then back to Panama City for two nights. Filled with fuel and left this morning for the Las Perlas islands where we are now anchored. We must have made over a hundred course corrections during the 50 some mile trip. Logs were everywhere along with tires, plastic, 55 gallon drums and just about everything you could imagine. We had one person at the helm and three on bow watch the entire day. The idea is to exit the center of the Gulf of Panama this time hoping to encounter less logs but so far it's not panning out as planned. We did manage to speak with three other boats that have had a hard time in Panama. One catamaran hit a buoy while traversing the canal causing extensive fiberglass damage as well as needing to ship a new aluminum cross beam in. They expect another month of delay. Another boat got about as far as us and caught a rope in their prop breaking the engine mount and also blew out their mainsail. That happened on Friday the 13th as well. They are still waiting on parts and repair of the sail. Another boat is waiting on a head gasket from the states and is still waiting. He went though the canal 2 days before us. So when we compare, losing just over a week was not to bad. So tomorrow we will get an early start and decide by sundown what to do that night, proceed at 2 knots, lay to a sea anchor?

05/21/2011 | Don Ewart
I'd say, lay to a sea anchor. Props not turning. May hear bumps in the night. Be safe.
05/22/2011 | Jenny Mulligan
I reckon Id err on the cautious side too. Good Luck whatever you decide.
Vaca Monte, Panama
David
05/15/2011, Vaca Monte, Panama

I would like to thank my crew for a great job in helping me bring Ovive over 200 miles without the use of either rudder with no outside assistance. Everyone stepped up and did what had to be done. The drouge was key as well, at one point we tried to just run warps with an anchor tied to the loop from the starboard stern hoping to create less drag than the drouge but it was not enough to overcome the rudder angle that had us turning in a port circle. So we went back to the drouge rigged though two snatch blocks to the jib winch's which allowed us to adjust it to port or starboard as needed with relative ease. This worked well but kept our speed way down. We are now anchored in a fishing harbor that has a dry dock. Tomorrow we will see about getting out of the water and get an idea of what we are up against.

05/16/2011 | Amy Bright
So glad you all are ok. Good luck with repairs. Hoping it isn't too involved. xxoo, Amy B.
05/16/2011 | chris flint
yeah plz make sure all is ok, were you sailing or motoring when you hit the log?
Trouble
David
05/13/2011, 05 53.35N 081 04.52W

We hit a huge log which disabled both rudders. Fortunately we still have the use of both engines. We are using a drouge and both engines to control our direction making 5 knots now and the jib flying making our way back to Panama. 200 miles to go, We are not taking on any water. Will investigate further in daylight. bummer.

Day 1 to Galapagos
David
05/13/2011, 06 10.16N 080 41.36W

What a difference a couple months makes. Last time I made this passage it was March 10th and the NE trades were blowing almost to the equator. Now in May we have SW winds almost all the way between Panama and the Galapagos. Still it's good to be out of Panama, we stayed in a marina for the last 3 nights and every local boat has a guy washing and cleaning all day long every day. It's the only way to keep them clean. We must have washed Ovive at least 6 times while in Panama but the dirt just kept building up to the point that only a strong degreaser of another wax will make a dent now. Thanks to Colin on Seauge an Atlantic 55 berthed next to us for letting us use his internet to track our part. Just had to stop writing and go out to carefully cross over a net. Saw the fishing boat first and called him in Spanish but he did not answer. We made 150 miles motoring since we left Panama City at 1:45pm yesterday. Will properly be the best run of this passage as the headwind's will only get stronger. I would not advise leaving the coast of Panama so late in the day due to the numerous logs floating. Easy to dodge in daylight but a bit of a worry at night. I felt we had to leave or wait until Tuesday as the SW winds will start blowing 25 where we are now in the next few days. We shall see how the decision pans out in the coming days. So far the wind has been light enough to motor right into but when they pick up to 20 in the next day of two we may take a tack back towards Ecuador.

Waiting on parts
David
05/09/2011, La Playita, Panama City, Panama

We had an uneventful passage though the rest of the locks except for the rain. We spent 3 nights anchored at the Las Brisas anchorage on the north side of the causeway. Nice because we had free but not very strong internet. Not nice because the security situation dictates that we had to leave someone on board to watch the boat. We never left the dingy at the dock without locking it and only then if it was just a short time, otherwise we would have the person guarding the boat to ferry us in and pick us up when done. Sebastien and Lise-Marie even slept in the cockpit as one outboard was stolen from behind someone's boat several nights ago. Today after finding out we will be here until Thursday waiting on a new transducer for the depth sounder we have decided to move into the new marina at La Playita. At least we can all leave the boat and not worry about losing stuff. The air conditioning is nice as well with the constant rain we are having. No internet though. The winds between here and the Galapagos are going to pick up from the SW soon so we are not missing any good weather windows.

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