Tales of Enchantment

also known as "Michelle and Vern's Excellent Adventure"

12 January 2016
27 December 2015
15 September 2015
25 June 2015
26 March 2014
09 November 2013
16 August 2013 | The Society Islands
20 June 2013 | The Tuomotu's aka The Dangerous Archipelago
26 May 2013 | Marquesas
25 April 2013
23 April 2013
15 December 2012 | Panama Canal, Central America
16 October 2012
26 June 2012
28 April 2012
28 April 2012
19 February 2012 | The Bay Islands

A last Look at Panama

23 April 2013
Enchantment went through the Panama Canal Dec 29th with cruising friends Carol, Jim, Suzie, and Robin. We ended up spending more time in Panama City than expected due to dental problems. The upside is that Panama City is very modern, and anything you may need or want is available for a reasonable price. The president has modernized the bus systems and a subway is under construction. I wish we had brought our camera to the central market. The best place to provision for a long passage. All the farmers bring in their produce there and it gets distributed to supermarkets, small tiendas, restaurants, and street vendors. The market covers almost ten acres and sells fruits and veggies of every kind. There must have been 1000's of pineapples and other fruits. For $5 you could buy a 25 lb bag of oranges or grapefruit. At the entrance you can hire a man for $2 to follow you around with a hand cart to haul your goods around and out to your car or taxi.

One of the most interesting trips we took was to an Embera village 30 miles into the rain forest. The Embera are one of six native Indian tribes in Panama and they are also the least politically active, least influential. The village we visited was an hour bus ride to the river then an hour boat ride up river. Approximately 140 people live in the village of Embera Drua. They have no electricity and choose to live traditionally. There village land was in an area incorporated by the government into a national park, whose main purpose is to protect the watershed that feeds Lake Gatun and the Canal. The Embera were allowed to stay but they cannot hunt or cut down trees for buildings. They do fish the river and cut lumber from areas outside the park when needed. Their only means of income now is to allow visitors (tourists) for a small fee which includes lunch. The women are expert basket weavers using palm fibers dyed with various berries. A large basket can take several weeks to finish.

On leaving Panama City we spent a few days on Isla Taboga, 8 miles away. This is a popular spot for Panamanians to go for the day or weekend with its beaches and clean water. Ferries run back and forth all day for a few dollars each way. From there we sailed 30 miles or so to the Las Perlas group of islands. Of the 20 or so islands only 3 are inhabited. The beaches are beautiful and many disappear at high tide. With a tidal range of up to 18 feet the landscape can change dramatically from low to high tide. Many episodes of the reality show Survivor have been filmed in these islands so you may have seen them on TV.
On leaving the Las Perlas we sailed 1000 miles to the Galapagos, where Charles Darwin got his inspiration for "Origin of the Species" and evolutionary change. As I write this we are on the Island of Isabela, Galapagos and are making ready to leave in 2 days for French Polynesia, 2950 miles away. Nothing between here and there but ocean and hopefully good weather. It will take a minimum of 3 weeks and perhaps as long a 5, depending on weather, any mechanical problems, and the temperament of King Neptune. By the time we get there we should have a blog update covering the Galapagos Archipelago.
Comments
Vessel Name: Enchantment
Vessel Make/Model: Island Packet 40
Hailing Port: Chicago
Crew: Vern & Michelle
About:
Vern, originally from Chicago, has lived in New Orleans and the Nashville, Tn area. I have been sailing for almost 40 years, have logged over 15,000 offshore miles and hold a 100 ton masters license. I also work as a critical care nurse. [...]
Extra: We are currently finishing with upgrades and improvements to Enchantment in preparation for a 3-4 year cruise from Baltimore to New Zealand. Our cruising kitty will be fully funded and our departure date is set for Oct 2010 with a transit of the Panama Canal late February 2011
Enchantment's Photos - Main
84 Photos
Created 19 December 2016
A small sample of all the wonderful things to see and do in China
99 Photos
Created 19 December 2016
More than you ever wanted to know.
3 Photos
Created 21 June 2016
56 Photos
Created 21 June 2016
51 Photos
Created 21 June 2016
32 Photos
Created 21 June 2016
Just a few pix from Singapore
32 Photos
Created 27 December 2015
65 Photos
Created 10 December 2015
Photo's roughly follow our passage from E to W in Indonesia. We are currently about half way across the Southern island group. 300 miles East of Bali
83 Photos
Created 15 September 2015
37 Photos
Created 25 June 2015
The Fijians have a reputation as one of the friendliest people on the planet....we believe it
115 Photos
Created 13 March 2015
50 Photos
Created 26 March 2014
50 Photos
Created 26 March 2014
24 Photos
Created 9 November 2013
68 Photos
Created 16 August 2013
54 Photos
Created 20 June 2013
49 Photos
Created 26 May 2013
67 Photos
Created 25 April 2013
49 Photos
Created 23 April 2013
We volunteered to be line handlers on a friend's boat to transit the Canal. Each boat requires 4 handlers plus captain and a paid Canal advisor. It is a great way to see what to expect for your own transit
43 Photos
Created 15 December 2012
Photos from another world, also called The San Blas
46 Photos
Created 16 October 2012
46 Photos
Created 26 June 2012
26 Photos
Created 26 June 2012
Providencia, a real jewel of a destination.
31 Photos
Created 28 April 2012
28 Photos
Created 28 April 2012
25 Photos
Created 14 February 2012
Photo's of some the reefs and critters found in Roatan, Honduras
31 Photos
Created 14 February 2012
44 Photos
Created 28 November 2011
You can see by these photo's the living conditions in the orphanage. Most buildings are built on pilings for when the river rises as well as the torrential downpours during rainy season.
45 Photos
Created 9 October 2011
Guatemala Independence Day party on the Rio Dulce
13 Photos
Created 9 October 2011
30 Photos
Created 15 September 2011
20 Photos
Created 15 September 2011
Random assortment of pictures from the Western Highlands, where volcanoes and traditional customs predominate
1 Photo | 3 Sub-Albums
Created 8 August 2011
A variety of churches and colonial building we saw. Way too many to post photo's of them all
44 Photos
Created 8 August 2011
17 Photos
Created 8 August 2011
31 Photos
Created 8 August 2011
I wish our camera did justice to the splendor of the reefs and marine life in Belize.
15 Photos
Created 29 May 2011
Belize is rich with Mayan ruins and artifacts. There are still may pure blood Mayans left in Central America, mostly living inland.
28 Photos
Created 29 May 2011
Collection of photo's from along the coastal area
20 Photos
Created 29 May 2011
12 Photos
Created 29 May 2011
Georgetown to Long Island
33 Photos
Created 15 March 2011
43 Photos
Created 25 February 2011
26 Photos
Created 19 January 2011
10 Photos
Created 18 December 2010
One of the hardest things about a leaving are the freinds you have to leave behind. In the 5 1/2 years we were in Baltimore we made many friends that we will miss. Our jobs at Harbor Hospital, Hopkins Bayview, and Sitel were some of the best we have ever had and we feel fortunate to have met and worked with the people we did.
20 Photos
Created 4 November 2010
A ton of "stuff" was brought on board over the last few months.
8 Photos
Created 28 September 2010
This year about 75 boats arrived for the event. The Thursday night before it starts most of the early arrivals get together on a tiny island for pot luck, drinks, and socializing. We have met many of the couples before and at least half of them are going South for the winter, mostly to the Bahamas. For many this is a first trip outside the US. Over the weekend they have many guest lectures, short seminars, marine flea market, some free breakfasts, some catered meals, cocktail party's by various SSCA supporters, and lots of sea stories to be shared.
9 Photos
Created 28 September 2010
Our last winter, 2 major blizzards in one week.
10 Photos
Created 15 February 2010