Butterfly adventures

20 April 2016 | Golfito
27 January 2016 | Isla Taboga Panama
22 January 2016
18 January 2016 | Isla Taboga Panama
02 May 2015 | Isla Taboga
21 April 2015 | Isla Taboga
04 April 2015 | Isla Taboga
03 April 2015 | Isla Taboga
22 January 2015 | 7 29.457'N:81 13.350'W, Isla Cebaco Panama
21 January 2015 | 7 45.159'N:81 32.381'W, Bahia Honda Panama
20 January 2015 | 7 45.159'N:81 32.381'W, Bahia Honda Panama
19 January 2015 | 7 45.159'N:81 32.381'W, Bahia Honda Panama
17 January 2015 | Golfito CR
15 January 2015 | Golfito CR
14 January 2015 | Golfito CR
01 January 2015 | Marina Papagayo, Bahia Culebra, Costa Rica
01 December 2014 | Marina Papagayo, Bahia Culebra, Costa Rica
18 November 2014 | Marina Papagayo, Bahia Culebra, Costa Rica
11 November 2014 | Marina Papagayo, Bahia Culebra, Costa Rica
05 November 2014 | Marina Papagayo, Bahia Culebra, Costa Rica

been a bit

20 April 2016 | Golfito
Dan, hot and tropical
Updating a blog is sometimes a chore, sometimes fun, but almost always time consuming.
And that is what is lacking for us these days.

OK- quick catch up and some observations-
1. Back to Panama and Isla Taboga to see just how much wear and tear poor Papillon had in the time were off of her was exciting - the happiness of being back home, terrifying – oh crap, just how much work do we have to do, and a relief – not so bad. But tough it out we have and Papillon is looking good, after mass hours of scrubbing, many days of organizing and cleaning below, and the never ending battle against chafe and corrosion.
2. Symbolizing the whole seven degrees thing and inserting Captain Ron- we made our Escape from Panama last week after many delays and hurdles.
3. Bottom is done- new poison in place, trying the sharpie thing as well on the exposed metal could be the bee’s knees, could be nada.
4. Had an easy time with checking out of Panama, very courteous officials.
5. Chuy’s moorings on Taboga are the only place to keep your boat on the Pacific side- he really cares.
6. Rambling here a bit, but screw the gringo tax charged by the taxi drivers- use Uber
7. Had a smoking fast sail south out of the Gulf of Panama- 16 hrs for 88 miles. Compare that to the 2 ½ days it took to sail north. Still bumpy and square, but……
8. So much more wildlife outside of the Gulf of Panama
9. Checking into Golfito Costa Rica is about the easiest government thing ever.
10. Golfito is hot as Hades.
11. Tim at Land and Sea in Golfito is awesome.
12. The food at Banana Bay Marina is really good, but that may also be a function of us having only had Panameno food for a while.

It still looks like a big mound of -------

27 January 2016 | Isla Taboga Panama
Dan, hot and tropical
Yep working on the boat while on a mooring is a chore. The bouncing, the rather sketchy dinghy access, everything is just harder. Combine that with water trips, extreme -20+ foot- tides and you start to feel a bit overwhelmed. But as I sit writing this in the cockpit with a little movement from the slight chop, a gentle breeze of about 5-8 knots and temps dropping into the mid to lower 80’s and expecting it to get down to about 72 by morning, a little of the reasons why we do all of this come to the fore.

I see what we call “the city of lights” as all of the ships waiting to transit the canal are lit up like mini neighborhoods- currently I see about 40-50 big ships.

On shore at Isla Taboga the village is quiet, waiting for the weekend festivities to begin again and we are preparing to sleep under the stars once again- not so bad.

But- we did have some fun over the last few days as we went through the efforts of renewing our cruising permit and our “visa mariner” which gives us a year here without the question of “How do you expect to leave” when we fly in and out. Port Captain office- piece of cake, though it takes two days to bake- Immigration damn- now that is a piece of cake as well, but it tastes $%#@. That should have been a simple stop, but nooooo, they seem to actually enjoy telling you that they need more of this, more of that , one of these and two of those. And all of these instructions in rapid fire Spanish. Hard to keep smiling. If I hear of anyone complaining about the simple courtesy of having other languages available in the states for folks trying to negotiate the government agencies I may punch them. It is really difficult when you don’t know the language and I completely sympathize with those who are struggling to learn English. The funny thing is, I do speak enough Spanish to be almost intelligible but……..

Anyway, as you can imagine, I did get to carry things, so the day was a success. Because that is what we do- carry stuff.

the uphill battle

22 January 2016
Kind of a steep hill.
Not talking about the one going up to the hotel we are staying at while we work on the boat and get her cleaned up (equivalent to 19 flights, I counted), but the hill of little tasks it takes to get a cruising boat like Papillon back into sailing shape after a while sitting on a mooring.
Actually not much systems wise- pretty good there, though we haven’t fired up the fridge as yet and that is a whole other level of system! OK letting my inner spite for our fridge system rise. It will be fine, it will be fine, it will be fine. Clicking my heels last time didn’t help.
No what most of this is scrubbing nine months of accumulated stuff off of my pretty boat, cleaning and examining every piece of running and standing rigging, fixing chafe damage here and there and cleaning the interior to the Kelly standard to which Papillon is accustomed..
Our plans, a laughable concept anyway, are to head through the canal and hang out in Bocas del Toro for a bit and see what next season brings for us rather than a run to the South Pacific this year. Between El Nino and business stuff. It seems like a smart idea.
So there ya go- the not so exciting saga, the cruising life is not just beaches and mai tai’s, but often bilges and scrub brushes- oh and carrying things, don’t forget carrying things.

what a long strange trip it's been

18 January 2016 | Isla Taboga Panama
Dan, hot and tropical
damn, When we left Papillon the end of April in the capable hands of Chuy Navarro at Isla Taboga we had no idea it was going to be nearly nine months before we came home. Nine very long, but rewarding months.

We are back on the Isla, catching our breath from the crazy traveling before we tackle the imposing chore of renewing the boat and making her our home once more.

I have to say- I am more than a little intimidated by the task.

And we are off!

02 May 2015 | Isla Taboga
Dan- hot and tropical
This is not fun

We have spent the last couple of weeks getting Papillon ready (and ourselves) for our trip to the states.

We need to wrap our heads around the fact that our home is in the care of the sea (also the moorings at Toboga and Chuy Navarro) and all that means.

We prep her for everything we think that can happen. All electrical generation stuff is working well, interior fans are blowing the air around, water tanks are empty, decks are secure, George Walker Bay (our dink) is aboard and tied down, kayaks are inboard, on and on this list goes. Of course all of this prep takes place under high temps and higher humidity as the rainy season approaches. This is all we can do.

That is really the tough part- it is all we can do, and yet we still worry. What did we miss? What if……?

Both Kelly and I are nervous.

I think part of that is our destination as well, are we ready for re-entry? We are looking forward to being in the USA for all of the conveniences, but we have become a little used to being outside as well.

Should be interesting.

So where were we?

21 April 2015 | Isla Taboga
Dan- hot, windy, and tropical

Oh yeah, giving a little of our insight and experiences on the anchorages here in Panama City.

We are now over at Isla Taboga hanging from a mooring put in by Susan Parham and Chuy Navarro a couple of cruisers that swallowed the anchor and dropped roots here. These are really nice moorings and needed as the bottom is a minimum of 60’ with poor holding, just a bit of current…..

Great little island community, served by ferry boats from Panama City which means that the weekends here are party central, but on the weekdays, muy tranquillo. Isla Taboga or as it has been known, Isla San Pedro when it was first settled by Europeans in 1524 or Isla Las Flores later, has about 600 residents and about 6 trucks that wind through the small town carrying stuff and people to/from the wharf. The water is very clear and warm and the beaches are strewn with shells, soft sand, and seaglass.

The weather in April is the transition time from dry to wet season and that means the weather is a bit unsettled at times. With a north wind we get a pretty good chop in here that almost feels like a passage, fine really once you get used to it. The evenings are great though, cooling breezes and the lapping of the water against the hull is great to sleep to. But the middle of the days are HOT, really hot. The winds are minimal and the sun unrelenting, so we hunker down for those few hours and drink a lot of water!

We plan on leaving Papillon here for a few months and feel she is in good hands with Chuy, he is very conscientious and knowledgeable. We figured we would come over here early and check it out for a while and get the vibe; the vibe is groovy, so we are coolio.

We decided to delay our run to the South Pacific this year because of that nasty thing called work. Not that I dislike my work! But that is coolio as well, we kind of like our snails-pace cruising style, we do get a deeper insight into the local cultures, one not usually seen by the average cruiser.

Last week we rented a car and did a little land cruising. We started of course with a couple of days of luxing it at the Waldorf Astoria! Before you get too jealous- it was less than $100 bucks on Hotwire. We picked up the car and drove out of town just ahead of it getting shut down for the Summit of the Americas, a big deal political thing that basically gave photo ops and ruined traffic for 4-5 days.

Our first stop was El Valle de Anton If you google it (or bing it for my Msoft friends) you will find out more. For us it was just a nice place to go and check out how the locals vacation. It is a gringo place as well, but there are a lot of Panamanians who keep homes here as it is only about 2 hours out of the city.

A couple of nights at the Golden Frog Inn had us calm and relaxed and ready to go- so off we went on what should have been a 4 hour drive to Boquete in the far western reaches of Panama. Should have been is the operative word. A really great road up until we got to a town called Santiago- from there to David (DaaVeed), about 189 km, there was construction. I don’t mean just a little either, the entire stretch was being widened or repaved or blasted. 7 miserable hours later we pull into Boquete

I’ll stop for now, but Boquete was worth the drive!
Vessel Name: Papillon
Vessel Make/Model: Slocum 43
Hailing Port: Seattle WA
Crew: Dan and Kelly Freeman
Papillon's Photos - Music
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