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Sound Effect does the big U
Black Christ

Sound Effect went ashore Wednesday to visit the town of Portobello. This is where treasure was transshipped to Spain for many years, and home of extensive trading for years after but now is a sleepy laid back village with a history. More fort remains on the town side as well that we briefly toured.
The most famous feature now is the "Black Christ" This statue's origin is not actually known, but we read about the most probable origins in a book we borrowed from a fellow cruiser to read about the history of the famous town.
We had a fruit drink at Captain Jacks high on hill where you can get wifi and mingle with other gringos.
We met a father , son, grandson combo who had arrived that day from Grenada aboard a newly purchased catamaran. They had planned to sail all the way to Hawaii, but were having second thoughts as the boat pounds when going to windward which they had been doing for the previous month.
We tried to assure them that it would get better from here on but they had decided to haul the boat and leave it at Shelter Bay for a season and try again some other time.
We left Portobello, on Thursday morning and sailed to Linton a much talked about anchorage and found at least 40 boats anchored. We went through Linton, out the back through a small channel and on to Isla Grande where we are anchored with only two other boats. We will leave in the morning to go about 40 miles to Porvenir, the beginning of the Kuna Yala (San Blas)

10/30/2011 | Ron & Connie
Hi, Boy you guys really can be proud of your accomplishments. Does this mean all is now uphill and continue to have fun. We drove down to Escondido with car full of stuff and Intuition will be splashed next week. We moved my Dad up here in May so will be coming home more often to help him out. Stay in touch and fair winds.

Sound Effect pushed off from the Shelter bay Marina at 1300hrs Monday and put her nose into the Caribbean Sea for the first time. We motor sailed charging batteries as the dock where we were tied in Shelter Bay had no electricity nor water. We went 10 miles and anchored in Naranjo behind a reef. The crew of Kokomo swam by for sundowners.
Tuesday we sailed downwind to Portobelo. This was the first downwind sailing in many weeks and was enjoyed although the seas were lumpy.
Portobelo is a famous port where treasure from the New world was transhipped to Spain. Christohper Columbus discovered this bay on his fourth and final voyage. We have already explored the fort ruins complete with cannon, and plan to tour the small town when the rain stops. This is the home of the "Black Christ" and we are anxious to see the statue in the church.

10/26/2011 | Karen
You should stay for the Black Christ Festival if you can. We did last year and it is quite a festival to take in!
Kuna Yala
10/23/2011, Shelter Bay Marina

We head out tomorrow for the Kuna Yala. This is an autonomous region of Panama run by the indigenous native people. We plan to cruise a series of islands (known as the San Blas) for the next month or so where we will be out of internet range. I will try to post occasional blogs sans pictures via SSB radio through my trusty editor. Said Editor will be on the road holding down his spare time job at Kroger while not otherwise engaged in rasing a two month old baby but alas he knows where the priorities lie so I trust there will be an occasional blog.

Ice Cubes
10/23/2011, Shelter Bay marina

As of Saturday afternoon we have ice cubes once again. For those regular readers you know that our dependable Engel freezer died during defrosting surgery as we were readying the boat for our trip to visit family earlier this month.
We confirmed the prognosis after depositing two beautiful pork chops to be frozen and the following day discovered ruined meat.
The cruising community offered advise on repair but a check with Engel determined it was non repairable... a new cooling unit was needed.
The part wast $300 the shipping to Panama was $340 So for the price of a new unit we got our old one repaired. Ah the joys of cruising.... but Connie has ice and we wont kill any more pork chops.

Yard Work
10/23/2011, Shelter bay Marina

Yard work in the cruising world does not mean mowing the yard or weeding the garden, it means the boat is out of the water . Every day costs money in lay days so everyone is put to work. Here you see my favorite little yard worker in her cute Tyvek suit painting. No expense is spared with a cute little suit and copper bottom paint, two part epoxy primer and a special propeller paint. At $ 225 per gallon she loves this better than diamonds. And best of all she speaks English.!

10/21/2011, Shelter Bay Marina

Friday afternoon Soud Effect splashed back into the water where she belongs.
We managed to put two coats of anti fouling paint on the bottom and three in high wear areas. This will hopefully last another two years .
We also put a two part epoxy primer on the aluminum sail drive followed by special "propeller" paint. We also put on a two blade prop and new zinc.
The zinc prevents dangerous electroylsis from damaging the metal parts under water.
We did stay on board ten feet off the ground for the duration and although we slept and cooked on board showering and restroom facilities were used at the marina contrary to what KOKOMO may have said. Those of you not following our buddy boat Kokomo should go to our front page and and click on favorites to see what they think of the trip to date.

10/21/2011 | Bob Stuke
So did you or did you not pee off the bow? I hear there is video evidence...

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Who: Jim & Connie Merritt
Port: Tacoma WA
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