16 April 2008 | Colon
We have been moved up twice in the queue to go through the canal. Our new date is Sunday the 20th. We are pretty happy about this but now scrambling a little more to get everything ready.
Over the previous weeks we have been refining our passage plan for getting to French Polynesia. The first step is to get through the Panama canal, then to cruise the Las Perlas, next the Galapagos and then on to Fatu Hiva in the Marquises.
From the looks of it the Galapagos bit will be the toughest to sail. As you can see from the current GRIB the wind from Panama to the Galapagos is anything but normal. Some say beat your way down to Ecuador and sail out on the equator. Some say sail around the peninsula to the north and then head more south to make the crossing.
If you watch the unpredictable patterns for a few days you may come to the same conclusion I have come to. The shortest path between two points is a straight line. Perhaps this is not the purists approach but I think it is probably the fastest this time of year.
Reports from the Galapagos are: diesel delivered to the boat at about $2 a gallon. This is not Venezuela cheap but it is half off the rest of the world. Given the option of topping up in the Galapagos I think we will be ok with burning a few dinosaurs on the way. With these wind patterns we could just as easily sail the whole way, who knows?