Easter Sunday & Monday
12 April 2009 | Carribean, North of Panama
Amy/ absolutely beautifully sunny, breezy
The first 24 hours we'd gone a wapping 60 miles. Jim got only 3 hours of sleep off & on during the night. At dawn he started to get a closer look at the main sail & noticed that much of the stitching was coming undone. Fixable yes, even under way w/ repair tape & needle & sail thread. But at 8:30 in the morning, w/ out having said much at all for quite some time, sitting next to me on the starboard side bench while I'm steering, he said to me, "Amy." I look at him, and he says, " I want you to listen to me before you say anything." I stare at him & nod. He says, " I think we should turn back." "With the sails, & no auto steering & I'm thinking we're heading into a Nor'wester, I think that would be the prudent thing to do." I am shocked, to a certain degree. We talk some more, as I turn the boat around. It was a quiet ride back, and after about a couple hours he started rethinking his original statement. We had our larger gib up, and it seemed as soon as we turned around the wind was straight out of the East, perfecto! So that was another reason Jim was second guessing. But we kept heading back South, and arrived back to Shelter Bay Marina in less than half the time that it took us to get out there since we were going with the waves & had better wind & who knows why else.
Monday morning Jim went to start the engine so we could move in to the marina- we anchored outside the marina entrance since it was late when we arrived, and it wouldn't start. We were simply beside ourselves. What else could go wrong?, and what if we kept going North, pulled in some island to rest, and went to start the engine & THEN it wouldn't start? Jim called Shelter Bay & asked if a launcha, small boat, could come out to get him so he could take a taxi to get parts for our motor. Once he got back to SB, our sweet friends on Claire de Lune were still here & George helped Jim with some phone calls to find a place to take Sunshine to. Our first choice, Panamarina, does not have any availabilities. There are 2 marinas in the Bocas del Torro area, a full days sail- nearly 24 hours, away to the West. But they are expensive & we'd have to take a small plane ride from there to Panama City to get a flight back to Houston. Then, there is right here where we are, Shelter Bay, and it's twice the cost of the Bocas Marinas. There is a sailmaker/repairman nearby, plus Colon if need to go there or a bus that goes to Panama City. But we only need a couple weeks, for after a lot of talk, ideas, discussions, some not so pleasant, about what to do from here with Sunshine, we made a mutual decision. We either have to get her to Florida, she cannot stay here another rainy season, all the work we've put in to her would be undone and more, or we have to sell her. So for the next week, we are going to try as best we can to locate 2-3 people who would like to deliver Sunshine to Florida for us. After all the blood, sweat & tears-literally- we've put in to this boat, we just can't bear the idea of letting her go now. We just simply ran out of time for us to finish this part of the trip. The worst is behind us, she is a great boat that needs mostly cosmetic work now. If you know of anyone who can stear a boat, keep a watch, raise a sail; any or all of the above and would love a cheap weeks vacation through the Carribean & the Eastern Gulf of Mexico sailing on a boat, please get them in touch with us. Even someone who's a quick learner and would love to have this experience in their "resume" as crew assisting an experienced captain, to be able to do other crewing on other boats, but needs to get started. We will pay for all expenses for the boat, fuel, etc., there's some food already on the boat that they would be welcome to have, would need some fresh produce before setting sail, but we would love to talk to anyone who might consider taking this trip. Flights are cheap right now, or at least they were when we booked them, and we can negotiate on that. They would need to be available for about 10 days, w/in the next month, no later. IF no one surfaces to make the delivery within the next 2 weeks, Sunshine will go up for sale on Ebay. That will kill Jim. For in all this talk about what to do from here, I learned more about his desire for this than I ever had known. I've explained this in more detail in the post following Tuesday's.