Five Islands

Who: Ralph & Karen
Port: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
13 May 2011 | Calgary, Canada
29 March 2011 | Cusco, Peru
16 March 2011 | La Paz, Bolivia
14 March 2011 | Puno, Peru
10 March 2011 | Ariquipa, Peru
07 March 2011 | Nazca Peru
01 March 2011 | Lima Peru
23 February 2011 | Panamarina, Panama
19 February 2011 | Miradup, San Blas, Panama
16 February 2011 | Miradup, San Blas, Panama
13 February 2011 | Rio Sidra & Canbombia, San Blas, Panama
11 February 2011 | Salardup, San Blas, Panama
08 February 2011 | Nargana, San Blas, Panama
04 February 2011 | Nargana, San Blas, Panama
02 February 2011 | Hot tub, Holandes Islands, San Blas, Panama
01 February 2011 | Robeson Islands, San Blas, Panama
01 February 2011 | Robeson Islands, San Blas, Panama
30 January 2011 | Salardup, San Blas, Panama
30 January 2011 | Salardup, San Blas, Panama
28 January 2011 | Salardup, San Blas, Panama

Home, home on the range

13 May 2011 | Calgary, Canada
A lot has happened since the last update. Upon returning from our Peru Trip, our focus switched to getting the boat ready for showing to prospective buyers that we had connected with on the internet. Last year in October, I had put a ad on Multihulls 4 Us website to see what kind if interest there was in our boat and to see if we could sell it down in Panama, instead of bringing the boat back to the Florida, which was our original plan. We received lots of inquires and one of them was from an Australian couple that were looking to buy a Catamaran the following year in spring - which was pretty much the same timing we were thinking about. We remained in contact through out the winter and by February they made us an offer and before we knew it we had an accepted offer on Five Islands. This offer was subject to inspection and a survey, so we wanted to get everything "ship-shape" before they arrived. Survey day was set for April 21 with John & Sue arriving on April the 20th. We had about 3 weeks to get ready, and it turned out that we used ALL of that time to get ready. We did all of the typical cleaning like washing the decks, cleaning and polishing the stainless, buffing the hulls, scrubbing and cleaning out the bilges etc, etc, etc. But we also had a bigger project that in typical boat fashion turned out to be larger than originally thought. We had a shaft seal leaking which I thought was the extent of the problem, but as soon as I had a couple of different mechanics look at it they both saw that the motor mounts were shot, which was causing the shaft problem. So I had to track down motor mounts & Cutlass Bearings and arrange to get them shipped to Panama. In order to change the shaft seals, the boat had to pulled from the water, so we also decided to put on a coat of paint while she was out. By the time survey day came around the boat was sparkling and had never looked better. The survey and inspection went well and I think John & Sue were pleased with what they saw. Only a couple of items were found in the survey, with the major one being some corrosion on the cross beam where the SS bow roller is bolted on to the aluminium cross beam. After a number of anxious days of waiting around for the final decision they decided to move forward and close on the boat. We had the money by the end of the week and spent our last night on Five Islands on April 29. It was a sad day leaving Five Islands and handing over the keys - much harder than I had anticipated. Even though it was hard to part with Five Islands, I am very pleased with the way we were able to sell her. The usual story you hear from people is them having to leave the boat paying expensive monthly fees and then paying people to clean and maintain and they hiring a captain to run the boat if someone wants to take a look. And then paying 10% broker fees when you do sell! We were able to avoid all of those things.

We decided to spend a few days in Panama driving around and seeing the interior of the country and checking out the pacific side, before flying home. We really like Panama and think it would be a great place to buy some property for down the road.

We are now back in Calgary and I have already been for 1 job interview and have some other possibilities lined up. We have bought a vehicle and I have an awesome smart phone and the house is starting to come around.
It will take some time to adjust to life back home. It is quite different than the last two summers where we came home for a visit, but you knew you were going back to the boat. We are both going through withdrawal. Karen was looking on the internet for Bareboat Charters and I was looking at boats for sale in Vancouver!

Peru trip coming to an end

29 March 2011 | Cusco, Peru
We have one more day here in Cusco and fly back to Lima tomorrow and then back to Panama City the following day. It has been a great trip - so many amazing sites and we feel like we have done a good job of experiencing the real Peru. Because we did not bring a computer with us, I have not had much time on the computer and have not done a good job of recording our travels. But I do plan on trying to do this from memory once we are back in Panama.

I will re-count one story from the last few days that demonstrates the great time we have had here...... Last week we visited this site called Moray where there were these huge depressions in the ground where the Inca´s built terraces to test out different crops. In one of these deep depressions, in the center we could see that a ceramony was going on, so I zoomed way in and took a bunch of pictures of it. With the naked eye, you could not really tell what was going on, but when I zoomed in, you could things pretty well. Fast forward 5 days and we are riding the train back from Machu Picchu and Karen and I are sitting across from two ladies from Quebec and they tell us that they are on a spirtual trip where they meet with different Shamans and partake in these ceramonies. I asked them if they were in Moray a few days ago and it turns out these were the people I had taken the pictures of. They were very excited to see the pictures and we exchanged email addresses so I could send them copies. So the next morning Karen and I are sitting enjoying our breakfeast and who shows up but these ladies again. They had a whole day planned and invited us to join them. We did not hesitate as we could help but feel that fate had brought us together. We first stopped at a local market to buy food for our lunch and then toured the ¨Sexy Woman¨ruins - which were fantastic. We next got on hoursed and rode furthar up the mountain to a cave where we met a shaman and participated in a number of ceramonies with them. This cave has been used for over 600 years for these kinds of ceramonies and it was a very moving experience to be able to participate. After the ceramonies, we shared a picnic style lunch in a setting that was hard to believe. It was an amazing experience for both of us!

What an amazing place

16 March 2011 | La Paz, Bolivia
After hiking around Isla del Sol in the morning, we caught the boat back to Cococabana and then on to a bus to La Paz. After about an hour bus ride, we had to cross Lake Titicaca, so we all got off the bus and in to these small boats powered by an outboard and they put the bus on this very primative ferry to take it across the lake where we all got back on. While waiting for the bus to arrive we saw these ladies who were cooking up these small minnow like fish - deep fried whole. We were not brave enough to try them, but we talked to a English couple who said they were OK. The country side is amazing, but very harsh. People farm in small plots growing mostly beans and potatoes. They also had cows, sheep and llamas and there was usually one or two people out watching their herd. Or they would be tied to stakes so they would not wonder away.

Coming into La Paz was one of the most amazing sites for a city that I have seen. The city is located in the bottom of valley and the buildings are packed in very tightly. We walked around our hotel and I bought a North Face gore tex jacket for the equvilant of $42.00cdn. There are lots of tourists in the area that we are staying and so that means lots of shops that sell stuff to the tourists. The sites, sounds and smells are overwhelming - I love it!

What an amaxing day (And long)

14 March 2011 | Puno, Peru
After spending three nights in Ariquipa, we caught a tour bus to the Colca Canyon. Ariquipa is a great city and our hotel was in an awesome location. Walking distance to all of the great sites and vibrant Plaza de Armas. We stopped at a number of places along the way to the Colca Canyon and saw snow for the first time in 18 months. We climbed to an elevation of 16,100ft so it was pretty cold and the air thin. We arrived in a town called Chivay where we stayed for the night. In the afternoon we we went in the town squarre where they were having some festival with great costumes and lots of dancing. We even met a guy who had a friend that had moved to Manitoba! Yesterday morning we were up early - 5:00am to catch the bus to see the condors. The valley has been occupied for over 1200 years with the people making terraces along the canyon edges and building irrigation canals that are still in use today. The scenery is spectacular. The condors spend the nights perched along the cliffs and wait for the air to warm up so they can ride the thermals up to go searching for food. We did not have to wait long to see the first few and got some great close up views. After spending about an hour there we left to do a short hike and when we approached the cliff edge our guide discovered a large male condor perched about 25 ft away! It was awesome!!!!!

Arrived in Ariquipa

10 March 2011 | Ariquipa, Peru
We arrived in Nazca after a 3 hours bus ride from Ica. This country is sure dry - desert everywhere and the only place you see something green is in the valleys where they irrigate. What amazes me about this is that people have been living here like this for a couple of thousand years! The highlight in Nazca are the Nazca lines and the only real way to see them is to fly in an airplane. So we arranged to go out on Tuesday morning and check it out. Now as an experience sailor one would think that motion sickness would not be an issue. WRONG. I was fine for the first part of the flight, but as soon as they sarted banking around so we could see the lines and images better, things started to go down hill. The co-pilot would turn around and ask if we were ok - the first couple of times Karen and I gave him the thé ¨thumbs up¨, but by the third time we were both struggeling. But the seeing the lines from the sky was fantastic and it is amazing what those people did. These lines were made around 200ad and they continued over a period of about 500 years. I got good pictures of a few of the designs. And best of all I did not loose my breakfeast.

On Tuesday we took an overnight bus to Ariquipa - a 9 hour ride. And we are now at about a 8000 foot elevation. Ariquipà is the second largest city in Peru. We walked around the town center yesterday and it is very nice with lots of colonial buildings. We stay here until Saturday and then off to Colca Canyon.....
Vessel Name: Five Islands
Vessel Make/Model: Lagoon 37' TPI
Hailing Port: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Crew: Ralph & Karen
About: Married 26 years and looking for new adventures to share. Wanting to learn more about the world and about ourselves.
Extra: Five Islands is named after a small island located in the Winnipeg River where many memories were made. We view our boat as the opportunity see amazing places that will create quality memories like the ones made at Five Islands.
Five Islands's Photos - Bahamas - Continued
Photos 1 to 117 of 117 | Bahamas - Part 1 (Main)
This is a large Barracuda that came to check us out after Karen jumped in to check the anchor.
Ralph and Erwin cleaning the Conch.
Judy and Erwin on Speck.
Speck moving to anchor by us.
Some Bone fisherman by Devil Cay
We HAD to go check out Shirley Steet.  Check out the size of the tree in the back ground.
Kalik - The Beer of the Bahamas
A beautiful sunset - our last night at Sampson.
Check out the colours of this fish!!!
The fight is on!
Got her in the boat.  Man my heart was pounding!
You can see the fish in the water just at the top if the picture.  They are quite the fish - and TASTY
The Class A boats heeled way over as they make their way back up wind
Class A boats coming down wind to the mark
People sitting along the sea wall to watch the races
The fabulous marching band.
Some of the crowd taking in the regatta.
They had a student art display that was really great.
One of the pictures by a grade 9 student.  The picture was made by glueing small pieces of paper on the canvas.
Two of the dolled up young ladies taking in the regatta.  The ladies went all out with their hair-do
A truck load of Conch for the many vendors that had set up shop.
Regatta attendies cruising the "strip"
C Class races on the final day
C Class boats lining up for the start
A Class A racing boat doing some practicing.  You can see the rail meat sitting way out on the Pry
A place under constructing in Georgetown
A huge field of 20 boats in the class C races.
This is our friends boat - Colliope
This is a shot of our chartplotter on the trip from Long Island over to Georgetown.  We are doing 7.3 kts and hoit a top speed of 8.8kts, which feels pretty fast on a sailboat.
Beautiful anchorage in Joes Sound.
Rainbow taken from Thompson Bay, Long Island
A couple of adorable young girls that Karen befriended at the Long Island Regatta
The "Green Flash".  We did not take this picture but got it from a friend
A great evening at the Blue Chip Restaurant.  Connie & Steve (Better Days)  Mark & Julie (Rachael) and Dietrich (Colliope)
Watching the races at Long Island
Karen with her two adorable young ladies at the regatta
Once of the racing boats
The Easter Sunday potluck held on the beach by our boats.  The kids did easter egg colouring before hand
Racing boat that tacked right beside us.
An great evening on Five Islands.  We had met the couple in the white shirts way back in December at Cape Canaveral
Five Islands at anchor in Thompson Bay, Long Island
Connie & Steve - Taken from the tower in a beatiful church in Clarence Town, Long Island.
A gorgeous little beach.
A beautiful day on one of our outings on Long Island
Holy crap its windy out!
Enjoying the beautiful day with some new friends
One of the wrecks we found
Another wreck.  Notice the rocks in the boat that were used for balast
Karen and John watching the free divers
Church in Clarence Town
Stained glass in the church
Another Clarence Town church
Karen and Mary walking on the beach by the Blue Home
This lady had just set the world record for free diving - 96 meters!  Notice the huge flipper she is wearing.  It made her look like a mermaid.
A picture of the blue hole from above
An old church that was built by the Spaniards in the 17 hundreds
Free divers at the blue hole.  The gentleman at the right had just gone down 102 meters
Boats anchored in Georgetown
Goint through the cut out to Exuma Sound
A fish we caught off the sailboat just outside of Staniel Cay.  Not sure what he was, but we let it go.
A sunset anchored by Staniel Cay
The docks at Staniel Cay.  These are the docks the little boy fell off of and broke his leg.
Thunderball Grotto is the third island in this picture.  We caught our lunch just behind the first island
Karen wearing the glow ring she scored off of a guy at Club Thunderball
A Nurse Shark looking for scraps at Compass Cay
Just hanging out!
The fish we caught as we were leaving Staniel Cay.  Not sure what it was, so we let it go.
The local band - Ragged Reef, playing at Staniel Cay
The cloud is glowing.  Speculation was that it was glowing from the after-burn from the launch of the Space Shuttle
Picture taken at Wardrick Wells in the Exuma Land & Sea park
Sunset at Staniel Cay.  You can see our new solar lights - a present from my brother and sister-in-law
Enjoying the sunset with some sundowners
A group shot at the end of a great day.
Another beautiful sunset in the Exuma
My first Lobster.
Cleaning the lobster
Lobster still on the spear.
Brother & Sister-in-law enjoying the sunset (And some sundowners)
Cleaning todays catch and feeding the sharks
A Conch just out of it
Beautiful day, beautiful beach
Les & Dianne checking out the Iguanas
A Trigger fish.  MMmmmmm - Tasty!
 Big brother fishing
Dianne chillin in the cockpit
Our neighbor while filling up with water and fuel at Sampson Cay. We anchored just outside of the Marina
A nice Horse Conch, with a large crab living inside
Sunset at Black Point.  Looking for the elusive green flash
The boat anchored at Black Point.  At one point I counted over 80 boats!
Derrick & Ralph cleaning the catch
Fish and Loabster
Another sunset at Black Point.
The Conch Karen & Derrick found while looking for bait.  Two of these are HUGE and you can see him coming out of shell trying to move.
Sipping some wine while fishing off the back of the boat at sunset. White Point
Conching with Sharon & Richard
I LOVE the wet suit
Scouting for Conch
Trophys for the winning sailors
A young sailing family from Quebec.  The girl was 1 yr old and the boy was 3.  
A very brave family indeed
The race is on!
Coming down the home stretch
This is right behind our boat on a sand bar.  The swell from the ocean was coming around and breaking on the bar at low tide.
Spectators taking in the race
The boats are getting read to race
More of the racing boats getting ready.
Five Islands under motor
Nice Mackerel we caught on the way from Farmers Cay
The shoreline on Compass Cay
Helmut Conch that Karen found at Farmers Cay
Cooking up fish on the BBQ
Fishing with our Bahemian guide
Boats at anchor at Black Point
Dean - our fishing guide

Five Islands

Who: Ralph & Karen
Port: Calgary, Alberta, Canada