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 - Cuba - 2010
Photos 1 to 77 of 77 | Bahamas - Part 1 (Main)
Fisherman along the sea wall in Havana
Havana - Old fort in the background (Old fart in the foreground)
Wild ride - Sailing to Santiago, Cuba
Early morning calm
Coming into Santiago harbor
The streets in Havana
Old Ford truck - This one is for you Craig
Mother and her two daughters enjoying a TALL beer.
An impromptu concert at an art gallery in Havana
Notice the guy starring at the pie - "I am going to eat the whole thing"
Still starring - "I can
At an old cathederal in Havana
A memorial for Mother Teresa
Huge old fort in the background - Havana
Another old fort in Havana
Hardwood floors in the streets of Havana
Vendors selling old books and stuff in Havana.
Inside a beautiful hotel in Havana
This dog joined us for an evening stroll - He stayed with us for about 15 blocks
The street outside of our "Casa de paticular" (Our hotel room)
Karen enjoying the morning on our own balcony.
Some of the restored buildings in Havana
Great architecture
More restored buildings
Rice paddies
More rice paddies
Fields along the road to Havana
Our room in Havana
Another great building in Havana
The Capitol building in Havana - Modeled after the one in the USA
Old trains that were being restored in Havana
Sidewalk in Ceinfuegos
Fast food in Ceinfuegos - "El Rapipido"
One of the many old cars we saw in Cuba
Fruit and veggie market in Ceinfuegos.  VERY inexpensive.
Young sugar care field on the road to Havana
Marina at Ceinfuegos
Large plaza in downtown Ceinfuegos
Another plaza in Ceinfuegos
Flower stand in downtown Ceinfuegos
Red tile rooftops in Trinidad
Over looking Trinidad - Built in 1508
Coblestone steets in Trinidad
Remains of an old church in Trinidad
Trinidad - A guy taking his bird for a walk
A lady weaving hats
Cayos Machos de Fuera.  A tiny island where they brought touists from Casilida
Lots of iguanas on Cayos Machos de Fuera
The marina at Casilda
The beach at the Hotel Ancon - Across the road from the marina in Casilda
Overlooking a valley by Trinidad
More cobblestone streets in Trinidad
Cinco Balas - A beautiful lagoon where we anchored for 4 nights
Kokopelli anchored in Cinco Balas
Bounty of the sea - Hogfish, Snapper, Lobster and Conch
A raft of Cuban fishing boats - It was one of the captains birthday.
Five Islands and Kokopelli anchored at Cabo Cruz
Cabo Cruz
The reef we anchored behind at Cabo Cruz - The best snorkeling!
Fisherman visiting Kokopelli at Pasa Boca de Juan Grin
Fisherman heading off to find us some lobsters.  Notice the pole in front.  Someone sits up there to see reefs and coral heads
Sunset at Pasa Boca de Juan Grin.  Terrible holding - we dragged anchor there
Pig roast with other cruisers in Santiago
Pedro and Rosa
The whole family
Sailing along the south coast of cuba
South coast of Cuba
Old fort at the entrance to Santiago
Marina at Santiago
Preparing the pig for the feast.
Ready to go on the spit.  I could remember from my childhood all of the steps involved on butchering a pig!
After 8 hours over the coals.  It was soooo good.

Five Islands

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