Just follow the beer cans!
10 April 2009 | La Playita, Panama
The day has finally arrived for us to leave for the Pacific crossing. We have spent hundreds of dollars in the local supermarkets and the boat is full to the brim. I have never bought so much tinned food! If any one has any recipes for corned beef or tuna made in one pot, please send urgently!!
Our itinerary is Galapagos which we should reach in about 9 days where we'll stay for 3 or 4 days depending on the latest Ecuadorian rules and regs. (They change them on a regular basis. At the moment we can go on 3 islands for 3 days but it could change to only one island only or 20 days depending on the Port Captain or the Ecuadorian Navy!) After that we have the big crossing to the Marquesas which we are expecting to take 22+ days which will be a real experience! I will try and send the odd quick blog to let you know are whereabouts via the Sat phone. Not sure how we're going to like being at sea for that long but we have about 20 novels to read and I have a water colour painting for beginners book so am hoping to have learnt a bit on the way.
A lot of the boats are going more or less the same way as we are. It's called the Coconut Milk Run. After the Marquesas, we are probably going to go to Ahe in the Tuamotos, Tahiti, Moorea, Bora Bora in the Society Islands, Niue (one of the smallest independent countries in the world), Tonga (where the people going to NZ turn left), Fiji, Vanuatu and Australia.
We've met some great people on the way down and they are all in Panama getting ready for the crossing. They're known by their boat names of course! Paul and Lyn off White Hawk (yes, of course, we call it Shite Hawk!) are a couple from Yorkshire who have lived in Australia for the last 7 years. We've already planned to anchor together on New Year's Eve under the Sydney Harbour Bridge to watch the fireworks! Then there's Ida and Ian off Ishka, (he's Australian and she is from N Ireland) on a lovely catamaran who are our new best friends; a Scottish couple, Anne and Gordon on Equinox; and an Australian family, Ian and Jenny and their two kids who are on their way back to Brisbane in a lovely boat called Mikado who we've seen in Aruba, Cartagena, San Blas, Shelter Bay and now in Panama City. When we meet up, it's always an excuse to get the beer out! At anchor, at about sundown, you can hear ring pulls going and ice clinking in glasses all round the bay!
A few of the boats have already left and we waved them off shouting 'See you in Galapagos!' We said to Ian on Mikado that we would probably be days behind them as their boat is so much faster than ours. He said "Oh, don't worry, mate. Just follow the beer cans!' So that's our plan. Forget all the charts, chart plotter, GPS and C-Map. We're just going to follow the beer cans!