03 November 2012 | 10 35'N:80 15'W, Shelter Bay, Panama
It's another season and another ocean. This morning at sunrise we slipped the dock lines at Shelter Bay Marina, where Hekla has berthed for nearly 6 months. We are a day late from the plan to sail to Providencia, Colombia, a pretty little island over 400 miles from mainland Columbia, east of the Nicaragua/Honduras bulge. I still hope to cross paths with River2Seas there, a Fort Collins family cruising the Caribbean for a year, but returning now to Florida. We have been planning a rendezvous for some time but have not quite made it yet! Anyway, our late departure was due to having unsuccessfully met all of the maintenance challenges I found. First, the refrigerator would not reduce temperature much, we got a fridge tech on it quickly but he determined a part was needed from the states, and the storm which refuses to be called a hurricane Sandy has messed up enough things in the states that it is a week delivery, "only one more week." The boat bottom had suffered from th e warm and nutrient rich, stagnant water of the marina and sported quite a barnacle collection. I could haul out next week, sand and repaint, once the paint arrives, "only one more week, maybe more." The fuel barge closed early for the very long weekend holiday, "sometime next week." I could "only one more week" my way through the month like this, so we have ice in the fridge (freezer works fine, so still have cold beer), I spent 2 hours scraping barnacles and my hand looks like a loser from a very long cat fight, and it's windy in the Caribbean so who needs diesel anyway?
It's great to be on the water again. The sky is overcast and winds are light, though the seas are not. I spent nearly an hour hanging over the bow dealing with a jammed genoa furler, but was kept company the whole time by 20 or so dolphins swimming quietly beneath me and watching while I worked, very calming. For crew I have Chan and Jay from southern California, the owners of the first Atlantic 47 catamaran, still in construction in Valdivia, to where they fly in 3 days. They are light in sea experience but well trained and eager to learn and work. I have new crew arriving in Providencia, from there we sail on to Belize, where Hekla will spend most of the winter, with us on board about half time; we want to do some skiing too. Zia will join me there in January, she had decided these passages are not very interesting for her at least for a while.
Next report on island time....Cheers, Jeff