North American Tour 2017-2019

From Portland, OR through Panama Canal to East Coast of USA and back via Caribbean, Panama Canal, and Hawaii

06 July 2017 | Coos Bay, Oregon
05 July 2017 | Newport, Oregon
04 July 2017 | Newporr, Oregon
03 July 2017 | Off Cape Lookout, Oregon
02 July 2017 | Tongue Point, Astoria, Oregon
29 July 2016 | Off the Washington State Coast
29 July 2016 | Off the Washington State Coast
26 July 2016 | Refuge Island, Vancouver Island
24 July 2016 | Ucluelet, Vancouver Island
22 July 2016 | Ucluelet, Vancouver Island
22 July 2016 | Effingham Bay, Barkley Sound, Vancouver Island, CA
21 July 2016 | Effingham Bay, Barkley Sound, Vancouver Island, CA
18 July 2016 | Off Obstruction Island, WA coast
17 July 2016 | Tongue Point, Astoria, OR
16 July 2016 | Tongue Point, Astoria, OR
15 July 2016 | Longview, WA
14 July 2016 | Portland, OR
18 July 2015 | Friday Harbor, WA
17 July 2015 | Sidney Spit , BC

Sailing in Panama Bay

16 March 2018 | Las Perlas Islands, Panama
George Stonecliffe
This morning we weighed anchor, and set sail for Mogo Mogo Island, one of The Survivor TV Show settings. Winds were N14-18, perfect for a day's sail. We started with a single reef in the Jib and the Main Sail, and a full Mizzen Sail. But for most of the sail we had the full Jib out, single-reefed Main sail, and full Mizzen. We tacked once. The boat was going from 4.0 to 7.0 with fine adjustments to the sails. There was virtually no need to move the rudder, the boat was so well balanced. It was great fun to be sharing this with our friends from Portland and Seattle. It was a four hour sail, with one tack. After anchoring near Mogo Mogo, we dinghied over to the island and snorkeled for awhile. Seeing some large fish, made it spectacular. But there were things in the water that got the best of Sue, stinging her in several places. So we sounded the retreat, and returned to Julia Max for vinegar treatment, fresh water shower, and so forth. Next time she may wear a light weight body suit.

The Deserted Isla Viveros

15 March 2018 | Las Perlas Islands, Panama
George Stonecliffe
We were attracted to the cell tower on Viveros. But we quickly learned it wasn't functional, and that no one was on the island. The Cruising Guide indicated that a developer was working on the island. But the work may have stopped. After snorkeling in low visibility, we spent the time walking the beach looking for shells and coconuts. We spent the afternoon, after lunch, napping, chatting about future anchorages, and planning generally where to go after the Canal Transit. Tonight we had a heated game of Mexican Train! Great fun!

Exploring Ashore and Buying Fish

13 March 2018 | Las Perlas Islands, Panama
George Stonecliffe
We went ashore to check out Rio Cacique, a small river on Isla del Rey, but found it too shallow to be navigable. Exploring the sandy beach, we found two old dugout canoes on shore, one in use with plastic bags plugging holes in the bottom The rustic paddle would have been used for polpulsion A few white ibis, a curlew, and a willet waded along the river bank. A tiger-heron flew up into a tree. At 10:45 we weighed anchor . Soon at a little fishing village, Esmeralda, we purchased two fish after hailing a fisherman. After lunch on board we left for Isla San Jose. Another fisherman roared up to us after rounding the Cape in hopes of selling us another fish. We figured the word got out quickly among the village after George paid $20.00 for our fish. We shared a bottle of water with this enterprising fisherman, and continued on to Isla San Jose.

100+ Year Old Submarine

12 March 2018 | Las Perlas Islands, Panama
George Stonecliffe
Today we explored a sunken 35' submarine just off shore of Isla San Telmo in the SE of Las Perlas Islands. It is in ten feet of water, partially awash at low tide, and submerged in high tide. Supposedly used for pearl divers by the its owner, the divers were getting a strange fever that even killed some of them. (The bends were the problem causing the ill effects of deep water diving.) Ultimately the pearl harvesting stopped, and the submarine was beached and abandoned. In its salt water environment, it is amazing how much of the vessel is intact. Numerous reef fish make their home in and around it. We were the only ones present today. The shore was covered with hundreds of brown pelicans and red crabs exploring the incoming waves for food.

Isla Contadora

10 March 2018 | Las Perlas Islands, Panama
George Stonecliffe
Going ashore on an island requires taking a ride to a dock, a pier, or if not available, a beach that may or may not have surf, swell, crashing waves. We found a quiet section of a beach, and successfully made it ashore. We spent a few hours walking around the island on paved roads, seeing beautiful homes, island vistas with palm trees, and a few markets and restaurants. The big draw for today, Saturday, was an international invitational Sky Diving event that attracted over 100 sky divers from all over the world. Divers were jumping out of perfectly good planes all weekend long. They were a great source of entertainment! After lunch we went back to Julia Max, and then went snorkeling. The water temperature was a brisk 73F degrees. But we saw some coral and some reef fish.

Getting Away From the Marina

09 March 2018 | Las Perlas Islands, Panama
George Stonecliffe
Having a Canal Transit Date of March 25th, and having topped off fuel, water, and provisions, we left La Playita Marina for Las Perlas Islands. In light morning winds we flew the asymmetrical spinnaker for a few hours. Then as the winds died, we motored on to our destination of Isla Contadora. Afternoon skies clouded up, and skies looked like a fall day off the Oregon coast. But tonight we were enjoying a breeze in the cockpit as we were anchored, and the sky cleared to the full star-lit night sky we love.
Vessel Name: Julia Max
Vessel Make/Model: 45' Passport/Peterson Custom Ketch
Hailing Port: Portland, Oregon, USA
Crew: George and Sue Stonecliffe
About: Float Plan: July 1, 2017 Leave Portland, OR; head south along US West Coast; leave San Diego 10/29/17 with Baja Ha-ha Rally; go through Panama Canal 3/2018; Florida 6/2018; NYC and Rhode Island 7/2018; Chesapeake Bay 9/2018; Caribbean 11/2018; Panama Canal 3/2019; Hawaii 7/2019; home 10/2019
Julia Max's Photos - Main
2 Photos
Created 4 July 2017
8 Photos
Created 5 May 2011