Peter, Heloisa and Auke cruising Westwards around the globe with s/v Mundinho

Our position is updated regularly. Click on Current Position (right side) to find out where we are.

18 December 2012 | Shelter Bay Panama
28 November 2012
19 August 2012 | Panama city BYC
14 August 2012 | 7 34.734'N:78 11.947'W, Bahia Pina, Panama
04 August 2012 | 1 48.992'N:78 43.717'W, Tumaco - Colombia
29 July 2012 | 8 24.0264'N:79 04.9178'W, Isla Pedro Gonzalez - Archipel Las Perlas
23 July 2012 | Panama city
21 July 2012 | Colon, Panama
17 July 2012 | Colon, Panama
10 July 2012 | 9 35.228'N:78 52.950'W, Chichime
29 June 2012 | 9 35.346'N:78 40.542'W, Kalugir Tupu and Banedup
26 June 2012 | 9 35.191'N:78 44.751'W, Miriadiadup
24 June 2012 | 9 35.231'N:78 52.839'W, Uchutupu Pippi
21 June 2012 | 9 32.722'N:78 53.754'W, Cay Limon
15 June 2012 | Colon Panama
13 June 2012 | Shelter BAy, Colon Panama
11 June 2012
08 June 2012
06 June 2012 | Shelter Bay, Colon Panama
04 June 2012 | Shelter Bay, Colon Panama

Mission Complete

18 December 2012 | Shelter Bay Panama
Peter via Internet
Work done. We have relocated Mundinho, placed her on the hard and set her up for long term storage. After 2 years we will return and put her back in the water and continue. For now we will live 2 years in Singapore, enjoying the Far East.

Mundinho on the hard with my father, who has helped the past weeks relocating Mundinho and placing her on the hard.

One thing with cruising in the tropics is taking care you do not end up with bugs and other insects on board. We have been pretty successful so far with that as well these past four weeks with no insects on board. However we ended up with a sloth as a nightly visitor hanging on the side of the railing. Best of all he did not wanted to leave Mundinho. Only after pushing and pulling with brooms (trust me, you do not want to handle these buggers with your hands) and casting of lines we were able to get the little bugger on the slip, where it happily fell sleep.

Mundinho underway to her new location in calm winds.

Back on board

28 November 2012
Peter via Satphone

Back on board, well that is this time me with my father. Heloisa and Auke are still in Singapore, where Auke goes to an Internatonal school and Heloisa tries out each and every fancy shopping mall, soakes up and enjoys the local culture and found her first new friends with a walking club of friends.

Heloisa and myself have decided to stay 2 years in Singapore, where I have been offered an position with an international company. So I am back on Mundinho to relocate her and prepare her for 2 years non-sailing time. Why Singapore? Well because we can. We always waned to stay some time in the Far East and this came up as a great opportunity. We enjoy it here and we like the fact Auke goes back to school amongst peers.

I have 4 weeks to relocate Mundinho and get her ready for long term storage.

It is good to be back on Mundinho, I missed it and Helois is missing it, the simple but quality lifestyle.

All well with boat and crew.

Back in Panama

19 August 2012 | Panama city BYC
Peter via Internet
We are back in Panama city, moored on a buoy of the BYC (Balboa Yacht Club). We will leave Mundinho here moored for 6 months while we will live and work in Singapore. The company ModuSpec I have worked for for many years offered a great opportunity which we will take. In this way we will not have to deal with French Polynesian visa issues which can be strict for non EU citizens like Heloisa (Brazilian) if you want to stay beyond 90 days. Also this will place Mundinho outside the Pacific cyclone area for the cyclone season. And some time in school with peers we believe is good for Auke. As we are sailing "outside" the season for this area currently we have not seen "kids boats" for over 4 months. Auke is not too happy about that and he ensures we are aware of that each day. As we speak we are cleaning up the boat and getting her ready for our 6 months absence.

Below you find some last pictures from the last 4 weeks cruising. One thing was obvious to us, sealife in the Pacific is on a different level then the Atlantic. Much more life, that was obvious. We catched so much fish that Heloisa became picky, based on easy to clean and taste. "No not that one, you can throw back" was it when we caught certain types. Heloisas favorite is Spanish mackerel.

Trolling three lines we often had success. There was no respite for me. Even while in bed resting on my off-shift, once a line hooked into a fish, Heloisa would let out a cry and I had to come back on deck to lift the fish on deck after which she would give her judgement call for the fish, "live or die and eat". Besides these catches we regularly would see swordfishes jumping around and best of all the big whales which you could see regularly. Often far away you would see there spouts followed by their curved back and small fin. One time a single large whale passed by closely, leisurely heading the opposite way. Impressive to see really. The amount of fish becomes also clear when you see the dolphins which are here about twice the size compared to the dolphins we always saw on the Atlantic side.

For now we are looking forward to our time in Singapore. Heloisa is getting ready for shopping, which unfortunately for me is very good in Singapore. I am getting ready to get my brains working again on work related issues after one full year absence. One thing we know already we will miss our Mundinho and lifestyle on board, despite the new luxuries we will accuire in Singapore such as "unlimited" warm water in showers, laundry machines, AC, and so on.

All well with boat and crew.

Morning view on Archipelago das Perlas

Our Neighbours in Las Perlas, some fisherman.

Some hot beach babe I found on Las Perlas

Auke turning 8 at sea

Mundinho anchored in Tumaco (Colombia) off the coast guard dock next to freshly seized gas smuggling boat.

Some other Colombian coastguard seized drug runners.

This was my favorite, a semi submarine, stuffed with drugs caught by the Colombia coastguard, underway from Colombia to Mexico!!

Good fishing in the Pacific, every day. Trevally Jack

Auke with a Spanish Mackerel

Big Dolphins in the Pacific!

Movie time at sea

The end of an upwind battle.

14 August 2012 | 7 34.734'N:78 11.947'W, Bahia Pina, Panama
Peter via Satphone
Our idea had been to sail down South to Salinas in Ecuador. There is a boatyard there reportedly which we wanted to check out and see if it would be good (safe) enough to leave Mundinho for a period of 6 months, while we would have a break from cruising life. The Pacific Cyclone season, present from the begin of November till the end of March forced us to wait somewhere. Originally we had Tahiti in mind to wait. However Tahiti is expensive to wait, and it is still in the cyclone area, and the idea of me doing some freelance work around the world while Heloisa and Auke would stay on board in a cyclone area did not sit good with both of us. Also there are challenges with 6 month stays in French Polynesia for non EU citizen (Heloisa is Brazilian). The Marquises are supposed to be low risk for cyclones, however the BA pilot shows one cyclone reached the Marquises in the last 10 years. You only need one cyclone and a bad positioned bay to end up in troubles so the idea was born to leave the boat in Ecuador. It is late in the year to sail down to Ecuador from Panama. The sailing directions (pilots) are clear about the increased trade winds from the SW for this time of the year and off course you have the always North going Humboldt current (Peru current). After we made port in Tumaco (Colombia) to have a rest of the upwind battle, we tried it two more times. However both times we departed Tumaco heading South we encountered 20 ¬- 22 knots true winds (which is 24 to 26 apperent wind when close hauled) from the SW once free from the coast, making it a real upwind struggle. Mundinho is doing well upwind and we could do over 5 knots in relative comfort (no slamming) close hauled but naturally on one ear. However the choppy seas caused by the 20 knot winds on top of the ever present large Southern ocean swell and the ever flowing Humboldt Current limit your upwind progress. We would need another 10 days of upwind tacking to reach Salinas in Ec uador into these 20+ knot winds. We decided we were not up for that and turned around, back to Panama, determined to find a place for Mundinho there to leave her for 6 months. The excellent company I have worked for for many years offered a great temporary opportunity which we will take. This will take us all three off Mundinho and have us live in a different country for 6 months while waiting for the Pacific cyclone season to pass, so we are looking for a safe spot to leave the boat. When the Pacific cyclone season is over we come back and continue. While I write this we are underway back to Panama. The only good thing of upwind battles is that once you go downwind you appreciate good sailing conditions so much more. The trip up North from Tumaco back to Panama was a leisurely sailing trip. Last night we sailed into Bahia Pinas (Panama). An open bay that on the charts appeared to provide a good shelter for the night and provide a nice quite night, especially for Auke who was wondering openly when this wobbly mode was going to stop. I had one large scale paper chart of the Panama coast and the C-Map Max electronic small scale chart showing a clear bay with no obstacles, so I figured even easy to enter in the night, even with the never ending nightly rain showers. While lining up with the bay several miles outside in pitch darkness (no moon and heavy overcast) the C-Map electronic chart showed the small scale insert map of the bay incorrectly rotated about 40 degrees with reality (you can verify that by overlaying th e radar picture on the electronic chart), so that was another heads up not to rely on electronic charts for close navigation. If you would have relied on the electronic chart only, it would have placed Mundinho nicely on top (or rather smashed to bits and pieces against it) of a 30 meter high black rock, Morro de Pinas, which is guarding the West side of the entrance of the bay. The only lighthouse (Punta Pina) displayed on the chart marking the West side of the bay was extinguished, however the entry on radar was elative easy to do into this bay. It gave however a kind of erie feeling to pass half a mile of a large rock, clearly visible on the radar but only when it is really abeam you visually see a faint outline against the horizon of the rock and then only you see it because you know where to look due to the radar. That is always the case when you have no moon and heavy overcast in remote areas, where there is no articfical lights from citys etc. Pitch black darknes s rules then. It is easy to understand that the "prudent mariner" would stand at sea till daylight before entering in the days when radar was not avaialble. As the BA pilot described the coast as being with cliffs and steep rocky green hills I knew they would be provide good returns on the radar, different then with reefs for example which are always very tricky to find on radar. Last night at 23:00 we anchored deep inside the bay in pitch darkness in 12 meters of water. Only the radar (and our floodlight) showing some other (fishing) boats anchored in front of us. This morning we were welcomed by a most beautiful sight of a perfect bay. Green and lush steep hills surround us. This is a perfect movie quality type bay! We will have breakfast (Heloisa is making pancakes as I type this) and raise anchor to sail to Balboa (Panama city), another 120 nm to the NE.

All well with boat and crew.

A break in the upwind battle

04 August 2012 | 1 48.992'N:78 43.717'W, Tumaco - Colombia
Peter via Satphone
We left the Archipel Isla de Perlas 5 days ago. Our destination was Bahia Caraquez in Ecuador or if the wind would be good we would carry on to Salinas, another 100Nm further South. There is a boatyard we want to check out if we can do a bottom antifouling job there cheaply. Anyway, the first day was as expected nice with following calm winds, postcard type sailing. Day two was as expected with changing calm winds, causing us busy the whole day to adjust sails to coach some speed out of Mundinho. The third day it went on; 24 hours thunderstorm with wind from every direction. I do not think I have ever seen some much thunderstorm for so long. Anyway thunderstorms do not bother me so much, it is just annoying and very wet. However the ever changing winds caused a confused uncomfortable seas, not fun to be in at all and process was slow. Day four the confusing seas were quickly overtaken with a healthy fresh sea from the SW, with 20 knots winds from the SW, as is common in this area around this time of the year. So day four and day five was used to work our way upwind in those seas and winds. Man if there is anything I detest; it is working upwind with a family on board. Sailing upwind life becomes impossible on board. Mundinho loves it, she is rigged and built for winds forward of the beam. Me, myself, I am more or less ok with it, I do not like it at all, I actually truly dislike it, but the way I see it, it is sometimes necessary to get to where we want to be so I just hang on for dear life. What I struggle with is to put your dear beloved wife and your 7 year old son through these upwind battles. Heloisa held on for dear life bravely, impressively as was our son Auke who was doing best of all three of us. Just watching DVD movies in his bunk, playing with matchbox cars in his bunk and once and a while cry out loud for some food or drinks to get prepared. Heloisa and me doing short shifts, as after three hours of beating into t hose 20 knots steep seas with reefed canvas, you are ready for a break. On day 5 we were still 2 days short of our first planned destination. 2 more days of upwind battle as it looked like and I realized I have to find a place to get a break from this upwind battle. If not for myself it is for Heloisa and Auke.

So we ended up in Tumaco in Colombia, just on the border with Ecuador. This is a military controlled port so relative safe. This is also an infamous drug trafficking area which becomes obvious once you enter the port and spot the numerous semi submarines and fast boats laying dumped on shore on the naval base, obvious rewards of their successful captures of drug runners and the large quantity of high speed military craft outfitted with high powered engines and even more high powered machine guns on the bow, moored on the coast guard pier. We have anchored very conveniently just in front of that pier, it made us feel comfortable.

We were already upwind of Tumaco when I decided on the change of destination. The South America BA pilot we carry board described Tumaco as a suitable stop, being a small size commercial port, this was confirmed with a quick email via the Satphone to my parents in Holland who checked it out on, the site for information for cruising sailors. Heloisa was sleeping when I changed our heading with 90 degrees, from upwind to winds abeam. I am so familiar with what happens next but it continuous to amaze me; the quietness and peace that returns in a boat changing from upwind in 20 knots to winds abeam is amazing. You execute your change of heading and the result is immediate. The boat is quite, stable and horizontal and achieves normal boats speeds. The warzone ends right there and then. Heloisa woke up and gave me the biggest smile you can imagine. This is good she said, continue whatever you were doing she said, not knowing yet that our destination had cha nged. Auke looked up and said; hey it is not anymore wobbly! This is much better he said. With winds abeam giving us a 7 knots boat speed it only took us less than 6 hours to cover the 40Nm distance between us and Tumaco, while the early morning it had taken us 10 hours to cover 30Nm upwind, and still not really in the right direction. So here we are now, anchored peacefully in front of a pier that has many high speed military craft with big guns moored. We love it here. Now we wait for some calm winds and set off for our next destination further south.

All well (since this afternoon) with boat and crew

wow - waiting on weather

29 July 2012 | 8 24.0264'N:79 04.9178'W, Isla Pedro Gonzalez - Archipel Las Perlas
Peter via Satphone
We left Panama City, after being hammered by rain and squalls on the anchorage, which was bad anyway. It is for us difficult to understand how some boats stay there months in a row, on the anchorage in front of Panama City (Isla Flamengo), there was really nothing to our likening. So we were moving but the grib weather files show too much 15 and 20 knots on the nose to our liking in the areas we should enter a day from here sailing, so we decided to drop anchor in Archipelago Las Perlas and wait for some better winds, for how much that is possible in this particular area (doldrums). According the grib files, it should turn for the better tomorrow so that is when we will head out there. The anchorage we are on now, just off Isla Pedro Gonzalez is about the best we have had in the past year according Heloisa. We share it with a few local fishing boats. Underway to this location we caught 1 mackerel, 2 Carvealle Jacks and 2 Bonitos. This Pacific is something different then the Atlantic and Caribbean in terms of fish. There is some serious amount if fish here waiting to be caught by us. Several hours after we had dropped anchor a group of about 4 to 5 very large (according the books we have on board) Bryde¬'s whales passed by in the channel between our island and the next island, again confirming our thoughts that this pacific is something else then what we have experienced so far in terms of ocean life.

Now we are getting ready for the close hauled trip to Galapagos. Depending how winds are and how we feel we might stop in Ecuador.

All well with boat and crew
Vessel Name: Mundinho
Vessel Make/Model: Koopmans 42 - Ketch - Alu Centerboard
Hailing Port: Harlingen - Holland
Crew: Peter, Heloisa and Auke
About: We are a family of three, a rather international get together with myself being Dutch, my lovely wife being Brazilian and our 7 year old son who carries a Dutch and Brazilian citizenship
Extra: You can follow us here during our two year sailing trip that will take us together via the Caribbean and the Islands in the Pacific to New Zealand. Beyond that I will take Mundinho to Europe solo.
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Created 11 June 2011
Refrigeration + insulation renewal project
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Our neighbors while on cruising
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Created 27 March 2011
Peter, Heloisa and Auke
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Created 16 March 2011

Family of three travelling West Bound (slowly)

Who: Peter, Heloisa and Auke
Port: Harlingen - Holland
Peter and Heloisa and their 7 year old son Auke are traveling with their sailing vessel a Koopmans 42. On this blog you can find updates regularly posted of their preparation and trip itself. Feel free to leave a message or raise a question if you have any for Peter and Heloisa.
A family of three cruising with Mundinho around the globe