Poulston Post

27 December 2020 | Salt Spring
21 October 2019 | Salt Spring
15 September 2018 | Salt Spring Island
23 December 2017 | Salt Spring Island
23 November 2017 | Back in Canada
14 September 2017
22 August 2017 | Vanuatu
16 July 2017 | Musket Cove
16 May 2017 | Opua
27 March 2017 | Opua
30 January 2017 | Opua
20 December 2016 | Upper Coomera
11 November 2016 | Tonga
10 October 2016 | Cook Islands and Niue
05 September 2016 | Societies
19 August 2016
20 July 2016
18 April 2016 | Isabella, Galapagos
11 March 2016 | Jane warm and sunny
15 January 2016 | Cuba

Cayman Islands and San Blas

11 March 2016 | Jane warm and sunny
Jane warm and sunny
Not sure where the time has gone, but it really is time that I updated our blog. As I write I am sitting between two oceans and two continents enjoying a spectacular sunrise at Gutan Lake. Russell and I are doing a dummy run through the canal on our friend Reinhard's boat Runaway's boat. It feels strange to be sitting between two oceans and two continents. The sunrise is spectacular.

We checked into Cayman Brac on the beach, a first time for us. The two officials were relaxed and friendly and it took no time at all. Soon we were anchored, and going ashore was a treat. A huge yummy English breakfast and free wifi at the local store, followed by a stock up of items we had not seen for months/years.

Cayman Brac is small and delightful. We really enjoyed the two anchorages and getting to know the wonderful people who live there. Then it was onto Little Cayman for diving in famous "Bloody Bay" before heading into the big smog of Grand Cayman. We had a rolly, but fast overnight sail entering the North sound mid morning while trying not to hit any reefs. Not for the faint hearted as the whole of the area is very badly marked, we were very surprised as we tip toed through.

Our plan was not to stay long in Grand Cayman as we had friends we were trying to meet in San Blas. Well weather and boat issues certainly changed that idea. Within a couple of days we were hauled out of the water to have our starboard engine worked on and our bearings replaced. With a copper bottom that also means that we have to reliven the copper before going in the water. Our friends Fiona and Carlos who live close to the marina were wonderful to us and insisted on us staying with them, even though our three days turned into seven. At night when we were not working we had a great time together and on Fiona's day off we explored the island. They were wonderful hosts. We can't thank them enough as I don't know what we would have done without their help.

The British Cayman islands consist of the three islands we visited. Not many cruising boats visit the islands as their anchorages are rolly and marinas in Grand Cayman are expensive. After the last three countries we had visited it was also a shock to experience the high prices, not many cruisers visit these islands and if they do it is only for a short stop off on their way south or west.

For myself it was fun to hear numerous English accents and shop for English goodies. The weather sadly was not great and so we were unable to dive some of the excellent sites of Grand Cayman for which it has become famous. Maybe another time we will revisit by air.

It was time to grab the marginal weather window to head south as soon as we were put back in the water. After one day of heading in slightly the wrong direction we were soon averaging 7 knots and on route to San Blas. The only hiccup was the 2 knot current against us, making our four day trip into five days.

We had been told we might have issues checking into the San Blas, but we had no problem at all and soon picked up our friends Doug and Suzanne in the Carti Islands. From there on we were on holiday while they were on board. We certainly partied hard and enjoyed being able to share the unique and gorgeous islands of San Blas with them. Vanencio the master mola came to see us and I am now the owner of another beautiful mola and Suzanne bought two. They really are fantastic.

After our friends left we went back to the Lemmons and with help from Mike and Laura of Gilana learnt how to kite board. We have a board on board and my brother Jamie is now bringing a kite and harness from England, when he visits us in the Galapagos. It was a ton of fun. Then we had to hide out behind Mayriadup in the Naguargandup Cays, a very protected area in the San Blas, when it is windy.

Our friends on Van Kedisi soon joined us having sailed the same route we did last year from Cartegena. It was great to see them and they joined us sailing to our favourite anchorages. Our friends April and Cain of Spirit of Argo arrived a few days before we left, it was too short a time together as we do not know when we will see them again, but wonderful nontheless. They very kindly helped us repair our genoa, one job ticked off the list.

We had no problem provisioning for fresh fruit and vegetables in the Carti islands and the Kuna are often visiting with fresh fish, crabs, lobster, vegetables and the like. They are delightful people and the cruising grounds are just perfect. Our time there again was too short, we could have stayed for months, but it was time to head for Panama.

On the way it made sense to stop off at Portabello. A magnificient harbour discovered by Columbus in 1502 with ruins of the solid fortifications than can be explored. We enjoyed a wonderful Sunday lunch at Captain Jack's overlooking the harbour with Van Kedisi. S/v Villomee with New Zealand friends Trev and Jan were also at anchor there, so lots of socializing time together.

Getting to Shelter Bay marina in Panama it was back to work, big time. Our generator is still causing us problems, our spare control board that was given to us by the Kohler guys in Union Island looks like it is a dude and a new one even though we have had problems for a while is not being covered by the company warrantey. We now have run out of time to get a new one and so may have to ask my brother to bring another from England (cost approx. $2000 - yikes). Our new generator has caused and cost us untold amounts. On a happy note our new main sail arrived and is fantastic.

Shelter Bay marina is a long way out of Colon and the bus that goes into town only takes twelve people. Unless you sign up at noon when the list goes up it costs $25 each way by taxi, so not the best situation. However the Supermarket Rey will bring you and your groceries back (only space for a backback on the marina bus) if you spend over $300. I did a huge shop on our arrival and spent a day storing items away after ☺ Once we hit the Pacific shopping is going to be expensive and difficult. We will be doing another couple of big shops once we get to Panama, here rum is $8 a bottle in French Poly it can be $80 - yes we will have full bilges and will be like a slug once we leave.

Amy and her two friends Kevin and Jason arrive on Friday. We have a transit date for Sunday and should arrive in Balboa anchorage by Monday afternoon. We are getting excited to be on the move again and to have them on board until we get to the Galapagos. They leave on 10 April and my brother Jamie and his wife Frankie arrive on 9 April. There is no wind at the moment for sailing to Galapagos, but we are keeping our fingers crossed that it will be different in a weeks time.

There is a webcam at Miraflores lock http://www.pancanal.com/eng/photo/camera-java.html?cam=Miraflores
We should be there Monday afternoon if you are online - we will wave to you. If you do see us, please take a screen shot as it would be fantastic to have a picture of us during this epic journey.

Next stop Pacific, hope you enjoy all the photos, thanks to Russell, Doug and Suzanne for their contributions. Pictures say so much more than my meager words.


Comments
Vessel Name: Ta-B
Vessel Make/Model: Fontaine Pajot 46' Bahia Maestro
Hailing Port: Vancouver, Canada
Crew: Jane and Russell Poulston
About: We feel we are the perfect blend of Britain (Jane) and New Zealand (Russell), although our home for the last 31 years has been Vancouver, Canada. We have two terrific kids, Amy and Edwin, who are boy/girl twins and now 31 years old.
Extra:
Our sailing dreams were somewhat flexible. We spent our first two years in the Caribbean before crossing the Atlantic. We then spent five years in the Med before returning to the Caribbean for a couple of years. Lastly we crossed the Pacific and after two years sold our boat in Fiji. Ta-b now is [...]
Ta-B's Photos - Last Bonaire Fish Pictures (Main)
Roll on 2021
23 Photos
Created 30 December 2020
Salt Spring Time
14 Photos
Created 26 October 2019
Stages of building our new home
25 Photos
Created 26 October 2019
Special trip to Japan with Amy
15 Photos
Created 26 October 2019
Palm Springs Road Trip
6 Photos
Created 26 October 2019
Special party
10 Photos
Created 26 October 2019
Pictures from Salt Spring
17 Photos
Created 15 September 2018
Salt Spring Island
15 Photos
Created 22 December 2017
Snorkeling Time with my Fishie friends
13 Photos
Created 23 November 2017
Fiji with Edwin and Iva on board
27 Photos
Created 23 November 2017
Fiji with Amy and Luke onboard
13 Photos
Created 23 November 2017
New Caledonia
14 Photos
Created 14 September 2017
Vanuatu
34 Photos
Created 22 August 2017
Fabulous Fulaga and island picnic
25 Photos
Created 16 July 2017
Fiji
17 Photos
Created 16 July 2017
Goodbye New Zealand
18 Photos
Created 16 May 2017
New Zealand Road Trip
31 Photos
Created 27 March 2017
Family Time Down Under
35 Photos
Created 30 January 2017
New Zealand
15 Photos
Created 20 December 2016
Tonga
16 Photos
Created 11 November 2016
Niue
23 Photos
Created 18 October 2016
The Cook Islands
29 Photos
Created 15 October 2016
Taaha to Maupiti
22 Photos
Created 6 September 2016
Tahiti to Huahine
34 Photos
Created 19 August 2016
Tuamotus or Tomatoes
20 Photos
Created 18 July 2016
Pacific to Marquesas
17 Photos
Created 31 May 2016
More from Galapagos
26 Photos
Created 22 May 2016
Panama and the Galapagos
38 Photos
Created 14 April 2016
Cuba to San Blas
41 Photos
Created 2 March 2016
Havana
29 Photos
Created 15 January 2016
Trinidad
21 Photos
Created 15 January 2016
Cuba south coast
27 Photos
Created 15 January 2016
Belize
21 Photos
Created 27 December 2015
Adiós Guatemala
20 Photos
Created 15 November 2015
44 Photos
Created 25 October 2015
More Land Time
11 Photos
Created 26 August 2015
Summer in Vancouver and BC
16 Photos
Created 26 August 2015
Rio Dulce May 2015
23 Photos
Created 18 June 2015
Honduras
26 Photos
Created 15 June 2015
Provencia
9 Photos
Created 2 April 2015
San Blas Islands
38 Photos
Created 2 April 2015
Cartagena
26 Photos
Created 1 March 2015
Curacao and Santa Marta
40 Photos
Created 1 March 2015
Vancouver
20 Photos
Created 1 February 2015
Australia and New Zealand
38 Photos
Created 1 January 2015
Lovely Bonaire
63 Photos
Created 29 October 2014
Puerto Rico and the Spanish Virgin Islands
32 Photos
Created 11 September 2014
British and US Virgin Islands
36 Photos
Created 29 July 2014
St. Martin and the British Virgin Islands
39 Photos
Created 24 June 2014
Guadaloupe and Antigua
32 Photos
Created 9 May 2014
Dominica
32 Photos
Created 3 April 2014
Martinique
41 Photos
Created 12 March 2014
Grenadines and Carriacou
26 Photos
Created 19 February 2014
Atlantic and Barbados
62 Photos
Created 5 January 2014
Now back to the Caribbean
27 Photos
Created 26 November 2013
Menorca to Canaries
23 Photos
Created 1 November 2013
Sicily and Sardinia
18 Photos
Created 4 September 2013
Jamie's pictures
17 Photos
Created 12 August 2013
Croatia, Montenegro and Ionian
46 Photos
Created 12 August 2013
Russell's Pictures
36 Photos
Created 30 June 2013
Venice and Croatia
50 Photos
Created 29 June 2013
Greece
50 Photos
Created 26 May 2013
Vancouver and Turkey
11 Photos
Created 1 May 2013
Land time in Canada
26 Photos
Created 26 March 2013
Ephesus and Gallipoli
17 Photos
Created 9 December 2012
Turkey and England
22 Photos
Created 28 October 2012
Cyprus and Southern Turkey
41 Photos
Created 23 September 2012
Jordan and Jerusalem
52 Photos
Created 15 July 2012
EMYR Group 3 Boats
7 Photos
Created 15 July 2012
EMYR Last Leg
30 Photos
Created 15 July 2012
25 Photos
Created 4 June 2012
EMYR Turkey
34 Photos
Created 2 June 2012
March and April
20 Photos
Created 2 May 2012
Australia and New Zealand
43 Photos
Created 1 March 2012
November to January 2012
26 Photos
Created 22 January 2012
Yoga and Boops visit, plus some older pictures from October
65 Photos
Created 9 November 2011
West and Evans Trips
22 Photos
Created 11 October 2011
Trip back south
25 Photos
Created 26 September 2011
Heading North
47 Photos
Created 6 August 2011
29 Photos
Created 4 July 2011
Happy Days in Marmaris
11 Photos
Created 4 July 2011
7 Photos
Created 10 May 2011
March trip to Capadocia
41 Photos
Created 10 May 2011
Landtime
9 Photos
Created 9 February 2011
Salerno to Marmaris
50 Photos
Created 6 November 2010
Sardinia, Ponza, Procida, Capri and Amalfi
36 Photos
Created 18 September 2010
21 Photos
Created 11 August 2010
11 Photos
Created 8 July 2010
Europe April-June
17 Photos
Created 17 June 2010
20 Photos
Created 21 March 2010
33 Photos
Created 7 November 2009
26 Photos
Created 8 September 2009
Jamie visit
20 Photos
Created 11 August 2009
23 Photos
Created 27 July 2009
Azores to Lagos
20 Photos
Created 1 July 2009
Bermuda to the Azores
17 Photos
Created 8 June 2009
Bermuda
12 Photos
Created 16 May 2009
Trip with Kim and Cam
22 Photos
Created 13 May 2009
St. Martin
15 Photos
Created 1 May 2009
32 Photos
Created 28 February 2009
Virgin Islands
19 Photos
Created 29 January 2009
34 Photos
Created 9 January 2009
11 Photos
Created 9 January 2009
24 Photos
Created 12 December 2008
Trip back home and on the hard
10 Photos
Created 11 December 2008
24 Photos
Created 14 October 2008
15 Photos | 1 Sub-Album
Created 24 September 2008
48 Photos
Created 24 September 2008
11 Photos
Created 24 August 2008
First few weeks in Bonaire
15 Photos
Created 24 August 2008
25 Photos
Created 28 July 2008
12 Photos
Created 5 July 2008
7 Photos
Created 2 June 2008
Still in St. Martin
9 Photos
Created 2 June 2008
24 Photos
Created 7 May 2008
6 Photos
Created 7 May 2008
14 Photos
Created 8 April 2008
Libby and Adrian's visit. Antigua and Barbuda
19 Photos
Created 27 March 2008
21 Photos
Created 14 March 2008
9 Photos
Created 20 February 2008
18 Photos
Created 7 February 2008
13 Photos
Created 28 January 2008
10 Photos
Created 28 January 2008
19 Photos
Created 6 January 2008
Pictures of Ta-b
5 Photos
Created 19 December 2007
Trinidad to Grenada
13 Photos
Created 19 December 2007
11 Photos
Created 6 December 2007