The Log of s/v Mentor

Meet the Crew

Who: Cindy and Dick Metler
Port: Seattle, WA
MENTOR, the boat Design: Amazon 44 Builder: Hull and deck - Dieter Pollack Systems and interior - Dick and Cindy Metler Hull: Steel Rig: Cutter Length: 44 feet Beam: 13' 8" Draft: 6' 6" MENTOR derives her name from Greek mythology. During the Trojan Wars, Mentor was the friend and counselor to Odysseus and tutor to his son Telemachus. In modern English, the word has become an eponym for a wise trustworthy teacher. We have needed such during the construction period and will continue to rely on what this boat can teach us as we heed her voice and head to sea.
26 February 2011 | Las Perlas Islands
25 February 2011 | Las Perlas Islands
24 February 2011 | Las Perlas Islands
23 February 2011 | Bahia Benao
21 February 2011 | Bahia Benao
20 February 2011 | Off Bahia Benao
18 February 2011 | Bahia Benao
16 February 2011
15 February 2011 | Isla Secas
13 February 2011 | Gulf of Chiriqui, Panama
12 February 2011 | Punta Balsa
09 February 2011 | Golfito
07 February 2011 | Drakes Bay
06 February 2011 | Puntarenas to Drakes Bay
02 February 2011
10 January 2011 | Seattle, Washington
31 December 2010 | Puesta del Sol, Nicaragua
19 December 2010 | Bahia del Sol, El Salvadir
17 December 2010 | 14 42’N:92 24’W

Isla Contadora

26 February 2011 | Las Perlas Islands
Our last anchorage in the Perlas Islands had the clear water we expected to see. Isla Contadora is the most populated island and is definitely the playground of the Panamanian rich and famous. In fact, the Shaw of Iran lived here when he was exiled from Iran. We anchored off the Villa Romantica and quickly dinghied in to find out if we could get a meal at their restaurant. Yes, real food. After a nice lunch, we walked across the island to the “town” which had several very small tiendas and were able to get a few staples. The walk was along a road shared with golf carts under a tropical arbor that reach across the roadway. Well designed and constructed homes lined the road and in a short ten minutes we were across the island. A quiet sleepy place Contadora clearly provided privacy to its residents along with beautiful beaches and vistas for visitors. Along with FOXGLOVE, tomorrow we are off for Panama City and preparation for our transit of the canal.

Isla Bayoneta

25 February 2011 | Las Perlas Islands
Our second stop in the Perlas Islands was quite murky with water that did not encourage swimming. We explored some of the neighboring islands in the dinghy and had a great dinner on FOXGLOVE . Seaweed salad, potato and onion curry and Japanese salad provided a wonderful respite from Annie's Mac and Cheese. On FOXGLOVE Humi has a propane rice cooker that attaches to small propane bottles just like our BBQ. With the current state of fresh food, I think perhaps a better choice.

Ensenada Playa Grande, Isla San Jose

24 February 2011 | Las Perlas Islands
We finally escaped the clutches of Bahia Benao and made it to the Perlas Islands. The passage was a nice motor sail and much to our surprise there was not much more ship traffic than we see rounding Point Wilson. As our AIS continued to be on strike, we had been worried about dodging freighters on their way to the Canal but as it turned out those we saw were easily tracked using our radar's MARPA function. We arrived after a 15 hour passage five minutes before twilight disappeared and it became pitch black. It was a calm, protected anchorage but we were very glad the anchor was down before dark. FOXGLOVE had left about five hours before us but pulled into the anchorage at the same time.

Canned Peas but New Friends

23 February 2011 | Bahia Benao
We have no fresh food left. More importantly Dick has no beer left. As much as we love canned tuna and crackers, it is clearly time to see if we could get the dinghy ashore in an upright position. We stopped by each of the other boats to see if they wanted to join us including a new boat that had arrived earlier. FOXGLOVE had sailed here from Yokohoma, Japan spending two years in the Pacific Northwest and Alaska along the way. They joined us on our food foraging expedition and in the process a wonderful new friendship was begun. Yoshio was a firefighter on a fireboat in Yokohama harbor and Humi taught deaf children. Their English was minimal and our Japanese nonexistent but Humi’s ability to speak with her hands and Yoshi’s enthusiastic English allowed us to communicate easily. And they have a steel boat! While our trip ashore did not find any tiendas, we did have a nice lunch and some beer was added to the larder.

Scuttle the Ship

21 February 2011 | Bahia Benao
One of the pleasures of cruising is the unexpected entertainment. After we returned to the anchorage yesterday and were about to hit the sack, a large schooner came into the bay narrowly missing the other boats. They anchored aft of us, and when we got up in the morning they were gone. The winds in the anchorage were gusting to 35 and I suspected somewhat higher outside, and we wondered how the boats that left were fairing. We soon found out. About noon the now bedraggled schooner came back into the harbor, head sail ripped, mainsail stuck aloft and everything in general shambles. They ducked under the stern of the four boats in the anchorage and looked like they were heading for the rocks but at the last minute slammed into the beach in front of the Panamanian Minister of Justice's home. They had apparently intentionally grounded VALKYRIEN, their 85', 80+ year old wood boat. Dick and two of the other guys took our dinghy ashore and pulled anchor rode and their 110lb Bruce anchor up the shore in an attempt to stabilize the boat. With minus tides predicted, she would soon be smashing on the beach. Pretty exciting stuff and were we ever glad to be here instead of out in the Gulf. One of the benefits of writing a blog retrospectively is the opportunity for postscripts. About a week later, we heard that the owner of the boat was Max Kennedy of the famous political clan.

Cruisers do daysail...

20 February 2011 | Off Bahia Benao
You know what they say about cruisers - they never head out for an enjoyable day sail. Well we did. A forty mile one. At 0300 we lifted anchor along with two other boats in the anchorage, PASSION and GUINEVERE I, to try to slip the clutches of Benao and get to the Perlas. A smooth sail to Punta Mala quickly deteriorated as the sun came up and soon we were on a brisk romp towards the Galapagos Islands, a fine destination but not our intended direction. It was clear that waves, wind and current were working against us making it impossible to reach the Perlas by dark and a night tacking up the shipping lanes going into the Panama Canal was not my idea of fun. I looked at Dick and said "want to head back?", and within a nano second we were on our way back. We were quite a ways ahead of the other boats and when I let them know our plans they did an about face as well. The sail back was as good as it gets. It's amazing what a change in direction will do. About the time we hit sustained speeds of 8-9 knots, our fishing line took off. Fish on! Dick fought the fish for one hour and ten minutes, finally got it up to the boat and knocked the lure out of its mouth with the gaff hook. Oh well. Once we all had our anchors down, we all shared a sundowner on MENTOR and toasted the three boats that proved cruisers do go out for day sails, enjoying a good day of fishing.
Vessel Name: Mentor
Vessel Make/Model: Amazon 44
Hailing Port: Seattle, WA
Crew: Cindy and Dick Metler
About:
Dick and I began sailing together almost forty years ago. I was brought up messing around in boats while Dick found the zeal and passion of a true convert to life on the water after our marriage in 1970. [...]
Mentor's Photos - Main
No Photos
Created 9 May 2011
Isla Cayote to Aqua Verde
28 Photos
Created 5 May 2010
15 Photos
Created 5 May 2010
Road trip to San Sebastian
21 Photos | 1 Sub-Album
Created 5 May 2010
Mazatlan to Zihuatanejo
54 Photos
Created 4 May 2010
San Francisco to San Diego
64 Photos
Created 10 December 2009
24 Photos | 2 Sub-Albums
Created 29 September 2009

Meet the Crew

Who: Cindy and Dick Metler
Port: Seattle, WA
MENTOR, the boat Design: Amazon 44 Builder: Hull and deck - Dieter Pollack Systems and interior - Dick and Cindy Metler Hull: Steel Rig: Cutter Length: 44 feet Beam: 13' 8" Draft: 6' 6" MENTOR derives her name from Greek mythology. During the Trojan Wars, Mentor was the friend and counselor to Odysseus and tutor to his son Telemachus. In modern English, the word has become an eponym for a wise trustworthy teacher. We have needed such during the construction period and will continue to rely on what this boat can teach us as we heed her voice and head to sea.