posted on Mar, 31 2004 @ 04:45 PM
As Jimmy Cornell states in his book, World Cruising Routes, "All passages southward from Panama, along the west coast of South America, are very
difficult because of persistent southerly winds and the contrary Peru or Humboldt current which sets north throughout the year......During calms it
will be necessary to motor to counteract the strong north setting current".
Well, here we are nearly 180 miles out from Panama City motor sailing in incredibly flat seas. We are doing about six knots at very low engine
revolutions(at 1200 RPM we could motor all the way to Ecuador). We are getting a big boost from a southward setting current and therefore making
pretty good speed over the ground. The wind is pretending to strengthen and soon we should be sailing again. So far, it has been about half and
We left the Balboa Yacht Club moorings Sunday morning after our Canal transit on Saturday and headed for Isla Bona, a volcanic islet 22 miles south of
the Canal. This little spot turned out to be a wonderfully protected anchorage and a nesting ground for pelicans, one of whom adopted Let's Go upon
arrival. On the way over we threw in my short fishing line and kiwi lure and caught two Wahoo in about fifteen minutes. So..no more fishing for
awhile. David, who is an extraordinary cook (no one is going to lose a pound on this voyage) is going to allow me to make fish stew today..the secret
weapon for consuming large quantities of fish so that we can once again throw out the line.
We left our islet at 4 AM yesterday intent on anchoring once again before leaving Panamanian waters but we decided to just keep going since the wind
had come up and we were making excellent progress. Neither one of us got much sleep since the sails required constant adjustment and at midnight we
threw up the gennaker. In addition, there was a parade of ships heading to the Canal,all extremely well managed and seemingly aware of our presence.
There was no need for the radar since we could see from their running lights, their intended course. However, still had (have) to keep a weather eye.
This morning, a container ship passed close to port, heading for Chile, no doubt taking advantage of the same current we are. At least the weather is
It's only 9:30 AM and hotter than hot. And beer time is still two hours away. Oh yes, sailing again at 6 knots with 10 knots true wind well aft. And
here comes another ship!
All the best,
Lat 5 deg 59 min N
Long 80 deg W