Archive for March, 2007

Photos from our anchorage in Isla Coiba

We anchored in a very pretty little nook of the west side of Isla Coiba as our last stop before heading south to Ecuador.  The snorkeling was great and the scenery was very picturesque.   Here are a few photos taken as we dinghied around the bay.  We were there for three days and had the bay completely to ourselves.

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Lanikai anchored in a pretty little bay on Isla Coiba.

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Beach in front of a dense jungle, Isla Coiba

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A channel thru mangroves, Isla Coiba.

Photos from our Cruising in the Islands of Panama

Some Photos from our travels in the Islands of western Panama.

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A big ship enters the canal as we head out.

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Sunset over an island in Western Panama.

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Dolphins play at Lanikai’s bow.

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Bill underway in the cockpit with one of the many bunches of bananas we had ripening, purchased from the locals in several of the bays we visited.

Trip to Ecuador

Sunday March 18, 2007

The anchor was dropped behind Cabo Pasado in Ecuador yesterday morning about 9AM after a rather fast trip south. The motor ran most of the time although we did get a good pull from the light easterly winds. There was enough wind to shut down the motor for at least a few hours each day and one day was a great sail for almost 24 hours before the wind died. We encountered shipping at both ends of the trip. South of Isla Jicaron, at the beginning of the trip, we passed thru the group of ships heading to and from the Panama Canal and as we neared the coast of Ecuador we ran into another shipping lane. There was even some sea life on this trip. As we passed Jicaron we had a pod of killer whales off our stern and later in the evening three large Sei whales passed close by. Dolphins joined us both near Jicaron and quite far off shore on our third day out. When we were farthest offshore a little bird came to visit. He kept coming into the cabin and flying off again for a time, before fear got the better of him and he disappeared for good.

Surprise Lunar Eclipse

Saturday evening after sunset we were sitting in the cockpit waiting for the full moon to rise. It did not come up when we expected it to!! A while later a small crescent of the moon appeared higher in the sky. The crescent grew until the moon got lost in the clouds, but its light continued to increase and when it reappeared above the clouds it was correctly full. Our first thought was that the moon had been hidden by clouds, but upon seeing the crescent appear we realized that we were witnessing a lunar eclipse.

We are still in Bahia Honda but finished the last of the projects yesterday. Today we performed routine chores: defrosting the freezer, checking the engine oil, measuring the fuel level in the main tank and plotting our routes for our trip to Ecuador. We have enough fuel to motor at our usual RPM for 10 days and our route shows the trip to be only 521 miles, about 5 days at our usual 4.5 knots. Leaving us plenty of time for slow sailing, if we find some wind. We plan to move on, probably Friday, to Isla Coiba for a few days relaxing before we make the jump toward Ecuador. This gives us one day of snorkeling fun here.

Projects on the Lanikai

We are still anchored in calm Bahia Honda and have been very busy here “tightening up” the Lanikai. Bill replaced the badly cracked forward port window with plexiglas, removing the badly corroded aluminum frame and bedding the new window directly onto the fiberglass outside. It took about a week for this project as it was only possible to work in the mornings before the sun got too hot. The weather has gotten much more humid over the last few days and we have had only little breeze. We spent another day removing the sink from what used to be the forward head, and plumbing the watermaker’s salt water outlet directly into the thru hull. That sink had let lots of water into the boat(by coming up the drain) as we sailed to here while we were on a starboard tack in the rowdy conditions. Yesterday was a day of little projects, sealing the small heater chimney at the deck, sanding the floor hatch boards so they can be opened easily in these humid conditions, and sewing a new front window for the dodger.

We did take one day off to do some snorkeling. The islands at the entrance to the bay provide great reefs for snorkeling and although the sky was cloudy and the water not real clear, the under water view was spectacular – one under water garden after another.

Today Bill plans on getting started on replacing the two aft (opening!) windows, also with solid plexiglas. We sealed those two windows closed many years ago but they still leak some water into the aft cabin.