Archive for the ‘ Offshore ’ Category

Happy Easter

We are now off of Nicaragua enjoying a great sail.  Bill spent more time on the shaft seal yesterday morning before we left the anchorage and thought that he had stopped the leak.  It no longer leaks while the engine is off and we are under sail at the moment, but it still leaks somewhere when we are motoring.  But the leak is way down and we only have to pump the bilge about every 6 hours now.

We got a SW breeze after getting away from the land and enjoyed a nice sail until about midnight when it all shut down.  Within an hour the wind had picked up from the east and we enjoyed a great sail until that too died this afternoon.  Now we are motor sailing in the left over sloppy seas but that will also calm now that the wind is down.  We have run into a favorable current, so for now we are making good time at about 6 knots and sometimes more.

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The seas eventually flattened in the calm conditions and we enjoyed a very nice motor boat ride.

Passage to Western Panama

Sunday morning with first light we upped the anchor and left the Perlas Islands behind.  The passage across the Bay of Panama was fast even though the seas were quite lumpy.  We had the current in our favor much of the time and enjoyed a light wind from the NW to keep the main full.  After passing Punta Mala the winds switched to the west, right on our noise!  These winds were due to many small squalls associated with the ITCZ and at times were quite strong.  The big problem with them was the short steep chop that they caused.  This chop slowed Lanikai down to less than 2 knots at times and we had few times over the next 24 hours where our boat speed over the ground was over 3 knots even with good wind in the sails and the motor running as well.  This passage was in an area of many and conflicting currents and they seemed to be in our favor the first 18 hours of the voyage as our speed stayed over 6 knots, great for Lanikai and then against us for the next 24 hours.  Things calmed down and we picked up speed after getting well north into the waters of western Panama.  We arrived at one of our favorite little bays on the north east coast in the morning dropping the hook after 8 in the morning.

The Passage to Panama

We made the passage from Cabo Pasado in Ecuador to the south end of Isla del Rey in the Perlas Islands of Panama in five days.  The first two days were wonderful sailing with westerly winds of 12-15 knots and since we were heading almost due north it made for a wonderful reach.  Then the wind failed us, probably as we entered the ITCZ.  We motored most of the third day although the winds did pick up for a few hours of sailing several times during the day.  The next day, Monday, we had no wind at all but come evening we encountered many squalls some with winds above 35 and LOTS of rain.  Lanikai finally got her much needed bath!  Mud flew out of all the lines and down the stays and finally washed off the deck with the many downpours that we passed thru.  Tuesday, our last day out, was mostly calm but the seas were lumpy from the night’s storms so going was slow.  Tuesday night we encountered a few more squalls but nothing like the night before.  We dropped the hook Wednesday morning off Rio Cacique at the south end of Isla del Rey.

Out of Bahia de Caraquez

On Wednesday afternoon the Immigration Officials arrived – rather late – but we did get all the paperwork done for our 3PM  departure time.  We followed Passages out of the bay as they had the pilot on board, but it did us little good as we touched bottom after rounding the first point!  Bill managed to get us back into the channel and we continued out.  Carlos the pilot came back to us in the panga and guided us thru the last turn out toward the deeper water.  It was very slow going as we then had the wind right on our nose and it was up to 20 knots over the boat.  Soon after the water started to deepen out Lanikai’s engine quit!  We made quick work of getting two sails up and tacked the rest of the way out of the bay. five hours later we dropped the hook, under sail as we could not get the engine going again, behind Cabo Pasado in the dark.  Bill spend the next morning replacing the fuel pump, cleaning out clogged fuel lines and changing the engine oil.  He also dove on the bottom to see if we did any damage to the rudder when we bounced off the sand bar the day before.  All was well.

Friday morning we finally got underway toward Panama and soon had enough wind to sail.

Kralendijk, Bonaire

Our last port on the Cruise was in Bonaire.

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We spent most of our time ashore under the water enjoying the spectacularly clear Caribbean water.  We took a launch over to Island Klein Bonaire, a small island just offshore of the city.  The whole island is a National Park and its white sand beaches fall off steeply underwater.  Where they fall off the underwater life is spectacular for snorkeling.

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Bill had a great time with his underwater camera, taking photos of the colorful sea life.

We were in the water for over 2 hours, so upon returning to the ship we ate lunch and relaxed the rest of the afternoon.