Maiden Voyage on the Pacific

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On Monday the creatures and I ran to the chart shop and purchased the paper charts we’d need to chart our course over the Pacific all the way to New Zealand. We have back ups for our backs up on electronic charts, but it’s always safer to have the paper version too.

It’ll be a great learning experience (and a lot of fun) for everyone on board to chart the course.

We also picked up a new hose for the shop vac, as well as some fresh fruit. The unpleasant part of it all was saying goodbye to Suzanne. We really adore her and will miss her tons.

When we eventually make our way to Denmark, we’ll look her up and the adventure will continue!

I texted Danny to check in and see if there was anything he needed before we headed back, and he replied saying he was glad we weren’t there, because he went to fix the hose on the black water holding tank, and ended up dumping 40 gallons of stinky badness into the bilge. His words were, ‘it tastes like it smells!’ I made a mental note to not kiss him on my return…

By the time we were done, we were so sick of being among the crowds and traffic, and sat back on the air conditioned bus – which was on 25 cents per person, and relaxed for a minute.

When we arrived at Tanda Malaika, Danny met us on the stern with a disturbed look on his face, and a box of clothes pegs in his outstretched hand so we could place them on our noses. He was of course joking, and had done a beautiful job in taking care of the problem. He had also used his ninja electrician skills and performed some magic at the helm station by switching out a couple of the screens.

The creatures didn’t stay on the boat long, and were soon off visiting with people they’d line handled for through the canal. They spent most of their time with little Anna, the angel that was so attached to them at Shelter Bay.

Yesterday morning, we awoke to the morning sun and ventured over to the fuel dock to fill up the two 95 gallon diesel tanks, as well as all 10 of the 5 gallon diesel jugs and the gas cans for the dinghy. After spending close to $500, we motored off toward Las Perlas and left land behind. What an amazing feeling!

Since we were on the Pacific side of the Panama Canal, many ships lay at anchor waiting their turn for transit, and our AIS system alerted us to every one of them!

At first there wasn’t much wind, but soon it picked up and we sailed between 7 and 8 knots all the way to Las Perlas.

We love the energy of the Pacific. It feels more alive, and more wild than where we’ve been. Even though the temperature was close to 90 degrees until sundown, the cool breeze coming off the water made it feel so much cooler. As we sailed along, rather than being greeted by bow riding dolphins, dozens of spotted eagle ray and manta ray kept launching themselves out of the water like giant birds, flapping toward the sky, then splashed back down into the cool pacific once more. Though we tried, we didn’t catch one on camera. We did, however catch 2 tuna on the fishing rods.

Kiffin was the net lady and did a great job!

When Danny gutted the second fish, he called us over to show us how it’s belly had been full of squid. I apologize if you’re squeamish!

Huge flocks of pelican sat in groups as if gossiping on the water, and the air was filled with several species that I will learn to identify.
We usually watch for flocks of birds while fishing, because we know that where they are, the fish are, but here, the birds are everywhere in great abundance.
We passed several beautiful little islands, some of which have gorgeous beaches of white sand spread out in an inviting display, and not another soul in sight.

We arrived at Isla Contadora and anchored on the leeward side in about 11ft of low tide water. Anchoring was a little tough due to a rocky bottom, but I quickly dove in and checked the line to see if we’d gripped at all. We hadn’t. Visibility was not very good but the water felt amazing! It was cool and refreshing, and I encouraged the creatures to join me, which they did. Danny opted to stay on board. The shore line where we are anchored looks beautiful, and I can’t wait to explore it.

What peaceful surroundings.

This, is what I love.

I made a big pot of sadza and train wreck gravy for dinner (African meal) and Danny grilled pork chops on the braai. When we were done the creatures sat and ate sadza and sweetened condensed milk and after some family time (which I guess we get 24/7), we snuggled down for the night.

Life is good. It’s so good, and I am so grateful.

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