|Chantey V Caribbean track on DeLorme InReach|
Grenada to El Salvador
|High five from Ethan & Nana|
|Prickely Bay, Grenada|
Spring Break went by quickly back in Victoria. Cathy and I prepared her Westall house for sale the 1st week and it sold the same day it was listed! We had lots of good times with Grandson Ethan, my how he is growing so quickly.
Saltspring Island sailor Ole Andersen returned to Grenada with me on March 29th. The bottom paint job by Spice Island Marina looked terrific and the topsides have never looked better with the now matching dodger sewn by Turbulence Sails.
|Nice bottom job|
|Wow - matching canvass finally!|
All dead downwind with Main and Genoa but this sail setup was not ideal and it was hard to balance the rig with the big seas in the 7 to 9 ft range. Los Roques turned out to be a lovely spot with white sand beaches ...and streets! It was a Saturday and the officials were very friendly and efficient.
|Beached at Los Roques, Venuzela|
We toured the nearby Francis Island by dinghy which was bustling with locals having swimming and dancing events.
|$20 in Bolivars|
|I knew we bought the storm jib for something!|
Next on to Curacao and the twin headsail rig was just great again, with very little slapping in the persistent big sea. Of course up to 2 knots current assist would make any boat put up impressive VMG!
|Floating swing bridge, Curacao|
Within a few hours I had located one at Trotac in Victoria and Linda Ellen agreed (God bless her) to bring it down when she came to join us in Aruba. We managed to pick up some related parts at the local chandlers and began the installation process expertly directed by Ole.
|Power windlass -its a thing of beauty|
After checking in we docked at the Renaissance Marina which was a bit of luxury after being on the hook for a week. Linda joined us and and we took advantage of the wait for a weather window to rest and relax at the pool in between boat projects. We had a great meal at the Driftwood restaurant where the owner catches all the fish he serves daily.
|Driftwood restaurant fishing machine|
The current now turned against us and the wind gradually eased so that it was 5 days later when we set foot on the docks of Shelter Bay Marina in Colon.
|There was some smooth sailing|
We made a re-provisioning run into Colon and had a quick look around. Ole and I went to work on completing the windlass installation which now looks terrific! Our Canal agent Roy Bravo got us a transit slot in an unheard of 2 days and Wednesday afternoon we were off to the Flats to pick up our Canal Advisor. This was the first use of the new windlass and it worked perfectly. Muchos gratias Ole for the inspiration and Linda for bringing it down!
|Panama canal passage at night|
It was after 10pm when we finally tied up at the Gatun Lake mooring doughnut and relaxed with some well earned rums and cervezas, and even got a singalong going with the guitar and mando!
|Linda line handles the head end|
|Panhandler turns linehandler|
|A couple of Panamanian swells|
Still, we began to notice positive currents again and we really moving as we passed Punta Malo on the SW tip of Panama. Our route was planned to go outside all the small islands and we enjoyed positive currents at various strengths all the way. No so much with the wind and we had to motor sail most of the way.
|Golfito to Vancouver the easy way|
|Linda dries out after surfing in to Park|
|Cute Capuchin monkey|
We decided once was enough and planned to set out for Playa del CoCo next day. The sky darkened considerably over coffee and sure enough we were awash in rain for the next hour such that you could hardly see the beach. I guess rainy season is arriving! The new dodger is great and kept us pretty comfy and dry inside. We got under way soon afterwards and one over nighter later we were dropping the hook in the North of the bay at Playa del CoCo. Not too rolly and a little later we tried a beach landing - a little more coordinated this time and not quite as wet! We checked out the town and had a nice lunch. I booked snorkel tour for next day with Rich Coast Diving. They picked me up right off our boat and I got a personal guide for the morning.
An excellent outfit that I would recommend but be aware that water clarity can vary a lot from day to day in this area.
|Costa Rica diving|
|Wave surfing into Bahia|
|Chantey V returns!|
|El Salvador Rally welcome from Bill|
Next day John from Polaris helped me extract the old stud and install the new one. Thanks John!
After that it was time to socialize in including visits to Lou and Lynns up the estuary as well as Bill and Jeans now place on Isla Cordoncillo. Finally boat prep was complete and we moved onto the new mooring prepared for us by Santos.
|Santos and family|
|Chantey V covered for summer|