ende

Mar
31

It gets cold near the equator

We still have light winds from the southeast, but with a countercurrent of almost 1 knot Pitufa’s slowed down to 3 to 4 knots over ground. We don’t complain though, as long as there’s enough wind to keep the sails filled and from slapping. It’s getting cooler now, maybe we can already feel the effects of the cold Humboldt current. The water temperature has dropped… Continue reading »

Mar
30

Sailing in the middle of a fleet

We’re still making good progress, now with southeasterly winds that have been stronger than predicted (very light). Alas, 10 knots is still not enough to make Pitufa fly along and so some of the boats that have started out on the same weather window have sailed past us during the day. It’s the first time that we’re sailing in a kind of convoy (though one… Continue reading »

Mar
29

Almost half the distance made

After a night of fast sailing with Pitufa storming down the waves and having a good time (if she could sing she’d sing the Ride of the Valkyries at those times), the wind has slowed down and the current left us stumbling along with merely 4 knots. Hopefully we’ll pick up both wind and current again. We don’t have luck with our fishing: three lures… Continue reading »

Mar
28

Fabulous speed

We still have a steady northerly wind between 15 and 20 knots, just the sort of stiff breeze our overloaded Smurfette needs. Yesterday noon we were able to go on a downwind course and put out the twin headsails, that’s our favourite kind of sailing. No main up, just the two genoas on poles–one to the left and one two the right Pitufa looks like… Continue reading »

Mar
27

Steady winds

Steady winds and a friendly current are carrying us swiftly southwards.++++++++++ Stetige Winde und eine freundliche Stroemung tragen uns geschwind suedwaerts.

Mar
26

On the way to Galapagos

Yesterday we got the boat into passage-mode–that takes a whole day. We have to take down the mobile solar panel, tidy the deck, declatter all cupboards, tidy up the forecabin, tie down all bits that could go flying through the boat in heavy weather. We decided on rigging the second genoa (in case of downwind), putting the inner foresail on deck (in case of strong… Continue reading »

Mar
24

Ensenada Guayabo

This morning we motored a few miles down the coast to the southernmost bay of Panama only 14 miles from the Colombian border. Some small, spotted dolphins accompanied us for a while. Even though we trolled two lures and the waters here are famous for the abundance of fish, we weren’t lucky enough to catch dinner. The coast is fringed by high mountains that rise… Continue reading »

Mar
23

Photos of the Darién

Thanks to our badboy WiFi antenna, we managed to upload another photo gallery:

Mar
23

Waiting for the weather window

In order to sail to the Galapagos Islands we have to cross the ITCZ (intertropical convergence zone), an area with unstable weather conditions near the equator in between the faithful trade winds further north and south. We’re waiting for a period, when the northerly trades make it over the Panamanian Isthmus to help us getting south, where we then should find southerly winds. Whenever northerly… Continue reading »

Mar
19

Is our cat a racist?

Leeloo’s a very timid cat who doesn’t like visitors on board at all. In busy anchorages with dinghies going by all the time, she has always one ear moving with the outboard engines that are whizzing by. As soon as she hears the rpms dropping, she’s slightly alarmed, when the people in the dinghy start shouting ‘hello’ she scurries under deck, knowing they might come… Continue reading »

Mar
17

Piñas Village

We took the dinghy to the neighbouring bay to visit the village there. Beaching turned out to be quite a challenge with the southerly swell tumbling upon the beach producing high breaking waves that would no doubt delight surfers, but are quite terrifying seen from a dinghy. Timing’s everything: wait for a calm period, quickly motor towards the beach, tilt up the outboard, hop into… Continue reading »

Mar
16

Bahia Piñas

Yesterday afternoon we left the Rio Sucio at a rising tide and the plan was to spend the night at Isla Iguana as on the way in. The conditions at the anchorage were so rough, though, so we decided to sail out the Golfo de San Miguel to reach our next destination in a nightsail. The sail started slow and tranquil under a incredibly starlit… Continue reading »

Mar
15

Bright white Pitufa

During the weeks in the bay of Panama in the grime of the city Pitufa got a long green beard along her waterline and dark stains all around. The last three days we used the calm water of the river to scrub the dirt off, polish the yellow stains off and finally put a layer of wax on to protect the paint. It was hard… Continue reading »

Mar
14

Village Caña Blanca

From one of the canoes that go by frequently we got a description for the way to the village: ‘Go always straight ahead, when the river forks go up the right branch, then you’ll see a puerto–you can’t miss it. Walk up the way, it’s a big village. Es muy cerquito (very near).’ Well, it took us three attempts to find the right branch of… Continue reading »

Mar
12

Rio Sucio

We weren’t really comfortable in the Rio Cucunati. When strong winds meet an opposing tidal current in such a broad stream, the result are confused seas that turn the anchorage into a witches cauldron. Therefore we motored into a neighbouring river on a rising current yesterday. According to the chart the Rio Sucio has a reef and a sandbank with only 2 metres depth at… Continue reading »

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