Panama to the Caribbean
Left SD on 28th December. We had no comm's via email until we reached Cabo , Mexico due to the satellite having an issue and needed a firmware update. The trip south from SD to Cabo was nice.
Waiting in Nicaragua. Its a windy place!
We left Cabo this morning headed for Accapulco on route for the next windy bay of Tehauntepec. The goal being to try sneak across the bay on the 6/7th when wind is forecast to drop down to allow us to cross the 250nm bay. Currently blowing 40kts we are stuck this side of the bay. So if the wind drops and we are confident in the forecast we will headed straight for the corner, but if there is a slight doubt we will pull into Accapulco or Zihuatanejo. Unfortunately there was no berths in huatulco whn we called yesterday which is the closer and best place to wait for the window to cross the bay. So we will keep checking aong the way with them guys.
We had a few more electric issues before leaving this morning but is been glamour sailing so far. Scott with a big grim on his face doing 25kts reaching with the foil down for first few hours and now we've hoisted the genak and are back into VMGto the corner. Winds is due to pick up this evening so we will play it by ear and maybe switch back to the solent if we need height.
Forgot to turn tracker ion at start but its Tx'in now. Andrew is chef tonight so we're forward to some grub before sunset.
All good onboard and happy to say we have our normal email back after fixing our sat problems in cabo. After all the messing around we had with the absolutely terrible tech support we did a reset of the unit to fctory setttings and it works:)
We had a wicked sail yesterday and through the night. The moon last night disappeared around 2am but up until then it was a big spotlight in the clear sky. We had as forecast between 15 and 23kts of TWS and the boat sailed lovely eating up the miles. Even in chilled mode with 1 reef at the end to make pitch black night sailing easier and not pushing we did 400nm in 24hrs.
Still struggling to contact marinas in acapulco but hoping this will be our weather window waiting spot. Currently looks too short to duck across tehuantepec bay on the 6th because we wont make it in time an the window is 12hrs of ligfhter breeze, so we will likely be waiting until the 10th unless things change.
All cool onboard. Romantic dinner for 5 tonight together:) because its flat and no wind. Might have to start whiping out the fishing gear tomorrow because look to be motoring until acapulco now.
Since the last email we have been windless. The weather is beautiful and hot now but no breeze. Switched to motoring watch system last night so we could all get a bit of sleep in, so 1 person on for 1.5hrs and the rest sleeping through the night. Actually really nice sat on deck alone in shorts and t-shirt in the nice warm air. Gives you a good bit of thinking time and quiet time to run through ideas in your head. A change of gear coming on the next leg so appreciating these 2 chilled evenings. Looks like we may have a place to stay in acapulco and should be arriving around 3am.
No fish today caught but we are not giving up and going to try the wooden tackle now through the night.
All cool onboard
We left Acapulco at 0330 this morning headed for Huatulco, where we will do a crew change (Matt for Andrew), complete customs and stay thursday night ready for our weather window across the windy bay on friiday. Appaently the marina manager said there are a few boats waiting the same weather in the marina. We will be poking our nose out into the bay at 0700 tomorrow because the marina is 20nm up into the bay. Hoping that the forecast is correct and that the wind and sea state is not too bad on this section up to the marina. The plan is to leave friday around 10am local to head over towards the coast of nicaragua then tackle the next windy section of the trip at Papaguyo but from inshore to avoid as much sea state as possible. Then it will be around the corner to Quepos Costa rica for fuel stop and onto Panama.
Managed to miss the lightning this mrning leaving Acapulco and the rest of the day has been clear skys. Scotts AC is working a treat down below!!
All cool onboard.
Well with the wind blowing its nuts off for the last few weeks in the bay and really only dropping the day we left to cross, amazingly yestedays crossing of the bay turned out a motor session and copletely flat moonlit night. Unbelievable how quick the sea state died down. Not sure if the tide helped flatten it out after the blow because we had a good 1.5kts of tide from behind too.
More elon musk satellites went over head last night and arthur got 4 networks to connect to 90nm offshore :) Crazy.
Mixed forecast for the rest of the trip, so could be light going along the coast until sunday afternoon and then strong upwind to sail towards the beach ready for a morning reach across papaguyo gulf the next windy bay or we could be doing the same with more breeze than expected this evening. Everyone is looking forward to a bit of sailing now but most important thing is to keep theboat in good conditions so trying to avoid as much sea state as possible by hogging the coast in the windy section. ETA in Quepos costa Rica is the 14th 0400.
Started off today with some motoring in very hot sunny condtions and sea has been very flat all morning. WE hit the wind line at midday and now are beating upwind towards the coast of nicaragua. Winds are blowing 15-20kts from 160TWD at the mo which feels like a sea breeze. Expecting as we get further up the coast the wind is going to shift more from the NE, so trying to time it so we are up by the coast by the evening around midnight. We will then head along close to the coast in gladual building breeze as the early hours and morning go on. We hope to time our crossing of the windiest part of the papaguyo gulf once the land has heated up a bit and the sea breeze counteracts the normal wind. ETA in costa rica early hrs on the 14th. Luckily the wind has dropped for an hr nowso matt is cooking the fish arthur whipped out yesterday so we are fed for the windy session tonight.
All good onboard.
Well we poked our nose out into the breeze in Papaguyo today around 1000. Breeze started pretty much as forecast this morning and down the ttrack but as the morning went on the breeze gradually got stronger and stronger and 10kts over prediction. After getting some 30 kt susstained winds we decided that the forecast was out by quite a bit and after a big 43k puff we dropped the mainsail, jibed around and headed back down wind. We headed for a marina called marina puesta del sol about 20nm away from where the breeze picked up. Fruity sailing!
Safe on on the dock in Nicaragua.
We left nicaragua yesterday at 0630 on route for Panama. Its been a long wait for the wind to drop down. We Expected light in the morning and gradually increasing as the day went on. Forecast for the strong stuff to drop down as the day went on. The forecast was spot on. We had 15kts and it built to 25kts on the windy stretch. Dead flat wter with the boat eating upo the miles at 23kts boatspeed. Awesome sailing. It latest about 1.5hrs the breezy section. We kept to our plan of hugging the shore until the windy section to be shore there were no surprises before we headed offshore to the Papaguyo bay. Super nice dark, clear stary night and flat sea's. you could not have asked for a better croissing after the week of 30-40kts.
Great little marina in Nicaragua and they really looked after us there. Even guided us out the channel this morning at low tide so we didn't hit any of the shallow patches. The guy who built the marina and hotel complex 20+ years ago had over 400 employees for the 1000Acres and nice complex he owns but a few years ago Nicaragua got hurt bad financially and the US currently recommend not to stop in Nicaragua which has also impacted on the tourism. So the place was litrally empty and we were the only people there. Very strange hanging out in the empty buildings but still a beautiful and well maintained place.
Pete Cumming flew in to help us through this windy section and the windy section up to panama in a couple of days. He's lived on MOD70's and ORMA's for the last few years so we will soak up some of his knowledge.
Thai curry for dinner last night which went down a treat for everyone. We are all suyper happy to be past the closed door and on route for Pamama. Alex our panama agent is on stby to hit the go button for us. He has all our doc's and we will get the inspection monday morning with the hope to go through on wednesday or thrusday. He said no delays at present so lets hope things dont change.
We may well be on a fishing mission when the breeze dies down this evening, so bring on the mai mai.
Well its been a very flat day today as expected. Last night was forecast squally rain clouds/thunder but we got lucky and managed to put our tow down with the tide and dodge most of the clouds. We got the biggest puffy clouds at 0100 and luckily lightning did not materialise despite us having all our phones and Navionics ipads charged ready for navigating with all the other electronics turned off. When its really bad lightning its a worry the carbon rig will get hit and then blowout all the batts and electronics so we planned to unplug everything last night. This coast gets some really fullon lightning and squally stuff but we just got a nice free boat wash at 0300.
Look to be approaching the strong head breeze tonight at around midnight. Little battle to get round the corner then hope the breeze will drop down slightly for some nice upwind sailing to Panama. Expected to arrive lunchtime tomorrow .
We left panama yesterday after a super sweet expedited, commando style transit of the canal. Arrived in Panama, Inspection the next day then went through with one dayu to wait.
Due to having a small slot to nudge north before the breeze kicked in hard again, we left straight away for Jamaica to try avaoid the worst of the breeze off columbia.
We had a nice sail in flattish water yesterday and today has been a lot lumpier as the breeze has been increasing up the track. Plan was to head for Jamaica and pick up Matt but looking at the forecast we think its best to push on to avoid being stuck for a week. THe trades really kick back in next week and we need to hot foot it and try to reach puerto rico or USVI before they kick in.
Expecting some rain and squalls tonight so will be reefed down before dark. Kai has prepped food so we can get some grub in before the wind picks up.
All good onboard. Sorry for short and sweet email, but a bit lumpy to elaborate too much:)
Hard sailing last night and today with pretty messy step sea state at times. The wind gods were good to us last night though and the thunerstorms nd 30-40kt squalls expected did not happen. We had between 18 - 24kt of breeze at 60 TWA all night and today. The boatand us had a good old bash around. These upwind conditions are very testing or your body and the sea sickness factor on these boats with the weird motion. Balance between enough power to lock her in and not be flopping around and not too much to smash the boat to bits in the waves. Traveller is your friend and best way to calm things down. We had 1 reef, traveller 2m down track and staysail most the night.
We decided to carry on despite being so close to jamaica just to give us head start on the breeze in the windward passage starting tomorrow. ONly have 200L of fuel becaue expected a stop in jamaica so we will have to use it sparingly.
All good onboard now the sea has dropped at last and we managed to tuck into some grub .
We were sailing up until midnight last night when the wind dropped below 7kts and started to go funky in direction with all the squally rain clouds around. We had a few free boat wash downs after starting the motor and heading E towards dominican republic which was nice. The boat was crusty with salt after the bash upwind. Although the wind dropped last night the sea state certainly didn't we have been motoring into big old swell from straight ahead all night. Its been slowing us down slightly and using more of our fuel but the sound of that engine and ambient noise has been a gem for sleeping off watch. We have all managed to catch up now after tthe lack of sleep on the first coupe of days which is awesome.
Due to the fact we were stopping in jamaica we only stuck in 200L of fuel so we are going to be really tight on fuel to make DR. The plan is to do a crew change over in DR and then try to nudge E towards Antigua. The trades are supposed to kick in hard again later in the week so we might only end up making USVI, however we will be ready to take the slot when it comes.
220nm to DR
then 290nm to USVI
then 180nm to Antigua
All good onboard and us salty, smelly dudes are about to take some transome showers:)
Comms onboard went down between DR and Antigua unfortunately.