English Update on the Way to Cayos Tigre (eng) 6./7.2.2012

Tue 7 Feb 2012 20:04
9:12.6539N 81:55.6436W
Sailing to Cayos Tigre, Panama
6./7. February 2012

Yes, I know, it's probably not fair, so many German blog entries in a row!
But it was a special occasion as my German friend was visiting.
And although most of my German friends and family understand English pretty well, it's not the same reading a blog in a foreign language or in your Mother tongue. So every now and then I have to make an exception.
Well, and I must admit, that sometimes it's also just more fun for me to write in my native language. I'm sure our English readers understand and still enjoy the pictures. :-)
Whenever possible, I try to have more pics then text anyway. Personally, I enjoy reading that much more.

That said, here's a quick update of our last 3 weeks:
We kept working hard on Andromeda for about 10 days, eager to leave the bug infested dock and get her ready for my German friend.
She's never been on a boat before, and also hadn't spent more than 2 nights away from her family with 3 kids in the last 10 years, so it was very exciting in every aspect.
We had a great mix of little trips ashore and with Andromeda, with hikes in the jungle and along beaches, long swims, nice snorkels, enjoying nice meals aboard and in the local restaurants and some partying.
Though the rainy time is supposed to be over, we're still having many showers and overcast day. Fortunately, it wasn't too bad and there was still enough heat and sun to make that week a great escape from German winter and snow.
There's not much wind here in this corner of the Caribbean, but on our trip to Zapatilla keys, we could even set the screecher and caught two fish, a little tuna and a little shark! The later one was lucky as we let it back into the water.

After Karine left, we were busy with catching up on more work and getting ready to head off direction San Blas.
My parents are coming beginning of March to cross the Panama Canal with us.
Before, we want to meet up with some friends in the San Blas and have to be in Shelter Bay Marina, near Colon, by the 22nd the latest.
We had to have a new sail drive imported from Miami and Andromeda must come out of the water for the installation and also some new antifouling paint for the bottom.
Also, the generator and now in addition also one starter motor need repair and we're hoping for capable mechanics and electricians in Colon.
In order to pass the canal, we'll definitely need both engines working well.
We could live without the generator for a while. We mainly need it for the water maker, washing machine and dive compressor. The frequent showers keep our water tanks nicely filled and we certainly can live without the other two devices for a while.
The other thing it's good for, is to charge up our batteries. The working starboard engine also does the job, but not quite as effectively. And with so many clouds and so little wind, wind generator and solar panel are just not enough.

But live is still good on Andromeda, and we left on the 6th direction East.
Wind was better than forecasted and we managed to sail most of the 20nm to Cayos Tigre. Originally, we wanted to anchor in the Laguna Bluefield and check out the lovely hikes through the remote villages (there are no streets connecting them with any bigger town in Panama) and the jungel.
Ufortunately, by the time we did all our errands and stocked up we would have arrived too late in the day, with too little sun.
Groceries and fuel is becoming a major problem at the Bocas del Toro islands due to a strike on the mainland.
The Indians cut off all roads around and no traffic from Costa Rica and Panama City is coming through. From what we heard, they are demanding the money the Government had promised them for giving away mining rights on their land.
So we left with lots of tetra packs and tins and very little fresh produce, and 1l gas Michael found in the corner of a shop.

Cayos Tigre are three beautiful, rocky, tiny islands with lush vegetation.
Anchorage was a bit rolly, but not too bad for the Catamaran. We would have loved to stay and explored the islands snorkeling and maybe continue to Laguna Bluefields. But at 3am, one shower followed the next, so that we gave up around 11pm and set sail to Escudo de Veraguas, an almost uninhabited islands 20nm SE.

We arrived here well, it's gorgeous.
More about it tomorrow, as dinner is ready!

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