Only spending one night in the Las Perlas islands was a bit of a shame, but the weather looked too good to miss, so we're now on our way from Panama, bound for the Galapagos. We really do want to sail most of the way and there might not be another chance for some while, so we left Isla Contadora at 14.00 yesterday. We set up both poles while at anchor, it's so much easier that way, but we looked like a trawler as we headed out to sea! Once clear of the islands both genoas were set giving 6.5 to 8.0 kts. The storm jib was also hanked on the cutter stay while at anchor, but we didn't expect use it. As the wind started to increase just before dusk, the storm jib was hoisted and flown inside the 2 genoas. By 23.00, both genoas had been rolled away and we were making 5.5 to 8.0 kts under just the storm jib. The winds were 25 to 30 kts and the seas came up, to 10 to 12 feet, and started breaking. So we rocked and rolled all night, but maintained a good speed. It's now 14.00 and we have sailed 150.8 miles in the last 24 hours. The wind dropped this morning and is now at a more comfortable 15 - 20 kts. The seas are calmer, but we're still getting 2 or 3 big waves every now and then and the boat surfs as they go underneath us.
A group of about 5 boats, including us, have set up an SSB radio net for 12.00 each day, so boats can call in and give their position and weather reports. We are the first of the 5 boats to leave. The others are either still provisioning in Panama City or spending more time in Las Perlas. One of these boats is a 50ft trawler type motor boat, so he wants the exact opposite weather conditions to us - no wind and smooth seas. He's hoping to follow us in the middle of next week when the winds are forecast to drop right down again.