Full Crew

Blue Sky's Voyage
George & Michael
Sat 14 Nov 2009 17:33
Hello Friends                        "9:33.8N 78:51.8W"
We're pleased to report that Alex arrived on schedule last Saturday morning so we now have our full trans-Pacific crew on board. The airport at Porvenir covers the full length of the island where we picked him up and the plane stopped with a good 30 metres to spare before falling off into the sea... but Alex managed to retain his composure! We waited until we heard the aircraft approaching before getting out of bed and collecting him from the jetty just a few metres away - possibly the most civilised airport pickup on the planet.
We're also pleased to report that Alex was successful in sourcing the new Blue Sky camera - a Lumix FZ35 - with which we hope to provide some great photos of the Pacific islands in due course.
We had been running a little short of supplies as Alex arrived, but just when things were getting critical we chanced on a supply boat by the airport island and the following day, another supply boat came up to us in our present anchorage. These shots show the grocery shopping, Kuna style with Blue Sky Executive Chef George supervising the purchases - on the left: the jetty at Porvenir island; on the right: tied up astern of Blue Sky.
So now we're OK for just about any fruit & veg and of course fish and lobster. Last night we were pleased to rendezvous with Petr on 'Endless' who very kindly provided several bags of shopping delivered from Colon.
What else can we report? We eventually found 'Lisa' one of the few Master Mola Makers here in the San Blas. The cruising guide describes Lisa as 'an infamous transvestite' which we think is a touch harsh. The Kuna have no prejudice against gay members of their community, though gay Kuna tend to fulfil the female role and dress appropriately and are good at traditional female tasks like sewing molas. We were impressed with Lisa's work and acquired several more molas as can be seen here.
The 'scissors' mola was specially acquired for Matt, who is obviously in need of a haircut now, but who is resisting our suggestions manfully.
We've ordered a new anchor chain which is coming from Florida and a new gypsy (the bit on the windlass which grips the chain) from Sint Maarten. We're also getting a new AIS transceiver ** which we hope will be of assistance on our ocean crossing and a new windmill to replace our dead Air-X. But all that doesn't make for good photos, so here's a typical view around Blue Sky at  the moment. This was taken on 18x zoom from a rocking deck, so the new camera is proving its worth already...
(** AIS is the automatic radio data-swapping system which is compulsory for larger vessels and which provides vessel details and course and speed - it thus enables your instruments to calculate 'closest point of approach' and gives the vessel name so you can call easily by VHF if you're worried that the ship hasn't seen you.)
We like this shot - it gives you a feel of the gentle pace of life here and the gentle nature of the Kuna.
The next view from the stern of Blue Sky shows you the tenuous nature of Kuna living - only a few centimetres above sea level - though the fact that we're in an earthquake zone is more of a threat to the islands than allegedly rising sea levels. I guess you tie the hammock a bit higher on the coconut palm if you're getting wet.
Finally we have to end on a sad note this blog and report the recent death of Barbara Jiggins after a short illness. Barbara was one of our much loved 'Golden Girls' who have visited us in Mallorca, Antigua, St Kitts and this year in the BVIs - the most frequent visitors to Blue Sky. Barbara will be sadly missed, but always remembered for the good times we enjoyed together.
That's all for this blog, we hope the weather improves in the UK (reports look horrid at the moment). We must confess that the weather here is mixed and though it's glorious today, we have enjoyed some days with truly impressive amounts of tropical rainfall... but you don't want to see photos of that!
Best Wishes
George, Michael, Matt and Alex