First days out from Panama.

Fri 27 Mar 2009 07:19
N/N on 26th March 06:53n 80:00w
Can someone email me if this position does not show up in google.
I would like everyone rreading this to know that we bought a second PC, the dell that was supposed to do this job has ceased to speak to the outside world, and life is too short for me to waste any more timeon it. I spent many hours sitting outside a bar in panama, borrowing their electricity, and internet connection to set this one up, all with 0 help from mailasail, as usual!
We left Panama as planned, well after changing out the starter motor, (Volvo engines are terrible!) and sailed off into flat calm seas on the way to the Las perlas islands about 35 nm away. The sea was absolutely mirror flat, which meant that we could see the whales very clearly, as well as lots of fish eating the dust lying on the surface of the water.   Having motored the entire way, we arriverd at Isla Bayona, a very pretty anchorage, palm trees, deserted sandy beach. The plan was, anchor down, all ashore and set up camp for the night.
Ina had rustled up dinner to cook over the fire, and all our camping gear, and as we loaded it into the dinghy, the wind sprang up and the anchor started to drag.
After a little thought we decided to shift anchorages to Isla Pedro Gonzales, Amanda being most concerned in case there would be people there to spoil it.So up anchor in the 15kts of breeze, and up with the sails. After 100 mtrs of sailing, the wind stopped. no exageration, it just stopped. motor on then and off we go. 
On arrival at the little bay it was a perfect spot, more sandy beach, palm trees, no one else but us. Anchor down, into the boat and onto the beach. Fantastic, much running up and down to explore, then a great fire pit was dug,and father sttruggled to light the fire in the rising breeze that sprung up as I pulled out the matches!
Coconut husks are great kindling, I would recommend them to anyone trying to start a fire on a beach! Fire lit, food cooked, Simon set off to find out if there was any burried treasure. There was, he found sweets, and half a bottle of rum, presumeably left by some passing pirate.
By the time it was bed time, many stories had been swaped round the fire, but the wind was increasing,and the tide was going out rapidly. The decending tide was not really  of concern, apart from the fact that when we anchored I was about 600 mtrs off the beach, in 6 mtrs of water. Now there was 25 kts of wind blowing directly onto the beach, and the boat was about 300 mtrs from the waterline. Very saddly it was decided that we coluld not stay there, and would have to pack up and leave. 
This was done very quickly, and the crew performed magnificently in getting the anchor up and sailing away from the beach. Once again as soon as I put up the sails (inthe dark by now of course 2300) the wind dropped down to 13 kts, but it was blowing in the right direction, so off we went.
A pleasant night sail throught the islands, there is an amazing amount of phosforessence? in the water (as we pas through it positively glows) last night there was so much one could see the tracks of the fish as they swam out of our way.
Much to my concern as I am sail through these islands,at night, the survey is not very recent, or very good. Ahead of me I see what appears to be breaking water, bear in mind it is about 0200 & very dark and there is a large patch (100mtrss in dia) of white water ahead. Radar on, another check of the echo sounder, maps. I am convinced that there is no way there is anything ahead of us so I steer (under sail) to just pass the edge of the white patch.
As we pass alongside, the entire patch starts to glow very brightly, and then undulate away from us. It is a shoal of fish feeding on the water, and disturbing the biolumesence. One could actually see the fish underwater, so bright was the effect.
Since then we have been sailing, or motoring in anywhere from 0 to 9 kts of breeze. Thank you southy for and excellent sail in the code 0! We currently have a full main up, the code 0, and 8 kts of breeze at 120 from the port side, and are on track for the Galapagos at 6.3 kts. Both kids are asleep in the cockpit, there is no cloud, not a light in sight, Ina has just gone off watch and it is 0216. Time to try and send this by sat phone!!
Oh yes, we sail through an area this afternoon where the sea was completly red. Very strange, we pulled out several buckets of sea water, but could not see anything, but the water did smell very fishy. Dinner tonight was provided by Simon, a small, but tasty tuna, filleted and cooked by Ina.