En Route to Panama
So, on our way again, duly rested and recuperated
and delighted to have seen families, grandchildren, friends and so
on. I was also so pleased to be cold, to walk Weasle, Willow, Mossy and
Pippin, to enjoy baths, to see the snowdrops pushing through and generally to be
amongst people I love.
Our return flight to Curacao on the 27th was
uneventful but 10 hours in the back of a crowded 747 never seems to
improve. Ares was back in the water when we reached her, looking smart
with her newly cleaned and antifouled bottom. We celebrated
Peter's birthday with dinner out at the Rodeo restaurant,a nearby Argentinian
steakhouse. In the morning we discovered that there was an
exellent local supermarket which opened
on Sunday mornings and so we were able to restock on
perishables. We need Peter Holden back to manage our purchasing - we seem
to have bought enough chicken to see us across the Pacific! Jim and Katie,
a charming American couple, came on board for what we had intended as pre-dinner
drinks and finally left us to prepare a rather late meal at 1030!
On Monday morning we were relieved to find that the new roller furler
swivel had arrived thanks to the efforts of Ashley, the rigger in Antigua.
This was finally fitted on Monday afternoon, too late for us to want to leave
They say that things always happen in threes.
Tuesday am 0700 we realised that the yard still had our spare keys - delay
1. Having recovered them and started up we found that we had no throttle
control. It turned out that the cable had broken during the move back to
the berth after anti-fouling. Fortunately we found a replacement and after
much effort, re-wiring to make space for it and so on the engine was back in
business - delay 2. And the third? During our rewiring we had
shorted out the bow thruster which was now dead. The blown fuze is in the
thruster itself which is underneath the floor of the sail locker - a mountain of
gear to remove and a floor to remove all to replace a fuze. Why would you
put the bloody thing there? All done though and we set off at
Our course took us past the northern side of Aruba
to a waypoint some 50nm north of Punta Gallinas, chosen to keep us out of the
rough water around the Colombian coast. We raced along with 30 knots of
wind and the current under us. In the early hours of Thursday the wind
fell back and the pace came off although the current was still helping.
Today Friday we have good wind back again although the favourable current is no
more. MB has been struck by a flying fish but this is all the life we have
seen apart from a cruise ship on Wednesday night and a freighter this
morning. Sea-me is silent. We are now on the last leg to Panama
with fewer than 300 nms to go. With luck we may have time to pay
a brief visit to the San Blas islands before meeting Tim Farquar on 12th
when he joins us for the trip through the canal and on to the Galapagos.
It will be great to have a third on board as this is all quite tiring with just
two of us.
Best wishes from us