logo Mystic
Date: 15 Mar 2012 02:52:03
Title: First over night passage


Now listen up, the Captain speaking.

It was a dark and stormy night and the Captain said to the mate, "Once you've cleared the sick off the side deck, would you mind turning off the refridgerator?" Bravely, the first mate went below and came up greener than before.

Although we were well and truly ready to move on from Bocas, our 'extra' day in Bocas was, in hind-sight, a good thing as we got to go snorkel a small reef in the harbour, have our first dinner at anchor and then have better wind and waves to Colon.


Post snorkel bliss

After helping an English Gentleman off the dock, who was not confident in his crew or whether he could turn the boat around an arc that a bus could have fit through, we set off on our first over night passage to Colon, expecting to take 28 hours. (God help the English Gentleman on the rest of his journey). We were confident in the rigging and hull, but in the back off our mind, we'd always been led to believe that the seacocks were dodgy. (For those not in the know, a seacock is brass through hull tap to water below). If one of these broke, we'd have water spewing up a 2 inch hole into the boat. Anyway we set off into 8 knot, 35 degrees apparent, and were soon making a healthy 5 knots into an 8 foot swell. This continued till just before sunset.

After a 15 minute lull, the trade winds filled in, 15 knots from the NE, which built and built to almost 30 knots coming into Colon 23 hours after starting. We'd originally planned a 3 hour watch system, with me settling into the 10pm-1am shift and Jo sleeping. But after 2 hours, I was quite happy for Jo to relieve me at 12 as she couldn't sleep. When she came up, she couldn't believe the noise you get down below, slamming into waves, water running by etc. Knowing this, I set myself up in the aft cabin, which is the quietest and snuggist and managed 1 hours sleep. Then a fitfull 45 mins thinking each wave could pop open a thru-hull fitting and how we'd plug the hole. (In reality I think all the seacocks are sound as a pound).

I returned on deck for my second stint to which Jo went very silent and promptly threw up over the side. She then told me that seeing me made her throw up. I'd like to think there were other factors.

My second watch was great fun. Cracked off to 60 degrees apparent, 2 reefs in the main and genoa, with squalls of up to 30 knots, we hit 8 knots boat-speed, averaging 7. (This is fast uphill for a floating caravan). Singing out hits from the 80s. The boat felt very balanced and safe. Meanwhile Jo, also discovered the calmness of the aft cabin and had to be woke up 20 mins into her shift. We may need to re-negociate where the guests sleep on passage. [Geoff and Jamie].

The final part into Colon was the worst conditions, but personally I found it fun: close-hauled, 8 foot seas bouncing off the seawall and 28 knots steady of wind and using anchored cargo ships

I almost forgot. One lost lure. The leader was mangled with many teeth marks. I'm going to use steel leader next time. Then in the morning, we picked up 4-odd flying fish from the cockpit and one from Jo's shorts. The largest became bait for my next fishing and fairly soon, the line was pulling, but all that came back was the flying fish head :-(.


Trais Sérieux




Shelter Bay Marina, behind a wall of water


Jo bouncing back from another episode


The Calm before the storm (aka Trades).


Perfect sai trim!

Diary Entries