World ARC - Day 20 - 28th Jan – San Blas Islands to Linton Island

Steve and Lynda Cooke
Fri 29 Jan 2016 15:42

09:36.7N 79:35.2W

World ARC - Day 20 - 28th Jan – San Blas Islands to Linton Island

We woke to he most beautiful day. sheltered in the bay between to four little islands and in 4m of water.We prepared Nina to bring up the anchor, and stowed outboard, dinghy, and got everything ready for the open sea crossing we would have down the coast towards the Panama Canal.

Take Off asked if he could follow us out. He had run aground a few days before, and we think he had scared himself? We were finding our chart soundings were very accurate compared to his, but we take a very conservative course anyway, and think he was pushing his luck. (he had run aground twice, broken his boom and blown out two spinnakers already since St Lucia - he doesn't sail like us!). He got bored following us as we threaded our way back through the channels, and headed directly across a much more shallow (risky?) route to the open sea. The coral reefs and rocks must have been blessing him. He missed all of them.... We wished him luck and fair winds.

Once into the outside of the reef, the swell picked up as the rollers had worked their way crossing the Caribbean. We headed West, and put our sails out in 10 knots of breeze. Widago and Do Over, two of the American Catamarans were just coming down from their anchorage at Lemon Cays, so we formed a nice group of four boats. All the other three boats have children 10 to 13 years old, so it was great to hear the banter. Widago caught a 10 pound king mackerel from the trolling line off the back.

I love the VHF chat from the American boats. Its infectious, with "y'all, come back, agin, yeeha, say what, recon, that's a cert, yup, buddy" etc. Fantastic but slightly dangerous, as the more time you spend talking, the more the temptation grows to drop in similar expressions!

The day progressed, with various sailing boats coming up the opposite way, making the journey interesting. We found a big Swiss Catamaran motor sailing towards our port bow, and had great fun giving them three sets of five loud blasts from our fog horn, before they appeared over the spray hood, blissfully unaware of the hazard they posed, both waving at us as we passed.The coast had changed dramatically, low lying islands and reef giving way to dramatic tropical forest covered rock with lush vegetation, forest and palm trees.

We arrived in the anchorage behind Linton Island, to drop as a group of four amongst a dozen other sailing boats anchored in front of the Marina, between the island and the coast. Very protected and completely calm and still, a fish farm at the entrance, and the sounds of birds and the forest all around. It felt more humid and 'heavy'.

It poured with rain during the night, which washed down Nina beautifully ready for the second half of the trip to Panama tomorrow.........