positiion N08 24.675 W79 05.489
Ocean Rival Journey Log
Adam Power Diana Power
Wed 21 Dec 2016 02:53
1st day at sea out of Panama and couldn't have been better sailing conditions. 15 Knots on the port quarter giving 6-7 knots boat speed in calm water.
We had another disaster yesterday after sorting out the exit stamps for our passports. We returned to the marina where we had left the dinghy (delayed somewhat as I had left my laptop case with all my papers at the duty free shop and had to retrace my steps in sweltering heat to retieve it). The dinghy was no longer boat shaped but a soggy mess with outboard lying half in the water. What on earth could have caused the thing to develp such a substantial leak was not apparent. I imagined foul play- the marinas are all eye wateringly expensive in Panama City and they charge for use of the dinghy dock. As the gate was open and no-one around to take payment I thought we could sneak a quick couple of hours without payment. Had a vindictive marina scout spotted the unpaid for dinghy and given it a quick jab?
To make matters worse I had left the air pump on board OR so had no means of re-flating. Luckily the yacht that we shared a lock with through the canal was in the marina and the Rival owning crew member (we ha met at Shelter Bay) was able to lend me their pump.
It was a hard row back to OR (water logged outboard not working) with rapidly reducing pressure. Just made it before all crew, papers and shopping subsided into the briny.
After reflating Dad rowed back with the borrowed pump and I motored across to pick him up. We were all ready to set off when we realised that no dinghy would seriously hamper our options for the rest of the trip so we motored across to the beach and made a quick dash with soggy dinghy to see if a replacement could be found. All 3 chandlers in the marina complex drew a blank but a fishing specialist had a couple of very nice ones ($2500!) but overlarge for storage. They offered to bring a smaller one over from Panama City but would have to be in the morning. I ordered it hoping I would be able to repair ours overnight but a thorough search with soapy water failed to produce telltale bubbles. Still mistified we reset the anchor for the night.
In the morning I thummed a lift with a passing dinghy. Hung around the shop waiting for the delivery and eventually returned with smart new dinghy (small but well designed with full alumium floor) which had its maiden trip rowing back to the anchorage. So the eventual departure was around 11.00am.
The lovely sail was slightly spoiled by our overly stiff rudder which is preventing the Aries wind vane from doing its job. I am hoping that it will ease with more use.
Tonights anchorage (Isla Pedro Gonzales) is marked in the guide as an uninhabited inlet but appeared in the twilight as a brand new marina still under construction. We have anchored off in nice still water-hoping they won't come and skewer the hull while we sleep for lack of anchor fee payment.