Isla Linton 09.36.8N79.35.4W

Salsa af Stavsnas
Ellinor Ristoff Staffan Ehde
Thu 28 Mar 2013 23:47
5477Nautical Miles from home, if we fly the shortes way. 9 degrees above the equator, wich means that nine times 60minutes  equals 540nM.
Leaving Panama going to the Galapagos we will actually go down to 0 degrees wich a less fun experience.
The area around the equator is known for little wind and thunderstorms.
But let's talk about today. We left Kuna Yala and headed out to sea. We had to tack eastward first to clear a  lot of coral reefs, and as we approached the Caribean sea with all the swell the waves grew intensely. We actually had to wear life harness, as the waves crashed on the boat.
But once we headed out at sea and got more water under the keel the waves got a little bit nicer, but still big.
As the wind was brisk we actually had an average speed of 6,8 knots including leaving harbour and working our way in to Isla Linton.
As we rounded Punta Manzanillo we worked our way into a channel between Isla Linton and mainland of Panama.
Getting here is adviced to be done in daylight and that was more than important. Big lines floating from everywhere and some fishfarms made the entry very tricky and even with a person by the bow the lines appeared just before us.
Now we are anchored and we can see Panama Mainland for the first time. Here it is some rainforest all the way into the water and we can hear screaming birds or monkeys. We cannot tell the difference. Isla Linton would have been nice to visit but our pilot says that only monkeys live here.
And as they will approach visitors for food they get very agressive when you are about to leave or have no more food.
Our plan tomorrow is to go to Colon, we will see how that goes. The wetaher is very unstable, you can tell from the forecast, our program Meteocom was the one that gave the best prediction for today. The other sources where either to much or to little wind (Chris Parker on Shortwave  radio is very good but today he was not really right), but that is more to worry than to complain, because that means it can turn out either way.
You might be curious how the children cope with a day like this. It is actually a hard day for them, mostly because everybody has been spoiled for 17 days sailing behind the reefs in Kuna Yala. It is like being in the Stockholm archipellago and suddenly be thrown out in the ocean.
Andreas gets seasick for a while, then he goes down, plays with something and comes up again and has to check the horizon. But he does not throw up. Erika had a little sense of seasickness today but she can do very well most of the time.
The adults? Well Ellinor has her seasickness medicine that she takes as a plaster behind the ear. And that helps, but she cannot go down and do anything. So if we are sailing a day or two I have to do all the ground service from the galley. I have no problem below, but I was really tired today, had a hard time to sleep last night since I knew we had to have a good tactic to cross the waves that come ashore from the entire stretch of the Caribean sea. You might think it looks small, but the fetch is 1000nM from the Lesser Antilles. With the stady strong tradewinds the wavetrains have developed quite big by Panama shores.
We will all sleep well tonight...