Now in San Blas Islands.....and the new experience of not having electronic charts

Sea Mist > Sold to New Owners July 2016
John and Cheryl Ellsworth
Fri 29 Jan 2010 14:34

08 49.68 N  077 37.93 W

Arrived yesterday, Thursday, afternoon at 2 pm local time after a distance travelled of 936 nm in 4 days, 21 hours for an average of 192 nm per day so another FAST passage for Sea Mist even though we had it over reefed most of the time to be conservative and to try to slow things down for a safe arrival time at Cartagena.


Heavy seas as we approached the Panama coast made it a bit interesting in navigating the entrance to where we wanted to anchor in an inlet where we would be out of the rollers. The challenge was new to us as we have always had excellent, reliable, detailed electronic charts in all of our sailing over the past 4.5 years until now when we have nothing for detail here in these eastern San Blas Islands where navigation is demanding given all the reefs and rocks in these shallow waters. We do have an excellent cruising guide book that provides navigational details but that requires inputting reference points accurately onto our electronic charting and, most importantly, using our eyes to interpret what is below the water. Seeing into the water will require us to move when the sun is high in the sky and behind us as we approach the intended anchorages these next couple of weeks.


We were all pleased to have everything work perfectly on Sea Mist without any failures or problems of any kind on this passage; a most pleasant change from the recent Chesapeake to Caribbean passage.


We are now trying to locate our Canadian friends on Kilkea II whom we are hoping to meet up with for this next stage of Panama and Pacific experiences.


DTG to the Panama Canal entrance at Colon: 160 nm ( The next 100 nm covers our San Blas Islands cruising ground and then direct to Canal Entrance)