08:27.50N 78:59.9W With Wild Berry in Viveros

Wed 23 Mar 2016 16:10

08:27.50N 78:59.9W With Wild Berry in Viveros.


17th March 2016. Wild Berry is a baby blue coloured 74 foot Sunreef Catamaran, number one of her type built in Poland. Andrew and Sadie are the English skipper and hostess for the Texan owners. They came alongside in a canopied tender and invited us aboard for supper the following day.

Panic set in, what could we take them? We were out of wine, running short on beer and had no fresh fruit left!

Then along came our saviours in the form of three local fishermen who sold us two fine Spanish Mackerel. They wanted $4 for one but then we only had a ten dollar note, so instead of giving us change they gave us another fish!

When Sadie and Andrew returned from dropping a friend off in Contadora for the ferry back to Panama we gave them one of the fish. Perfect.

Next morning we went ashore to explore and found a track leading up to the aggregate road at the top of the island. In the growing heat we walked in the direction of the airstrip which shows up on one of Eric Bauhaus’s satellite photos of the island. But what we found was a quarry and more tracks. We also heard a generator running but as it was becoming very hot so we backtracked to the beach.

If there is development under way on the island it must be on the north shore.

Back with Zoonie we took cleaning gear into the tender and gave her white topsides a thorough clean after her Panama Canal experience had left oil and rubber residue marks. It was a pleasant bit of exercise, one of us holding the tender in and the other washing, then swapping over for the rinsing.

That job done we went for a well earned cooling dip swimming around Zoonie a couple of times. I always feel safe if I am swimming alongside her hull, out of sight of 50% of the local preditors anyway.

The intense heat of the afternoon called for relaxation in the shady cockpit as we sat in this lovely bay.

At 5.05pm we motored over to Wild Berry and sat at the dining table in the cockpit for drinks and canapes. Then Sadie showed us around below and Andrew took us around the decks.

Sadly there have been numerous problems with Wild Berry being the first of her kind. The mainsail is away for repairs. The damage being caused by the poorly designed rigging layout. The owners and crew have had to put off their Pacific crossing twice because of the problems and hopes for a crossing this season are fading. I feel their frustration.

The easy conversation continued over Sadie’s delicious home-made pizzas and salads. Andrew gave us the co-ordinates of a rock in the anchorage at San Jose Island that is not shown in the Bauhaus Guide. Wild Berry found it the ‘hard’ way on her way in there. Fortunately they are both scuba instructors and were able to fill the dent in the starboard keel with under-water epoxy while she was anchored there.

What seemed like a few minutes later we checked our watches and found it was nearly two o’clock in the morning. We thanked them both for a great evening and motored back to Zoonie in the light of the waxing moon. Maybe we will meet again in Polynesia, I hope so, we’d love to meet Wild Berry’s owners as Sadie and Andrew painted such a glowing picture of them.