Day 106, Year 1: Headed to the San Blas Islands, Panama
Date: Tuesday, January 31, 2006
Air Temperature: 82 degrees F
Water Temperature: 80 degrees F
Latitude: N 12 degrees 42 minutes
Longitude: W 69 degrees 22 minutes
Location: Passage from Curacao to Panama, Day 1

We left Spanish Waters in Curacao at 0830 this morning, so we are 8 hours into our passage. If we average 120 miles per day, the trip to the San Blas will take us 7 days or just 168 hours to go! So sometime early next week we should be making our way through the coral reefs of the San Blas islands. I explained in an earlier log that we are going about 200 miles out of our way to avoid the nasty weather along the Columbian coast. We also decided to skip Aruba since we will be taking extra days to reach the San Blas. If Bonaire was “snorkel ’til you drop”, Aruba is “shop ’til you drop” and probably not our kind of place. It’s a great place to fly into and makes a great cruise ship stop, but is not a “must see” for most cruisers. Maybe we will fly there someday.

Today’s sailing has been great but as we get further away from Curacao, the seas are building. We just finished listening to Herb’s weather report and he tells us the seas will calm down some tomorrow through Friday, but he is also telling us that we might need to go even further north to stay out of very windy conditions south of 15 degrees N. We’ll be almost half way to the Dominican Republic before we can head south to Panama. Maybe we should take a little side trip!

Sailing was so smooth along the coast of Curacao earlier today that I was able to make salmon cakes, boiled eggs, and fried chicken in a wine sauce to put in the freezer as “fast food” options if the weather deteriorates. It’s always nice to be able to pull something out of the freezer that just needs to be warmed rather than trying to cook when things are rough. On Sunday I made pasta salad and key lime pie, so we will be set for a few days.

Last night we went to Happy Hour at Sarifundy’s. We met some new people and said good-bye to those we had met on Friday night. There are at least two boats in Spanish Waters that will be heading to the San Blas and on to the Panama Canal. Islay will probably leave later this week for the San Blas, and today when listening to Herb we heard from Songster in Curacao leaving tomorrow morning and heading our way. Looks like we will have company in the San Blas. We said our farewells to Tory and Piet Hein Elshove from Double Dutch, to Susan Leader and Wayne Wilson from Day Dream, and Bob Gause from Kathryn. Bob is from Winterport, Maine, and has the best dinghy name I have seen yet. It is R-A-A-B-I-D which stands for Rational Adults Against Bush’s Idea of Democracy. He “borrowed” the name from a bumper sticker that was very popular in Maine a couple of years ago. Bob will be sailing to Cartagenia in a few weeks and have his boat taken out of the water and stored on land while he flies back to Maine to refill the cruising coffers. Susan and Wayne are from Vancouver Island and are slowly working their way back home. They invited us to visit Day Dream after Happy Hour. It is a 50 foot aluminum boat and they just finished most of the interior themselves. They did a fantastic job and the boat looks great. We will keep in touch with Susan and Wayne, and Bob, via radio.

When I went into Willemstad yesterday to check out, I had hoped to be able to e-mail pictures to the website. Unfortunately, I could check e-mail but could not send anything. I left a memory stick with Susan on Day Dream and she is going to try and get the pictures sent for us. If she is successful, those of you who just have to see the picture of “the rat” should get your wish in a couple of days. If she cannot get them sent, it will be about 3 weeks before we will reach our next internet caf� site in Panama. Hopefully Susan will be successful and you will not have to wait.

Day 107, Year 1: Headed to the San Blas Islands, Panama
Day 105, Year 1: Preparing to Leave Curacao