Doing More With Less

Tags

,

We moved on board Sereno 26 months ago and according to recent articles on the internet we might be millennial’s. Ha okay maybe the age is way off but consider this. We sold everything we owned so we could experience other countries and learn to sail. We don’t buy anything except for what we need for the boat and to survive. We simply cannot fit much in our ‘tiny house’ that is smaller than most hotel rooms. That may be where the comparison ends but we are happy to see the 20 somethings spending less of their money on things and more on enjoying life.

Of course we’ve had to adapt to not having some things we like in order to have the experiences. Fruits and vegetables arrives on a nearby island on Tuesdays and Fridays. To get there we have to take a water taxi which can be fun except the days it is raining cats and dogs with lightening striking all around us. We tend to skip the veggie run those days. Canned corn anyone? We long for a good pizza and an IPA or some french cheese with a nice glass of cabernet. To satisfy some of those cravings our self reliance kicks in. We have perfected making our own pizza that is pretty darn good. I recently learned to make my own greek yogurt and sangria is becoming our signature drink on Sereno. Next up, pie crust so we can make our favorite greek pizza; I always bought a pre-made one. And perhaps ricotta cheese if I can find the right ingredients so we can make some calzones. If we can find some good ground pork to make our own sausage, the captain would be really happy.

Sangria, our signature drink on Sereno

Sangria, our signature drink on Sereno

Fair winds,
Cindy

Cartagena, Columbia

Tags

, , , , , ,

We loved Cartagena, Columbia. We could easily have spent a month there if only we could find an Airbnb in our budget. Great food, awesome latin music and some of the craziest drivers we have seen. And Gary just reminded me, the coffee. Latte, espresso! Gary and I are not fans of Starbucks bitter coffee but Columbian coffee, oh la la!

The hot spot for tourists is the walled city. Cartagena dates back to 1533 and was protected by a wall complete with canons and a drawbridge with moat. Most of the wall and canons are still there but the drawbridge and moat was replaced by a sidewalk. I guess having visitors requesting permission to enter would have been a bit unfriendly. What sets this wall apart from other walled cities we have seen is you can actually walk on top of it.

Walking along the wall gave us a good view of the old city within.

Walking along the wall gave us a good view of the old city within.

The old town within the walled city is very green.  There are several parks and vines and flowers grow off the balconies and walls.

The walled city is very green. There are several parks and vines and flowers grow off the balconies and buildings.

The church in the background is San Pedro Claver Church completed in the first half of the 18th century.

The church in the background is San Pedro Claver completed in the first half of the 18th century.

IMG_0777small

Walking the streets in old town was a bit of a challenge.  The sidewalks were narrow forcing you into the street.  But then we were dodging not only cars but horse and carriages.  Pedestrians DO NOT have the right of way anywhere in Cartagena.  I almost got taken out by a police motorcycle!

Walking the streets in the old city was a bit of a challenge. The sidewalks were narrow forcing you into the street. But then we were dodging not only cars but horse and carriages. Pedestrians DO NOT have the right-of-way anywhere in Cartagena. I almost got taken out by a police motorcycle cutting the inside of a blind corner right by our hotel!

The Clock Tower gate is the main entrance to the walled city.  Completed in 1631 this was the only entrance to the walled city from Getsemani via a drawbridge over a moat.

The Clock Tower Gate is the main entrance to the walled city. Completed in 1631 this was the only entrance to the walled city from Getsemani via a drawbridge over a moat.

As with all latin cities we have visited, the locals come out every night and socialize. This was the local square in Getsemani where we stayed at the Casa Del Toro Hotel. A group of kids were playing a soccer game in front of the local church. We kept looking for Jack T. Colter and Joan Wilder amongst the crowd but they evaded us🙂

We had dinner on this square around the corner from your hotel.

Lucky for Gary they had an ice cream shop where he got a fudge pop dipped in cherries. He did not share😦

We choose to stay right outside the wall in Getsemani.  This is a residential area with many restaurants and bars.  Here is one restaurant right off the square.  Would have loved to have stayed here longer.

We really enjoyed the local scene in Getsemani. Would have loved to stay longer. Too many places to try, not enough time!

Hotel Casa Del Toro was a beautiful 5 room hotel built by two brothers from Ireland. They preserved the old and added in a modern hip feel. We were the only guests there and the staff was awesome and very friendly. The owner is hoping to make this a small intimate venue for music and dancing. The courtyard with pool, bar and surrounding rooms is ideal for this. He even installed a fog machine and disco lights.

Hotel Casa Del Toro

Hotel Casa Del Toro

Health food on the go. Fast, fresh and cheap! We saw this on many street corners in all the Central American cities we visited and now here in South America. Better than a McDonald’s!

His speciality was watermelon and mangos.  They all varied it what they had to offer.

His speciality was watermelon and mangos. They all varied in what they had to offer.

DSC_0243small

These ladies sold fruit by The Clock Tower.  They also walked the streets hoping to get tips for having their picture taken with you.

These ladies sold fruit by The Clock Tower. They also walked the streets hoping to get tips for having their picture taken with you.

We enjoyed one bar in particular where they actually had a knowledgable and creative bartender.

This bar was called Alquimico.  Like most places here, they didn't open until 6:00pm.  The jars you see are all different things marinading.

Alquimico, like most places here, didn’t open until 6:00 pm. The jars you see are all the drink ingredients marinading.

We actually stayed up well past cruisers midnight (9:00 pm for our non sailing friends) to check out two clubs for some sassy latin music. The first was Donde Fidel in the old city where a local gentleman tried to teach me some salsa steps. Needless to say, I have to go on YouTube for lessons lol. The second was the historic Havana Club in Getsemani. This had a live eight piece band. No dancing here but we had a good time people watching with a front row seat to the band.

The Havana Club in Getsemani.

The Havana Club in Getsemani.

Inside the Havana Club.

Inside the Havana Club.

They only served Heineken beer.  Columbia has their own beer so what the heck!

The Havana Club only served Heineken beer. Columbia has their own beer so what the heck!

Havana Club 8 piece band with 2 lead singers.  All dressed in blue shirts and pink ties.  No torn jeans and t-shirts here.

The Havana Club 8 piece band with 2 lead singers. All dressed in blue shirts and pink ties. No torn jeans and t-shirts here.

We ended up in the Clock Tower Pub for two hour waiting out a storm.  Not a bad place to be stuck.

We ended up in the Clock Tower Pub for two hours waiting out a storm. Not a bad place to be stuck.

If you are thinking of visiting Cartagena, one thing to note. If you are a male and want to blend in, do not wear shorts day or night. Local men wear pants, jeans are okay. And certainly don’t wear your baseball cap. We have found this to be true throughout Panama as well.

Fair winds,
Cindy

Passage to Bocas del Toro

Tags

,

Our sail to Bocas del Toro is our slowest passage yet. What should have taken 23 hours took us a little over 30 averaging 4.7 knots (we hope for 5.5). We fought a current along with head winds so we had to listen to the drone of the motor the entire time. Sure we could have put the sails up and tacked back and forth but with storms in the area and choppy conditions we wanted to get the heck off the sea as soon as possible. Finally our home for the summer came in to view. Bocas del Toro is an archipelago of islands with many shoals and mangroves scattered around. Great for snorkeling a bit stressful for sailboats. We entered the channel between the islands using the waypoints and instructions our marina provided us. As the masts from the marina came in to view we started looking for the red barrel that would signal a turn to port. Hmm should be easy to spot on this totally calm water. As we started to pass the waypoint and still not seeing that darn red barrel we decided to turn anyway. We were happily going along thinking we were in the clear when we came to a grinding halt. Yep, we ran aground just outside the marina. The dock master was out in a jiffy to pull us off. ‘Looks like you guys went a bit wide.’ ‘Yes, we kept looking for the red barrel’. ‘Oh, the red barrel was stolen last week.’ LOL, would have been good to know when we hailed you 30 minutes ago I mumbled to Gary. But we also should have trusted the waypoints because we alone are responsible for our vessel. Luckily it is all soft ground and no harm done.

Our home for a few months.

Our home for a few months.

Rain has been the name of the game since we arrived. What we refer to as Jersey weather. In between storms we walk the trails, head to the beach, or go out in the dinghy. Our 4th of July BBQ with the other boats actually happened on July 5th due to rain, but a party is a party no matter what day it is when you are retired and in the tropics. We have a few beach bars and restaurants within walking distance.

Nacho Mamas is our beach bar.  Cold beer and good tacos.

Nacho Mamas is our beach bar. Cold beer and good tacos.

Siesta time

Siesta time

Bocas is a surfer town for sure.

Bocas is a surfer town for sure.

The real action along with groceries is in Bocas Town a 15 minute panga ride away. Not ideal for getting out for happy hour and dinner but we did manage to have lunch at the Hungry Monkey, which is a surfing school with a four table restaurant serving great tacos and cold beers. Always amazed at how these little places turn out The Best Food. We also have a craft brewery a little out of town, which makes a very good stout and amber ale. Hoping to get back there when their IPA is ready to tap. They don’t bottle and their growlers will not fit in our tiny refrigerator. Oh wait, I just had a thought. What if we remove all the food!?

A very nice amber ale at Bocas Brewery

A very nice amber ale at Bocas Brewery

We have been caught in town in a downpour and frequently get drenched in the panga when we have a cowboy at the helm when the seas are up. How many gringo’s can we get wet today! Yesterday on our walk, Gary almost stepped on a green vine snake. This thing was a lime green color and I thought it was a piece of a tree branch. So much for snakes scurrying out of your way. Who told us that!? This type of snake is not venomous for humans but could cause a severe allergic reaction. Good to know! Wanted to share in case you are dreaming of sailing off to the tropics. Not for everyone and you pretty much have to keep your sense of humor. But one plus to the frequent downpours is we don’t have to wash the boat. A real plus for me because that is one of my least favorite jobs.

Bocas Town

Bocas Town

Bocas Town

Bocas Town

Fair winds,
Cindy

48 Hours in Panama City

It was a crazy two weeks with all our guests here.  The day before our transit we hired our friendly taxi driver, Roosevelt, to take us all to the canal so we could see it from a much different perspective.  They have a museum and observation platform.

This is the gate between the first and second lock.  It shows the difference in water depth.

This is the gate between the first and second lock. It shows the difference in water depth.

Cindy, Austin, Nicki, and Gary

Cindy, Austin, Nicki, and Gary

DSC_0247small

After transiting, Austin and Nicki spent a few days with us on the Atlantic side.  We hit up the beach first thing and on the advice of our marina office we found a taxi that would take us to Fort Lorenzo six miles away.  That same person said we would be able to catch a taxi back.  NOT!  It was pretty remote but we lucked out and a tour van offered us a ride back.

Fort San Lorenzo

Fort San Lorenzo

We next took the ferry across the canal and boarded the historic Panama Canal Railroad to take us back over to Panama City for a few days.  It was a beautiful ride through the rain forest and over parts of Gatun Lake.

2016-06-21 12.57.08small

2016-06-21 12.54.57small

2016-06-21 12.55.23small

This was the dining car.  Free snacks were provided.

This was the dining car. Free snacks were provided.

We spent a few nights in the city before Austin and Nicki had to leave.

The Fish Market was a food truck.  The best food we had in Panama City by far!

The Fish Market was a food truck. The best food we had in Panama City by far!

2016-06-21 12.54.27small

Panama City lights

Panama City lights

2016-06-21 12.56.39small

Panama City skyline

Panama City skyline

We hired Roosevelt to take Gary and I back to the boat since it was Sunday, the train was not running and our other option was figuring out the bus.  The ferry also was not running so instead of being in the locks or looking down from the observation platform we were now to experience them from another perspective.  Riding in a car over the top of the gates.  We had no idea cars pass on top of the first gates on the new locks and the last gates on the Gatun Locks in order to cross from one side to the other.  I think we’ve seen enough of the locks now!

Fair winds

Cindy

 

Transiting the Panama Canal

Tags

,

Sereno II is now in Caribbean waters! Thirty five hours after leaving the La Playita Marina on the Pacific side we arrived at Shelter Bay Marina on the Atlantic side. It sounds like a long time and for the crew it felt even longer. But what an experience we had. Sereno went through all six locks ‘center chamber’ which meant that we had a line handler positioned at the four corners of the boat each working a line attached to the lock wall.

The three locks the first day, where we were raised to lake level, took the longest to transit at two hours but we had the best canal advisor on board and an easy time. The advisor made sure our team on the boat and the canal team on the wall worked together to secure Sereno behind a ship and two tug boats.

A Canal Advisor is on the boat with you from start to finish.  Our first advisor, Roy, is catching the monkey fist that gets attached to our lines which are then hauled up to the canal line handlers on the lock wall.

A Canal Advisor is on the boat with you from start to finish. Our first advisor, Roy, is catching the monkey fist that gets attached to our lines which are then hauled up to the canal line handlers on the lock wall. Off the bow you can see the ship and one tug in position. The second tug is moving into position.

The gates are closing.

The gates are closing.

Sereno is secured inside the lock with two tug boats and a ship in front of us.  Austin and Richard will bring in the blue lines on the bow as the water level rises.  Nicki and Anita are on the stern.  Gary is at the helm and I am helping out the gals on the stern.

Sereno is secured inside the lock with two tug boats and a ship in front of us. Austin and Richard will bring in the blue lines on the bow as the water level rises. Nicki and Anita are on the stern lines. Gary is at the helm and I am helping out the gals on the stern.

We cleared the first three locks under clear skies but as we headed through the beautiful Culebria Cut and across Gatun Lake to our overnight anchorage, a storm came and drenched us. But it is rainy season so this was not a big surprise.

As we exited the third lock we passed under the Centennial Bridge.  The blue boat and tugs were our lock mates.

As we exited the third lock we passed under the Centennial Bridge. The blue boat and tugs were our lock mates.

Even under cloudy skies the Culebra Cut was beautiful.

Even under cloudy skies the Culebra Cut was beautiful.

Just before dark we reached our anchorage between the Gatun Locks and the entrance to the new locks, which are scheduled to open June 26. Boats taking two days are currently dropping anchor close to shore because the practice ship for the new canal that they are renting for 21 days at $1.5 million is using the mooring ball.

Practice ship entering the new locks escorted by four tug boats.

Practice ship entering the new locks escorted by four tug boats.

Our canal advisor for the Gatun Locks was scheduled to arrive around 9:30 am. At daybreak a sailboat was not able to retrieve their anchor and ended up cutting their chain leaving the anchor behind to make their canal appointment. Fearing the same fate for our anchor, we started to raise it at 9:00 am. Luckily we had no problems but as often happens our schedule got changed and our advisor did not show up until a little past 2:00 pm. So before we even got to the locks it was a long day slowly drifting around for 5 hours. But the weather was great until it was time to enter the locks. We motored over with rain and reached the outer gate with winds gusting over 20 knots. That’s when things started to get a little interesting.

This canal advisor had little experience with sailboats. Two things to note. We do not have bow thrusters on Sereno and when you are down locking (lowering from the lake to sea level) the ship is behind you. On his instruction we motored to the port wall to tie up until the gates opened but the wind gusts threatened to smash us into the concrete wall. With six of us holding her off, Gary was able to get us off the wall where we headed to the other side and found a rusted metal pipe to tie off to. With her secured and the ship inching closer behind us as well as a tug boat, we shook off the drama and once the gates opened we motored in.

Waiting on the wall to enter second set of locks.

Waiting on the wall to enter second set of locks.

We got through the first two locks but noticed that the pilot of the ship seemed to be a bit impatient. As we entered the third lock, the ship was coming up behind us before we were secured creating a 6 knot current. Gary had Sereno in neutral but we were moving right along. The canal line handlers on the starboard wall were not keeping up as I’m sure jogging is not in their job description. Without the line secured to the bollards to stop us and with the threat of running into the tug boat in front of us or worse yet the gates, Gary had to throw it in reverse to slow us down. With the port side secured and Austin holding the boat on his own via the bow port line to keep us from going any further forward, Sereno started to turn sideways threatening to smash our stern into the concrete wall. Let me say a sideways sailboat in a lock is not a good thing. Gary hit the throttle hard to bring us around and the canal line handler finally secured the starboard stern line to the bollard. Four of us then pulled on that line trying to bring the stern over to center but she wouldn’t budge until the ship stopped moving. All this drama earned us a ‘good catch’ from the tug boat driver, who went out of his way to not create a wake on our bow as he exited each lock. The canal pilot on the ship probably had a good laugh and the ships crew got some good videos.

This is the ship behind us.  The two mules on the lock wall are guiding him into place behind us.

This is the ship behind us. The two mules on the lock wall are guiding him into place behind us.

Yes the ship was that close!

Yes the ship was that close!

After one hour and ten minutes the final gates open!

After one hour and ten minutes the final gates open!

I must say we had THE BEST line handlers on board Sereno. Austin, Nicki, Richard and Anita saved Sereno from harm and no one was injured. We can’t thank you all enough for flying to Panama to help us. It was really special to have family and friends on board. Most didn’t know they had a Panama Canal transit on their bucket list but they can now cross it off!

Nicki!

Nicki!

Richard and Anita selfie with Nicki stealing the shot!

Richard and Anita selfie with Nicki stealing the shot!

Austin!

Austin!

I was the floater helping where needed.

I was the floater helping where needed.

Fair winds,
Cindy

Panama City, Panama

We are scheduled to transit in two more days. Austin and Nicki are arriving today from San Diego. Them along with friends Richard and Anita, who arrived from northern California earlier in the week, will be our line handling team! We are excited and hope to capture some great pictures.

Here are some of the sights we saw around town this week.

The streets of Old Town, Panama City, Panama

The streets of Old Town, Panama City, Panama

The streets in Old Town are lined in brick.

The streets in Old Town are lined in brick.

The French influence in Old Town is from when the French were working on the canal before America took it over.  Reminds me of New Orleans.

The French influence in Old Town is from when the French were working on the canal before America took it over. Reminds us of New Orleans.

Sunset at La Playita Marina

Sunset at La Playita Marina

Another sunset with storm clouds.

Another sunset with storm clouds.

Fair winds,
Cindy

Passage to Panama City – Our Final Leg on the West Coast

Tags

, ,

We set out from San Diego on November 19, 2015 with the thought that we would go to Panama. On May 26th after 189 days and 3,256 nautical miles we pulled in at La Playita Marina in Panama City. Oh ya, we made it!

This last leg was part luck and part frustration. The lucky part was with the weather and not getting tangled in a long line. The frustration was having to pass by many pretty anchorages to stay lucky with the weather.

While in Costa Rica the weather was really unsettled with thunder storms occurring daily. When a break in the storms appeared, we quickly checked out of the country and set off right at dinner time enjoying the fresh breeze after being in the hot marina for a few weeks. We crossed into Panama at midnight and had a lightening show with no rain the entire night. The next morning we encountered the first of many long lines put out by the Panamanian fishermen. Apparently fishermen in Panama do not expect boats to be sailing out on the ocean since they don’t hang around to warn off unsuspecting sailors. There was little to no wind so with the engine running luck was on our side several times as we spotted some of these lines within seconds of running them over.

With storms in the area, we decided to stop and anchor our second night at Isla Cebaco. It had been a long time since we were able to enjoy eating outside watching the sunset with a cool breeze.

IMG_0635small

We had thunder but the storm passed our anchorage allowing us to keep the hatches open all night. We were up early the next morning for the final overnight leg to Panama City. We knew Punta Mala is reported to be the single most congested point in North America and the Pacific due to shipping traffic going to and from the canal. It also experiences extreme currents that would be going against us and our arrival there would be around midnight. So to fuel us up, Gary spent an hour in the galley cooking up a delicious paella. Right as we sat down in the cockpit to eat, the skies opened up. Ugh!

Paella one of our all time favorite one pot meals

Paella one of our all time favorite one pot meals

As we were nearing Punta Mala, we were at the southern most point Sereno II will be in the Pacific Ocean at approximately 07 08’.876”N latitude 080 43.410”W longitude.

Overlooking another quick downpour of rain, getting the jib sheets tangled, choppy seas, and a drop in boat speed from 6.8 knots down to 3.7, rounding Punta Mala was not bad. Only one ship passed us and he was twenty miles away. From that point we didn’t see any ship traffic in the shipping lanes leading to the canal for another 10 hours. We envisioned something like the I5 freeway in LA at midnight! Had me thinking we screwed up on our navigation and we were in the wrong bay. So while sailing through Panama Bay was a bit more laid back then we imagined, the skies were clear and it was a beautiful day. That is until we were ten miles out from the canal zone. Thats when the clouds rolled in and we got rained on long enough to get us and the boat wet. It was a bummer because we missed out on a great view of the Bridge of the America’s and the downtown skyline.

Upon entering the canal region you must contact Port Control to seek permission to enter. After we were granted permission to head to our marina, we set a course in the general direction we needed to go still an hour away. Thirty minutes later Port Control hailed us to make sure we knew we were heading on the wrong side of the causeway. We still hadn’t made our final course adjustment but we quickly did so. Felt a little creepy having someone watching our every move.

The yellow arrow is pointing to Sereno II and the red line indicates our course.  The triangles are ships at anchor waiting to transit or in a few cases were under way.  The pink areas represent rain.  The red X closest to us is the beginning of the channel to the canal.  The red X further away is the marina we were headed to.   Okay boring no longer!

The yellow arrow is pointing to Sereno II and the red line indicates our course. The triangles are ships at anchor waiting to transit or in a few cases were under way. The pink areas represent rain. The red X closest to us is the beginning of the channel to the canal. The red X further away is the marina we were headed to. Okay boring no longer!

Before we left Golfito the boats from the Clipper Around the World race came in to fuel up on the Seattle to Panama leg. There are twelve boats total and we saw six. The crew were varied in age many with British and Aussie accents. We had hoped to see them out on the water but I’m sure they set a course for speed while we were setting a course to stay out of a storm brewing offshore.

Yacht from Clipper Around the World Race

Yacht from Clipper Around the World Race

Fair winds,
Cindy

Quepos and Passage to Golfito

Tags

, , , ,

Marina Pez Vela was a nice change from our last two stops. We had five restaurants on site, the town of Quepos was within walking distance and we had easy bus transportation out to Manuel Antonio National Park, our main reason for stopping here.

Sunset over Marina Pez Vela.  That is Sereno II at the bottom of the picture, middle boat.

Sunset over Marina Pez Vela. That is Sereno II at the bottom of the picture, middle boat.

With its groomed trails and monkey sightings Manuel Antonio National Park is popular and can be crowded on some of the trails. It was fun to watch the monkeys but I really wish we had spotted a Toucan bird.

This is a Howler monkey we caught site of.  They make an indescribable noise.

This is a Howler monkey we caught sight of. They make an indescribable noise.


This is a White-headed Capuchin.  Look carefully at the one walking and you will see the hands and feet of her baby.

This is a White-headed Capuchin. Look carefully at the one walking and you will see the hands and feet of her baby.


Here is another shot of the same two.  Look carefully at the one on the left and you will see the babies ear and outline of the head.

Here is another shot of the same two. Look carefully at the one on the left and you will see the babies ear and outline of the head.

Glad we did the park but we both had more fun on our rain forest hike at Arenal when we didn’t see another sole.

We would have loved to stay longer in the area but this marina is pricey so in a light rain with bathing suits on we set off early in the morning on a short nine hour hop over to Drakes Bay hoping the predictions for a calm anchorage would hold true. The anchorages along Costa Rica can be rolly. Drakes Bay is very exposed to the sea but we lucked out and had dinner out in the cockpit along with a fairly calm night. It’s nice when the predictions are accurate. We did have rain move through overnight requiring is to close all the hatches. When at anchor we are on battery power so no air conditioning just a couple fans. It was a bit warm but we got more sleep then we would have on an overnight passage.

We raised anchor just as the sun was rising and headed out 67 nm for Golfito our last stop in Costa Rica. It was a calm day and we stayed dry until ten minutes before we pulled into our slip. Mother Nature decided to remind us who is boss and greeted us with a downpour as we pulled in to tie up. Luckily the harbor master and two of his staff were there to help us.

I’m finishing up this post enjoying a cocktail and air conditioning while it rains cats and dogs out there. Hoping it slows down a bit because neither of us feels like cooking! Happy hour and dinner awaits just a stones throw away.

Fair winds,
Cindy

Passage to Quepos, Costa Rica

Tags

,

We must be crazy!   I’ve said this to myself several times over the past two years.  Gary and I are fair weather conservative cruisers.  If the weather and sea conditions aren’t good we ain’t going.   We have no desire to scare ourselves silly.  We are now in the single digit latitudes which means we are pretty close to the equater and it is stinking hot and humid (yah for air conditioning) with a lot of lightening and thunder thrown in during what is now the rainy season.    We have a healthy respect for lightening having grown up in New Jersey and spent a fair amount of time in Florida.  We’ve kept moving south to get out of the hurricane box which puts us in one of the top places for lightening.  For those wishing they could trade places with us, consider this.   You are on a 28 hour passage in a 41 foot sailboat 10 miles off the coast of Costa Rica.  What is predicted to be a calm day turns ugly with confused seas and constant lightening from early afternoon until 4:00 am the next day.  With only one hour of sleep your eyes are glued to the radar so you can weave around rain cells hoping to stay dry and avoid a lightening strike to the 65 foot lightening rod (aka mast) attached to your boat.  If that happens all your electronics will be fried.  While the cockpit is fully covered, it is canvas.  So you and everything in the cockpit is soaking wet.  The rain I can handle.  The lightening is flat out scary.

Crazy?   Most definitely!   But the next day when we are out exploring our new ‘home’ for awhile the scary passage is filed under lessons learned.

Most of our posts are about the good, cocktails and beautiful destinations.  A lot of work goes into making the good happen, which is affectionately referred to by cruisers as ‘fixing your boat in exotic locations’.  So I thought I would share a little about the bad because after all, this is our day-to-day life we are not on vacation.  Now the ugly would be sharing how the hose that flushes the waste tank was clogged last week but I think I’ll spare you those details🙂 .

Fair winds,
Cindy