Our website ,www.yachtlarus.com, shows our latest position. There is a link (Show map full screen) under the map to view it full screen. We will also post occasional updates on this map page but not on the main blog.
We both get our emails as usual but no attachments and short text emails only, if replying to an email, delete the original message below the reply or start a new email. Our email service comes from either a satellite connection or short wave radio and is slower than email was in the nineteenth century.
We have about 1000 miles to go South West past the Galapagos Islands before we meet the SE Trade winds so winds will sadly be light until that time, so lots of drifting with the spinnaker. If we were to stop at the Galapagos Islands the cost to us would be about $4000, which is why we won’t.
Hope to be in the Marquesas Islands in French Polynesia sometime towards the end of April.
Tim and Nancy
A little more about Panama and being in the Pacific. The difference between the Caribbean and the Pacific was immediately noticeable. It is much cooler and drier. The humidity is usually 60% or less.
The water isn't as clear and it's a lot cooler, by about 5 degrees. Cold currents bring lots nutrients to the Pacific coast, which brings fish, which brings birds. The number of birds is amazing. In our anchorage at La Playita, pelicans dive into the water all around the boat.
We spent a week in Vista Mar Marina, but were driven out by the gusty winds - the lines continually catching and jerking got old fast - and we were happier shopping in Panama as public transport from the anchorage into the city was often good and always very inexpensive.
Larus in a very windy Vista Mar Marina. The Pacific is tidal unlike the Caribbean and at low water the area in the foreground is dry rock. We walked along the beach to the west of the marina to the nearest town to check out the local shops. Somethings we bought and somethings we didn't. The thought of fresh eggs did make the latter tempting. We bought 5 dozen eggs at a market in town, were assured they were fresh only to find once home that the whites were loosing their firmness already.
There is a huge farmers market outside Panama City, which we visited one afternoon at a cost of $35 US in a taxi. We wanted to have a look not realising how far away it was and how much road work there was going on. It isn't a picturesque place with stalls in huge clean purpose built sheds with loading bays on the outside of each building and stands with roll down shutters on the shops inside. We bought a few things but not enough to make the journey worthwhile. It would be worthwhile to hire a car and drive there yourself. I bet eggs there would have been fresh!
We did find a market in the city itself.
The stall were we bought most of our fresh produce; We chose not to buy our meat here; We chose not to buy our beans and rice here either; We did buy 'fresh' eggs from this very happy man.
I've decided to keep out eggs in the fridge so that they have the best chance of lasting 4 to 5 weeks. I expect there are chickens and eggs on islands in French Polynesia, although once there is space in the freezer I will start opening and saving eggs in the freezer. There is a great site that gives lots of information - Ocean Passage Provisioning. It is from a site called 'Sailing the Atlantic' but the same principles apply.
The storage in the aft cabin. All the fruit and vegetables should be checked daily and the ripest or damaged items used first. We have apples wrapped in newspaper stored in a lidded plastic box. As well as Cheerios we also have Wheetabix that I have vacuum sealed - see pack behind the oranges in the second photo. The oranges are great and should last ages and we have a lot.
I have wholemeal, bread and all purpose flour vacuum pack as well as vacuum packed meats and cheeses in the freezer. We plan to catch a lot of fish along the way, although we have heard that there is a reason it's called 'fishing' and not 'catching'.
And finally some of my favourite things - Larus at anchor by La Playita Marina; The view of Panama City and a bicycle race from the bus stop; The type of fabric that the traditionally dressed Guna women wear as skirts with their 'mola' blouses; Some very Latin American garden ornaments; The old 'pimped' school buses used for public transport that are slowly being replaced; More wonderful fabrics.
And that's all I have for the time being. Internet coverage in French Poly is very poor by all accounts so we will let you know what we are up to via our website, www.yachtlarus.com. There is a link under the map to view it full screen. We will also post occasional updates on this map page but not on the main blog. x