Captain Woody Cruising Adventure

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Rio Dulce, Guatamala - Woody Tracker

Woody Tracker
Latitude:15.67511
Longitude:-88.9827
GPS location Date/Time:11/30/2010 17:27:12 PST
Message:Just checking in.
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Saturday, November 20, 2010

46' Sailing Cat, Mexico (132)

Last month we had just survived an exciting Tehuanepec crossing on a brand new Leopard 46' catamaran. With me was my right hand, Oc and our trusty third, 'the commodore'.
We were headed for Acapulco to fuel. Running one motor as usual, we lowered rpms to get in after sunrise. The boat had an experimental square top mainsail. The square top trailed off the wind and luffed when reefed. Best not to put experimental gear on a cruising boat. The boat had stack pack style mainsail reefing, a joy to use.
As the CO2 content of the oceans shoots up, things like shellfish, corals and the base of the food chain are at risk. On the bright side, jellyfish love it. And which animal eats jellies? Turtles. We saw tons of turtles, aka Guatemalan speed bumps. We could avoid them during the day but at night they had to fend for themselves … thump. It was good to have them around.
I do enjoy the pre-dawn watch. We had a full golden moon setting on the port bow, my Pleiades overhead and the Southern Cross aft to port. There were no stars on the starboard bow, just the high darkness of land. There was a nice warm breeze running through the exposed cockpit.
As it was, we arrived while it was still dark. We rounded the corner and were treated to the 'bowl of diamonds' city-lights view (per Rains). I got the boys up to enjoy the spectacle and the arrival. We took a mooring off of the Club de Yates Acapulco. We had made the rough crossing with fuel to spare and minimal wear and tear. I went below for a cat nap while the boys stayed up on deck and chased down some coldies with good sea stories.
First thing in the morning we cruised into the fuel dock at the Yacht Club. As the boys topped her up I went in and asked about a slip and about checking into Mex. The office started the paperwork for us. Turns out we had the wrong zarpe. The zarpe I had was for a big power boat. That's right, the drunk American dudes on the motoryacht (see last month) distracted our young agent with their pawing and she gave us the wrong zarpe. I should have checked. The good thing about using an agent is that the right zarpe got faxed over with a phone call.
I sent the guys to the bar and spent the rest of the day washing the boat and checking fluids, etc. We all met up at the pool later. I shot off an email to the next skipper before enjoying the sprawling pool. The challenging part of the delivery was over and I had to get back to the Caribbean to finish up a different boat. We walked over the hill for an awesome dinner on the beach, gourmet tacos, natural pina coladas and 'cheers to us' for our impressive sailing prowess ;).
The owner's skipper got back to me in the morning with bad news. He was sick and could not come down. He didn't seem right for the job anyway. I shot off some emails and got some responses. Two responded with “I'll need to check the schedule.” Ya, I thought, you go do that. There are lots of part time delivery skippers. Full time skippers say, “Yep, where do you want me”. Lee Pearce of learntosailsandiego.com is one of those guys. Two hours after the search began, Lee had a plane ticket.
Modern phones make these kinds of fast foreign arrangements easy. Mine is a Droid but I hear the others work well too. I keep it in airplane mode so there are no accidental cell calls. I can do email, internet, phone calls etc, through wifi. In civilized, wifi is everywhere and almost always free. Oddly, Skype renders itself useless by mandating a cell data connection. No worries, Fring offers the same web phone service for pennies a minute. And then there are the awesome and cheap, Navionics charts that run with the phone gps giving you a chart plotter too. Tides, celestial ... the list of things this freak device offers is nearly endless. And then there's Google Voice that will transcribe your voicemails into text and email them to you.
I enjoy these beautiful stops and the crew deserves a good restaurante now and then (and I get paid by the day) but we were there to make miles, so at 1400 we pulled away from the dock. Even when cruising I don't tend to linger in one place too long. I say leave a place while you still like it. Leaving Acapulco during the day gets you some beautiful scenery. Fun vacation homes crown the steep rocky shoreline. We stayed inside Isla Roqueta to enjoy the tourist beaches and maybe catch a glimpse of the famous Acapulco cliff diving.
It was an overnighter to Ixtapa. A quick tip on diesels. I had heard this from mechanics and the new Yanmars manual confirmed it: Operate your diesel at no less than 60% of horsepower. 70-80% are preferred. For these engines, 60% is max achievable revs under load minus 500 rpm. 70% is m.a.r.u.l. minus 400 rpm. If you have to run the engines light for a while, run them at marul minus 100 for a bit. Diesels love to be loaded and can experience glazing if run to lightly.
We rolled into the little entrance early in the morning. Oc, always impressing me, had his lines ready to go and, even more surprising, done the way I like them. Elsa and Erica run Marina Ixtapa and were professional, knowledgeable and helpful. Cost there is $1 a foot. A 50 cent bus will take you downtown, over to Zihuat, or anywhere else in the area.
We headed into town and made final arrangements for the skipper switch. Oc's family had a beautiful condo in the hills, overlooking a sparkling, golf course-side pool. After the work was done we headed up there for dip and some homemade guacamole and salsa. Got the boat laundry done too. Oc's expat neighbors, Scott and beautiful Georgia, own strip clubs in Canadia. They were great fun to hang out with. They had Harley's and a boat in the harbor which they took out almost daily, and great stories.
The guys stayed at Oc's while I enjoyed my last night spread out on the boat. At sunup, I washed down the boat, changed the oil and filters x2 and checked fluids. Around lunch I went over the boat again with the guys. Then I skipped town, headed to my next delivery, a Tayana 48' on the Rio Dulce in Guatemala. ---
I'm not much for causes, but if you've seen what I've seen out there ... . You all have been good about my including environment references in my pieces. I haven't been getting the pro-pollution emails (kinda miss 'em). I think the corporate emailers have given up on me. I do get questions about what more we can do. As you know, cruising is about the cleanest way you can live your life. This month's tip: mind your $s. Spend less with companies that don't represent your interests. When convenient; shop local, recycled or more natural products. See you next month in el Carib. Quality, Balance and a Clean Wake.

Friday, November 19, 2010

In the Tehuanapec - Woody Tracker

Woody Tracker
Latitude:14.04783
Longitude:-97.19235
GPS location Date/Time:11/19/2010 17:44:35 PST
Message:Just checking in.
Click the link below to see where I am located.

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Thursday, November 18, 2010

46' Sailing Cat, Tehuanepec (131)

Last month, we were stuck in beautiful Marina Papagayo in Costa Rica on a plastic-on-the-sill-new, 46' Leopard Catamaran. With me, was top crewman Oc and our trusty third, 'the commodore'.

Monday morning, lovely paperwork agent Natalia brought a group down to the boat: migration, customs, agriculture and the Cocos port captain (too macho to take off his shoes). Four officials that required 14 signatures. That's more paperwork than my Cuba visit. Plus, she had to take our passports to the airport and into Cocos del Playa.

An 80 foot motoryacht from the states pulled in. Three old fat drunk dudes rolled off - the delivery skipper and his crew. They were funny around the pool and in the bar but when they joked about giving the check-in group a hard time, the comedy ended. Our paperwork was being done at the same time. Surprise, there were problems with the motoryacht's paperwork ... which held up ours too.

With the Saturday, Sunday, and all day Monday check-in, check-out process, we were no longer ahead of schedule. We motored over to the fuel dock to take fuel before they closed. We'd wait for our paperwork there. I didn't want to be trapped for another night. We only took fuel on the starboard side since we hadn't run the port motor since filling in Balboa.

25% of Costa Rica is protected national parks. That's a world record. I'm sure it's no coincidence that Costa Rica has one of the world's highest standards of living. That is by the new standards they are using that value health and lifespan instead of number of TV's in the house. Marina Papagayo was part of the environmental program. They were super careful at the fuel dock and we were charged a small environmental fee. It seemed more than reasonable as we enjoyed the health and beauty all around us. Also benefiting from the clean environment were marina tenants, the locals, the fishermen, the fish, and the people eating them.

The big guys helped us push off into the wind as the sun was setting. We had great conditions - clear, light wind, light chop, doing 7kts out the bay. This next leg would take us across the deadly Tehuantepec. That's where 100 knot winds shoot through a pass from the Gulf of Mexico. Since we had the range, I thought we'd try the outside route. Instead of hugging the coast in cower mode, we would head out past the winds and cruise, at speed, to our next destination, Acapulco.

This boat had the new Raymarine chart plotter with touchscreen - E120W. That was fun. A few of the traditional problems with Rm plotters had been licked. We did find a new issue, the bearing line would jump over a few miles, while you were watching it! This is a very dangerous software issue if it decides to shift while near rocks or land (and you tend to rely on the video game more than your sea sense). When I got home I shot off an email to see if there was a software fix and to ask Rm to issue a warning or recall. The response dismissed the bearing line shift but did include detailed fixes to problems we weren't having.

During the night we got some sprinkles but missed the big rain that swept by to port. In the morning, conditions were still nice and fast. As the sun came up, we noticed that the fuel gauge on the port side was lower than it should be. I sticked the tank and sure enough, we were missing about 40 gallons of fuel. We deduced that it had to have happened on the mooring at the Balboa Yacht Club. That was the only time we were away from the boat long enough to be robbed. Nothing else was missing. It was my fault for not checking it before.

This was our longest leg as well as the one most fraught with danger. I always factor in worse case conditions (not enough wind to sail) when figuring range. With less fuel, this one would be close. I adjusted course to cut into the T-pec danger area to shorten our route.

We had easy conditions up to the T-pec boat graveyard. It was clear and oddly smooth way out, which made for good fast miles. Maybe heading outside is a good way to go? I lost track of mpg with the lost fuel so we ran the port motor dry to start a new tally (my estimate was 6nm off). The downside of running a tank out is it removes the rest of the dirt from the tank and puts it in the filters. That's also the upside. I bring extra filters and don't mind changing them out. Usually you also have to bleed, which I like learning to do on different engines. These were Yanmars so I didn't learn anything - it self bled.

And we re-fueled ... at sea. There are many ways to do it. As always, I prefer the easy way and if there's a kewl gadget involved, all the better. There is a good chance of spilling if you try to pour a jug of diesel at sea. Much cleaner and easier is to tie the jug near the fill and use the Super Siphon (our buddy Ron sells them at Boatshowproducts.com). Shake the fitting on the hose for a couple of seconds and it will drain the jug on its own. Then I drop the empty hose in a large freezer zip lock with a piece of oil absorbent pad and it's ready for next time.

After two days at sea we entered the danger zone, where winds could suddenly shoot up and make running for our lives a possibility. At 2100 we registered our first significant swell. You can tell a lot from swell. If they are far apart then the big wind is far away. If they are closer together and steep, your wind is near. The swell built all night and was close and steep by morning.
The good news was we started getting wind, and it was building. At 0315 we reefed down, shut off the motor and brought out a speck of headsail - the boat took off. The commodore had concerns about shutting off the motor in the building conditions. “This is a sailboat,” I told him, “she's prefers to sail.” I get that the motor comforts people but to me it is just one extra thing to be concerned about. And it drowns out the audio hints of other potential issues. Unless pointing too high to sail (making port?), the motor should be off, especially in bad conditions.

It was a sleigh ride. That big empty cat ripped along on her beam reach at over 9 knots. If it were a race we would have opened her up but alas, we're just lowly delivery crew with minimum wear and tear as our priority. 31.5 kts of wind was all we saw. You could tell from the swell that there was a whole lot more wind in the center of the bay; the part we had avoided by sailing out 294nm. Still, the swell we got was high and steep enough to crash over the boat.
Even the person on watch, on the second story seat, got soaked on the bigger ones.

And then, at 1700, the wind shut off. We had sailed out the other side. The swell soon disappeared and we had a calm flat droning motor the rest of the night. You gotta take the wind when you can get it. Our day rip had given us the range extension that we wanted. We closed fast and flat on Acapulco. More next month.

Quality, Balance and a Clean Wake.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Off El Salvador - Woody Tracker

Woody Tracker
Latitude:11.79988
Longitude:-90.59921
GPS location Date/Time:11/17/2010 10:12:17 PST
Message:Just checking in.
Click the link below to see where I am located.

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Sunday, November 14, 2010

Marina Papagayo, Costa Rica - Woody Tracker

Woody Tracker
Latitude:10.64079
Longitude:-85.65314
GPS location Date/Time:11/14/2010 19:38:51 PST
Message:Just checking in.
Click the link below to see where I am located.

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Marina Papagayo Pic



With no weather information available onboard, we´ve stopped into the last port in northern Costa Rica for fuel and weather report for the dreaded Tehuanepec crossing.  They used to let you fuel without checking in but no more.  The officials will not be back in the office until morning so here we wait at Marina Papagayo.  Could be worse.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Off Costa Rica - Woody Tracker

Woody Tracker
Latitude:8.93467
Longitude:-84.51685
GPS location Date/Time:11/13/2010 01:09:15 PST
Message:Just checking in.
Click the link below to see where I am located.

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Friday, November 12, 2010

46' Sailing Cat, Panama - Costa Rica (130)

Last month, we had just completed a Panama Canal transit, from el Carib to the Pacific, aboard a new 46' Leopard sailing cat. We took a mooring in front of the Balboa Yacht Club. First thing the next morning I said goodbye to the owner and his friends. They were a hilarious group.

The hard part of the delivery was over. Boats, weather, the sea, all make sense to me. Humans? Not so much. I went back to the boat and to clean in advance of my own crew's arrival. I switched off and isolated the stuff we wouldn't need: aircon, generator, freezer, icemaker (that's a tough one). If it's not on, it can't break. The boat was ready for our cruise north to Mexico! ;)

On easy (downwind) deliveries, I'll usually take one crewmember with me. Someone I know or have sailed with. He/she usually gets paid. Upwind, or for more challenging trips, we take a third whose only job is to ease the watch schedule. The third is often someone I don't know, from people who have contacted me or from Hank's crew list - Sailopo.com. The third crew doesn't get paid and flies themselves in. What's in it for them? Some offshore miles and a steep learning curve .

What makes good crew? I would sum it up by saying that the crew's job is to make the skipper's job easier. Sounds selfish, but when the skipper is left to focus on weather, routes, trim, fuel consumption and range, maintenance, anchorages and marinas, owner communications, officials and documents, transportation, money, etc.; things go smoother for everyone.

I got lucky on this trip. I invited a friend from the docks back home and our third was an older CG licensed commodore of a sailing club. As the skipper of power boats all his life, the commodore had to adapt to our sailing and motorsailing operations.

The crew bar was set to a new high by my friend Octavio. I had to do a lot of explaining to owner and insurance company about Oc's lack of offshore experience. I don't consider that a factor in my choice of crew. What Oc does have is adventure experience and a calmness, which is invaluable at sea.

I rounded up the boys and we got their gear stowed. We had lunch at the club. I speak enough Spanish to make these trips easier but Oc is fluent. We negotiated an hourly rate for the cab. We scoured Panama City for parts and did the big food provisioning. Our agent, Tina McBride, would have our departure paperwork in the morning. Back at the boat we secured everything for an upwind sea, got cleaned up and got to bunk late.

And finally … we were at sea! And zooming downwind in the big beautiful new cat. Did I mention I had the entire starboard ama to myself? Picture this: a king size bunk aft (pillow-top view of the helm through the hatch). Moving forward, rows of drawers, hanging lockers and a desk. A big head with stand up shower forward. Large viewing ports all along the hull.

We rounded the bottom of the Golfo de Panama and started making our first northing. Oc made beans and rice. Ya, he cooks too. During provisioning, he bought cheap, good for you, food-of-the-earth stuff. He made a big hot meal every day, so us non-chef types wouldn't have to eat out of the can. Off to starboard, lush green hills drifted by while brilliant sunsets kept us entertained to port. Sunny, warm, some clouds; nice cruising.

And we had some bumpy times, as expected. The afternoon breeze would kick up that perfect short swell that brings out the jerky motion and loud banging that cats have made famous. Though these cats have dual motors I only run them both when parking. The second motor only gets you about one knot more. Skippers with power boat backgrounds tend to want to power into swells, both motors a-chuggin'. That's a lot of extra engine hours and juice wasted. Not on my watch.

When heading to weather, I still use the one motor and deploy a tight sail and crack off the wind and swell. My VMG goes up. With less wear and tear on boat and crew, I'll beat the smokers everytime. And when there's usable wind, we sail, and this boat hummed. We all burn fuel in our day to day. It's how our infrastructure is currently set up. But there are ways to decrease the burn rate while increasing our quality of life.

And then it was time to sail. Log entry: “1828: motor off and screaming 8kts in 14t. Quiet, flat, cat conditions. M1 H0” That's 8kts boat speed in 14kts true wind. My Low Key won't do that. And that was with a reef in the main and full headsail. Oc spent his off watches that day cooking … a turkey. Back at the Mega 99, I had sent the commodore for frozen chickens, they help the fridge chill (and they taste good). He came back with a turkey. It came out perfect. The crew, and the fish that could keep up, ate like kings for next few days.

We cruised into Marina Papagayo in northern Costa Rica at 0400, intending to catch some Zzz's at the fuel dock. I figured they'd wake us up at o'tooearly and we'd fuel. But security was on us with flashlights and walkies, they didn't want us to tie up. Tied up, Oc did the negotiations. They figured out we weren't going to leave and offered us a slip. I guess we'd fuel on the way out.

The slip was only $104 but it was $350 for the check in, check out of CR. That price had gone up. It's a good scam. You used to be able to do the whole process right in the town of beautiful Playas del Coco. No longer, you now have to do the trek into Liberia (where Capt. Bitchin spent time in prison on our Lost Soul cruise) to get the paperwork done. But difficult checkins are what happens when the agent cuts the port captain in for a piece of the greenback pie. So I won't be back.

This being my last visit … I figured we should live it up. The marina is spectacular. It's surrounded by steep green hills. The bright buildings, lusty cantina and immaculate docks, crown a beautiful swimming pool area. There's a shop, nice showers, laundry, a computer room and even a TV viewing room complete with a dozen loungers. The commodore was in heaven as he was a big football fan and it was Saturday. Our paperwork got started and wouldn't be done until Monday. On the brightside, the agent's assistant, who tended to us, was supermodel quality. At least our top dollar was getting us something.

After a quick interior wipe down I sent the boys off to play. Oc is an ocean swimmer so he jumped in and headed out across the bay. He ran into a sea snake which made sense when he learned the bay was called Bahia de Culebra. I washed the boat and checked motor fluids etc.. I shot off some emails to the owner, the next skipper, the blog and my better half. And I checked weather. I'm still using passageweather.com, awesome, when ashore.

The crew and I had a great dinner in the cantina (Dorado salad's worth a go). Afterward, we took turns getting beat by the locals at table shuffleboard. Good guys, good times. More next month …
Quality, Balance and a Clean Wake

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Leaving Gulf of Panama - Woody Tracker

Woody Tracker
Latitude:7.21727
Longitude:-80.14676
GPS location Date/Time:11/11/2010 01:39:35 PST
Message:Just checking in.
Click the link below to see where I am located.

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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Depart Panama?

Owner's are gone, boat's cleaned up and provisioned.  Just stretching out in the owner's cabin, which takes up the whole starboard ama. 

We have a broken Harken batten part ... but we're in Panama.  The boat has an experimental square top mainsail.  I guess it's back to the drawing board.  We'll try moving a lower car up.  

The BYC has served us well as usual.   Wx looks good.  If all goes well, you won't hear from us for a while.  Planning on fueling in beautiful Costa Rica.  


Hasta luego

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Balboa Panama, 46' Sailing Cat

Hola,
I am moving a new Leopard 46 from Panama to Mex.  We have just transited the canal and are headed north soon.  The owner and his friends were hilarious.  I've got my crew, Octavio and Eric, coming in in an hour or two.  We'll provision and head out by Wednesday.

Monday, November 8, 2010

46' Sailing Cat through the Canal (129)

They're always saying you have to pay your dues. To move up in my 'industry' you might have to crew for room and board for 13 months under a pirate named Bitchin and his lovely cohort Jody. Then you could move up to a low paying position doing watches on the Raja Muda's circumnavigation. You might then qualify for your Coast Guard license and start skippering mid 80' private yachts for a Roll's Royce supplier or Bruce Springsteen's music producer. If you're lucky you'll have scraped together enough dough, and found a worthy enough companion, to help you sail your own coastal boat around the world. If you survive all that you could find yourself of some value delivering boats, moving up from previously sunk boats being delivered upwind across el Carib in hurricane season to a nice new 46' luxury sailing cat over nearly flat water … 'cause you've paid your dues.

From the air you get a good look at the grossly green and flooded landscape that feeds the needs of the world's greatest lock-through canal. I landed at the airport, breezed through migracion and customs with just a carry on, got a cheap sim card for the quad band phone from the beautiful Movil girls, negotiated $20 off my cross country fare and was chillin' in the back of the cab in less than an hour.

On the Carib (north) side of the Panama Canal there is now only one place to slip your boat. To get out to Marina Shelter Bay you have to cross the canal and take a trip through the jungle. But it leaves you in a safe spot, away from the high crime of Colon.

The guys were on the boat when I got there. Rick owned the boat and had hired me to move her through the canal and up to Mex. He was a good guy. He had two friends with him who had helped him sail the boat down from FL. One of them was a sweatshop mogul and the other was their rum drinkin', cigar smokin' pastor. Those two snuck off to drink at the club while Rick went over the boat with me. I tend to come across as young and I'd imagine it's hard to hand over your half million dollar yacht to a 'kid'. Rick was good about it.

The owner and friends were just doing the canal part and then heading home, switching out with my crew on the other side. It was raining on transit day. I don't mind the rain when it's 80 degrees. I put on my foulies and went out and set up lines and fenders. Lines for the canal are 120' each and fenders are a bunch of tires tied to the side, all rented from our agent.

The owner had hired agent Tina McBride. She was our agent on the first boat I ever transited on. Both times, now and then, things went smoothly. We also got two locals from her to help with lines, old Rudy and young Juan. I hopped up into the flybridge and took the new cat out to the Flats. Though the Panama Canal Yacht Club is just a memory, low end cruising boats who can't afford Shelter are still welcome to anchor in the flats though getting to shore is more of an adventure now.

A heavy steel pilot boat carefully dropped off our canal advisor Francisco. He was a young tall fit black dude, calm and cool. This was his side job but he knew a lot about the canal. We slipped in behind a large ship as the sun set over the upper locks. The ancient monster-holding doors, silently swung shut behind us, no escape. There were no other small yachts in with us. We were center tie. I had briefed the guys on what to expect and how to make our adventure less eventful. They all followed directions except the mogul, he owned a Hylas so he was beyond instruction. I compensated for his mistakes with the helm.

Going up, when the lock is flooding and the fresh and salt waters are aggressively mixing, it is the roughest. Don't think you can control the boat with the throttle and helm. You are at the mercy of your line handlers. Basically, they need to remember to never try to take in slack when there is, or is about to be, tension on the line. And never take all the wraps off the cleat. The rest is easy.

We made it out the top, 70' up, and motored full into the blackness of lake Gatun. We soon rolled up on the big red, yacht mooring buoys. Local Rudy had us tied up the right way quickly. I recalled the many times had I toasted lock survival with various excited crews while tied to these buoys.

Below the pastor was cutting up chicken for dinner. The ceramic blade slipped and made a nice deep cut in his ankle. They handed me the med kit. I don't mind doing it, it just seems strange that people always assume I know how to patch people up. On the bright side, I am a fast learner.

The locals and I slept in the saloon, shivering in the cold and listening to the grind of the generator and the ever cycling air conditioners. There are humans among us that have devolved to the extent of requiring excessive climate control. I refer to them as Morlocks (H.G. Wells) as they will inevitably breed ever more dependent, weaker humans, forgoing moral constraints. We hammer the sea (acidification), the global climate and the next generation, with every twist of the thermostat. I found myself envying the simpler boats on the lake that were enjoying the comforting warmth of the high jungle air and the sound of frolicking monkeys as they lived in synch with their environment. Fortunately, those privileges are allowed to even the purest cruiser, especially so.

I got up early to do a re-patch of the pastor's blood soaked foot. Getting the tention right is important. Wrap too tightly and the appendage turns blue, wrap too loosely and the wound will bleed. I think we got it right the second time. Breakfast? Mogul-made freeze-dried scrambled eggs. A good hot morning meal is always appreciated.

It was a first for me but the advisor was almost three hours late. We got underway. Jose was a cool cat. The short cut was closed but he did let us do some sailing. Sailing was cut short when I discovered that you can't actually see where you're going, through the sail, from up on the flybridge. Panamanians love talking global issues. Our economic situation had not affected Panama's unique industry but they were glad for the stimulus that prevented global collapse.

It was a beautiful day to enjoy the canal. After raining hard all week, this day turned out sunny and nice. The boat was running perfect of course – Yanmars. I reminded the gentlemen that the canal had a webcam at pancanal.com. Phones were deployed, loved ones were notified and waving commenced. We locked down, left Jose with his transport and dropped our wounded at the dock in Balboa. Rick and I took fuel and secured the big cat to her mooring.

After a clean up, we headed to shore and caught a cab out to the chandlery for some parts. The store owners drove us back to the club! There are nice people everywhere. After a long day of 'work', it was time to chill. Rick and I pulled up barstools and coldies, overlooking the boat, at the Balboa Yacht Club. It's a perk of the job, hanging out with interesting people. We had an amazing conversation. For his work, he invested money … at a high level. I enjoyed his purely financial breakdown of economics generally as well as our current situation, leading and lagging indicators and what to expect moving forward. He discounted the gloom and doom reporting we're seeing that I think is done for political benefit. End report: things are getting better, a slow recovery is a good recovery, I'm holding on to my speck of a stock portfolio. Our cruise north, next month.

Mid Panama Canal - Woody Tracker

Woody Tracker
Latitude:9.03694
Longitude:-79.64197
GPS location Date/Time:11/08/2010 09:46:27 PST
Message:Just checking in.
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Sunday, November 7, 2010

Lake Gatun Tie-up Diagram for Cruisers

Lake Gatun - Woody Tracker

Woody Tracker
Latitude:9.26109
Longitude:-79.90237
GPS location Date/Time:11/07/2010 16:56:27 PST
Message:Just checking in.
Click the link below to see where I am located.

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=9.26109,-79.90237&ll=9.26109,-79.90237&ie=UTF8&z=12&om=1

Shelter Bay Colon - Woody Tracker

Woody Tracker
Latitude:9.36799
Longitude:-79.95135
GPS location Date/Time:11/07/2010 12:14:51 PST
Message:Just checking in.
Click the link below to see where I am located.

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=9.36799,-79.95135&ll=9.36799,-79.95135&ie=UTF8&z=12&om=1