Sailing vessel Dances With Dragons' Ship's Log

Subtitle

2011-The Adventure Continues-------

20 Feb 2011--Been a great weekend at Red Frog here in the Bocas Del Toro Archipelago. Great party friday night and there were a lot of cruisers there.  Food was great and "great fun was had by all."

I have a young couple on board and they are Allison and Hunter. They are doing a "gap" year, it is what kids do today when they get their degree from Kollidge. They just go backpacking around for a year before they enter the work force.  Good On Em! 

A new crew member is coming aboard today, her name is Nina, she is from Indonesia, never been on a sailboat before but it is ok, she smiles ALL the time!!  (How do people manage that one?)  Anyway, she just got her Masters degree and is now doing her gap year.  I hope we don't experience any "white knuckle, stomach wrenching seas" on her first time out.

We have to wait till the dink motor is overhauled before we can set sails for the Chagres River near Colon, Panama.  It is about 143 miles from here.  Sooo looking forward to getting back to sea.  Still can't explain the tremendous draw the ocean has on me but it can't go away, kinda like when I was a boy after that "First Kiss", all I could think about was the last kiss and "whens gonna be the next Kiss?? 

7 Mar 2011--Talked to the mechanic shop today,,,,,dink motor parts won't get here from Florida for another week.  My crew may jump ship on me. They are ready to head for Cartagena. Me too, but can't leave without the dink motor.

Talked to my whole Family today and everyone is healthy and happy so it has made my birthday a good one.  Can't ask for more than that.

Sanding and varnishing on the helm wheel and finally getting around to building a proper cover for the Admiral's panel that houses all the gauges and the ignition key. MI CARPINTERO!! Don't have much more, just went to the beach today, hung out for a time, came back to Kayukos to check the emails again and see what the market finished @.  Will be so pleased when all the trouble in the Middle East is over, all that mess is threatening my retirement! (Concerned about the people in the region as well if I am to be  honest).

14 Mar 2011-Still no dink motor. (the gal forgot to give the freight forwarder in Miami the code number for the address so it will be next week some time before the parts get here.) "Banana cha cha, Banana cha cha cha"   Merciful Heavens! You just come to expect it and accept it. All the Gringo business owner could do was laugh and shake his head.

Don't know about my sail plan now........Always wanted to sail to Croatia and see Marco Polo's birthplace. Always wanted to sail across an ocean. Doing it solo though,,,,,. We'll see.

I still have the hook firmly planted just off Red Frog marina on Bastimientos Island. Nice beach on the windward side called Red Frog and around the point from that is Turtle Beach, less populated, nice and peaceful, more my style. 

17 Mar 2011- Over @ Bocas Town on Isla Colon now, TODAY may be the day!  The Lady @ the outboard shop told me yesterday that the parts are now in Panama City and she hopes to have them today.  Shouldn't take the mechanic long to fix the motor. What to do now???  Which way to go??  Maybe the new chapter should be

CHASING PLANKTON

I would have to sail the 1,200 + miles to Key West, get the AIS, the radar and the SSB installed quickly so I could get started across the Atlantic in May.  "Solo".....I may have mentioned I am not fond of solo....too lonely. Solo means there is no one around to listen to my jokes, talk to, enjoy the moon, stars, ocean critters, sunsets, sun ups, a cup of coffee and I need someone that can cook.  My cooking just isn't makin it!  I have to make a decision soon. Stay tuned.

1 April 2011- The 939 mile run to Isla Mujeres from Bocas Del Toro was a great run! Wanted to sail, strictly sail, from up anchoring in Bocas to dropping the hook on the ground in Isla Mujeres but it was not to be. After taking advantage of the outgoing tide and the sea/land effect breeze last wednesday from Bocas the wind just DIED while still in sight of Bocas. I drifted along for about 3 hours and noticed I was just drifting backward and up the coast from Bocas towards some reefs. I cracked Miss Westerbeke off and 12 hours later found wind.  My total carbon footprint for the 939 mile run was about 13 gallons of diesel.  Not bad.  

About 250 miles from Isla Mujeres the main sail blew out. (Totally self inflicted it was, I was sailing dead down wind and had the sail laying on the shroud lines and the top spreader which is ok in very mild winds but in a near gale which is what I had it is a recipe for disaster. I looked up and saw where the spreader had cut its way thru the sail and as I was reaching for the auto helm to point up into the wind and lower the sail it blew apart.  I took it to the sail loft this morning and should have it back next week. Will look for the best weather window then and sail to Key West. There I will get an SSB, AIS and radar installed and then decide if I am still keen on sailing across the Atlantic and entering the Med solo. Would like to catch my friends Doug and Barbara on S/V Plankton. They are currently in Spain and they left last May. My only drawback is the solitude. I did however do ok with it over the 7 day run to Isla. (Sad to think I may be starting to accept it as the norm.) I need a Girl in my Life. Simple as that. Mother Ocean is so spectacular, even if you are out on her alone, put a Girl you are nutz about on board and you can multiply spectacular times 10. Had a Girl like that.

I have five Grandsons and two Grand Daughters and they ask me a lot of questions about sailing and the sea. The Grandsons are getting to the age, a couple of them are, where Girls are losing their Cooties and becoming of an interest to them,,,,,,,,What in the heck will I say to them when they come to me for answers on that subject when I don't have em figured out myself??!!!  I suppose I will just have to tell em the truth and that is ,,,,"I DON'T HAVE A CLUE, but let me know if you get them figured out!" 

It has been good seeing some of the friends Nancy and I made here in Isla a year and 4 mos ago. This is another place, like Bocas Del Toro, that can get under your skin and never let you leave. There are a lot of expats here that have been "enchanted" by the place and just never left.

Well, I can see the beach is loading up with beach bunnies and I have made it my work, being the charitable sort that I am, to make sure enough suntan lotion is rubbed on them, all in the name of charity of course, no charge.  Gotta go. 

3 April 2011-Been getting a lot of work done on the boat. The aft lazy jack line attachment under the boom broke off during the passage so I fixed that. I took the boards off that the diesel and water jerry cans have been lashed off to on deck and replaced them with bamboo poles that I got in the rain forest  in Panama'.  Looks cool. (Not "Royal Navy Yachty" but cool.) Kinda looks "tropically rustic" it does.  I don't care squachie about looking Royal Navy.  I am rubbish.

The mainsail  is due back on Tuesday.  What are the odds?  Its ok as Passage weather is telling me that sailing to Key West in the next ten days is out of the question unless you are really in to pain. I am not.

I do like Isla Mujeres. Nice beaches, good places to eat and the people are "muy amable". Means "very friendly".

Missed my Grandson Brody's first birthday today. He made it a sailing theme to honor his Captain. (That would be Me).   Will get lots of pictures of the event from my Daughter Beth and her Mother Martha I am sure.  This adventure is great, do miss these things though. A lot. 

17 April 2011--Weelll, I handed the sail repair shop in Isla $400 US, cleared out of Mexico and set sails for Key West.  Wasn't around the tip of the Yucatan before the main blew out in two different areas.  (The repair work that was done in Isla wasn't the problem.) The problem is that the sail is  old and wore out like me. Should have gotten a new one 5 years ago.  Nancy would repair it with our sailrite sewing machine and we got more Life out of it than we could expect to.

So, with that main coming to pieces and the fact that the wind was howling out of the east upsetting the water in the gulf stream I decided to alter course and set a course that would take me to Port Aransas, TEXAS.  I will enjoy my Children and Grandchildren while I buy an new main, tan bark of course, get a radar, an AIS and an SSB installed before I head out again. Getting all this done before mid May when it is the time to set out across the Atlantic for the Med would be a tough thing to do. I may make up my mind to just take my time with the work,  enjoy my Family and friends and be ready to leave in May of 2012. (I intend to Live to be 110 so there is no rush, been "rushing" all my Life, time to start Living "Tranquillo"- means tranquil or relaxed.)

The run to Port A with jib alone was good. The wind was right off the starboard hip and I couldn't point straight to the mark so I got to do a little more sailing but it was still good. Didn't have to run the engine much, only had a total of "no wind" conditions for about 20 hours. It was a little rough for cooking and twice my meal wound up on the deck.  Coffee making was tik for tak as well. It too wound up on the galley deck until I figured out a way to lash the pot off.  Sound like a lot of trouble???   I HAVE to have coffee every morning. (I don't know how Nancy managed to cook the meals she did in those conditions.)

While I was in Isla Mujeres I ran in to some old friends and  one of them asked, "Wayne, what is it that draws you and people like you to the ocean"?  I thought about how best to answer that and I told them about the time Nancy and I went to see the giant leatherback turtles come ashore in Trinidad and lay their eggs. They dig a huge hole in the sand and then she straddles the hole and lays I think about 90 to 110 golf ball size eggs. The eggs are then covered up with sand and they hatch after a time. The little newly hatched turtles climb up out of the sand and start crawling towards the surf. I stopped one of them and asked him how he knows to go towards the ocean and not go inland and he said, "I dunno, Mother Ocean calls and we go to her".

So I suppose I shall coin that response,,,,"I dunno, Mother Ocean calls and we go to her".

10 May 2011-Ordered the main from Mack Sails in Stuart, Fl and it should be here by mid June. Researched it to death and all the cruisers I talked to said Mack Sails make good strong durable sails and have been doing it for a long time so I ordered it from them. Mid June is too late into hurricane season to try to head south. People do it though. Would have liked to get to the Rio Dulce in Guatemala and do hurricane season there with friends but having to wait on this sail has nixed that. (Its all right, TEXAS is a pretty cool place to be.)

Went up to Conroe to see my Grandson Levi's last two baseball games and for Mother's Day. It was good to see all of them. All healthy and all are doing well. My 3 year old Grand Daughter Shelby wants me to come Live @ her house. (Don't try to explain "Mother Ocean calls" and the little turtle story to a 3 year old.)

I bought all new anchor chain and put it on. (Should have replaced it five years ago as well. It was past due.)

I am taking advantage of this time @ the dock to deal with a lot of things that would be difficult to do @ anchor in some of the countries I will be visiting. The initial cost of boat parts are much higher and the shipping costs  get expensive so this trip back home was needed and I needed to see my Family. Got to get busy.

9 June 2011--Sail should be here any day now. I have installed a chart plotter on the nav station and am in the process of installing the AIS. (The AIS is an electronic device that puts the big ships and any other vessels equipped with one on your chart plotter screen to keep you from "going bump in the night" with them.)  It has an alarm that sounds if something gets within the range you set it for so if I am to continue to do this solo it will make the adventure a lot safer. It will be like having crew. Sort of.

My Daughter Beth, Son in Law Adam and their two boys Bailey and Brody came to Port A for 4 days and I joined them @ the beach.  Martha, my ex and best friend, Mother to our Son and Daughter and  Grandmother to our seven Grandkids and Patty, a long time friend from Blackjack, TEXAS came as well and it was great to see them. (Got a great home cooked meal out of it as well!)

Took Beth N Adam N Bailey out for a three hour sail yesterday and it was the first time the boat has moved from the slip since I got here. It was great to get out on the water and the huge smile that was on my Grandson's face and all the questions he had made it a wonderful time. 

I may be getting to see some friends Nancy and I made in Isla Mujeres on our way south in November 2009 this weekend. We have stayed in touch on the emails. Looks like good weather to take them out sailing. Looking forward to it.  Got to get with the Garmin tech support to see if they can coach me thru the AIS installation, (I can't seem to make the thing pick up the other ships.)

 29 June 11--REGRET-- Living with regret is tough. I learned two days ago that my Cousin Bill's Widow Dana passed away.  We lost Bill in 76 I think and he left a Wife and three kids behind. I regret having neglected them so badly all these years. I didn't even know Dana had been real sick for the last few years until today @ the funeral.

As I mentioned before, I write this thing for myself mostly, to read when I am older and try to relive the adventure while I am in my rocking chair. When I am 105 I will read this and I wonder if I will think I neglected people I Loved less since 29 June 11. 

For now I believe I will go to the rum locker, knock the dust off a bottle of Caribbean rum and mix up a concoction I shall call "Regret Remover". I know I have to get this hurt to go away.

Well, I found I don't have any coca cola and I have no limes. Never mind, I think if it is choked down my neck straight up it will probably come closer to washing the regret out of my heart.

Didn't help. Not any.  

Rachel, Little Bill and Dena grew up to be wonderful people without any support from me. Dana was a wonderful Mother. 

21 July 2011--Have done some sailing since last entry. Took some friends out for a sail and we anchored off on the lee side of St. Joseph island for the Port Aransas 4rth of July fireworks display. It was a spectacular show and "a good time was had by all". 

Went off shore with a group of friends day before yesterday and two of them were on a sailboat for the first time. The winds were out of the SE @ about 12 so it was a nice sail for them. (It takes 20 knt winds for this old Girl to cook but 12 was good for my first time crew. They Loved it! I too enjoyed the day a lot.

Last Thursday Lt Commander William Patrick Egan's remains arrived @ Intercontinental airport in Houston. He was shot down in Viet Nam in 1966 and had been MIA since.  His remains were found and DNA testing determined it was Egan. There were hundreds of Viet Nam vets that belong to the South East TEXAS Patriot Guard Riders group and they were all there @ the airport holding huge American Flags to honor Egan.  I spent all of Friday on the boat, couldn't get out of my rack, didn't even look out.  Saturday morning I was up @ 0300 and on the Harley bound for Houston @ 0400 to participate with the Patriot Guard Riders in honoring the Lt. Cmdr. and to support his Family.

The last 15 miles or so was done in the rain and half of the funeral was in the rain. As I stood there with my Flag in the rain I looked around @ all the other vets and it became clear to me that none of them even noticed it was raining and that they were soaking wet. It wasn't an issue, they were there to honor Lt. CMDR. WILLIAM PATRICK EGAN, that was the mission and they were totally fixed on the mission.

We weren't welcomed Home by a grateful nation returning Home from Viet Nam but By God we made sure William Patrick Egan was welcomed Home by his Brothers.

I am very proud of Egan and I feel relieved that he is home and accounted for. I am very proud of the South East TEXAS Patriot Guard Riders group as well for being there in such great numbers to honor him. This group of Vets are at all the funerals of all the service men and Women that arrive home from our middle east "conflicts". Rain, sleet, snow, heat,,,nothing keeps them from being there.  ***If you are interested in going and serving along with these Vets in honoring our casualties you can go to www.patriotguard.org and you will see when and where the next funeral is. (You do not have to be a Vet to join this group but you will be in the company of many that are.) Hopefully we won't be burying many more that come home from serving in areas of the world where the people we are dying for absolutely hate us.

Looking forward to doing the Harvest Moon Regatta in October and sailing back to the Caribbean when the winds start blowing out of the north in early November!  I am trying to locate a new main boom as my splice is starting to give up.   

Well shucks, while waiting out hurricane season I have interviewed every Girl in Port Aransas that wasn't clearly blind, crippled or krazy in looking for a new first mate and so far none have made the cut.  Lowering the bar is the only solution I suppose.  Solo is not cool. 

 22 July 2011-- Still contemplating riding up to Sturgis for the annual Harley party. Never have gotten to do it and it is on the bucket list.  I will look at the long range tropical forecast before I take off and make the decision then.  I would like to ride through Yellowstone Park on the way back. Someone told me a few months ago "Wayne, we are only here a short while and we are a long time dead so it is best to GO FOR IT while you can".  Heard that saying before but the way it was said and all things considered @ that moment made it hit home.  I am thankful for every day and I do Love and appreciate every day. This sailing adventure will give me plenty of things to revisit in my mind when I finally have to leave the boat and get fitted for that dreaded rocking chair. (That won't be for another 35 years or so.)

24 July 2011-- Just got back from the class reunion in Victoria. I am so glad that I went now.  Got to visit with some Family, several classmates that I remembered and met a couple I didn't know back in school.

I learned that "lowering the bar" would never work for me. Why would I just "go through the motions"?  How bad can solitude be? 

The band that played at the dance halls around Victoria back then, The Moods, were playing all those songs we grew up listening to and dancing to. They sounded just like they did back then.

Returning to things nautical--As I mentioned, the boom splice I put on the main boom is giving up, the Harvest Moon Regatta is coming up soon and the sail back to the Caribbean is too. I have decided that I really need to get busy securing a new or used boom. Don't know where to start the search. Time flies. The Sturgis trip on the Harley will have to wait. (They do it every August.) 

30 July 2011--Thought I had the new boom "on the hip" so I got the 20,ooo mile service done on the Harley and set a course that would take me to Sturgis for the big Harley bash. Got just north of Austin and I think I was close to having a heat stroke. Checked in to a hotel, cooled down and went to bed. Woke up @ 2300 hrs and was up the rest of the night with a dehydration headache. I didn't take on near enough water during the ride north.

And to think I was once a lean, green, amphibious, bullet proof Marine. I guess now I am just a big Sissy! When the sun came up I wasn't feeling any better and the weather channel was showing 105 F  for the ride all the way to South Dakota. I decided to abort the mission, ride back to the boat with my tail tucked up between my legs and live to fight another day.  (Who wants to go and be around a bunch of drunk and disorderly Harley riders anyway?) I guess it is a matter of choking too many cheeseburgers, super sized fries and cold beer down my neck over the years that have made me soft. I am rubbish!

Never mind, I have decided to start an intense exercise program and soon I will be sharper than Gillette Super Blue again.  No more cheeseburgers, fries and cold beer. Well,,,maybe a beer or two...Light beer that is.

For now I think I will take a nap and give this exercise bit another think when I wake up.

The co that was securing a new boom for me informed me that their source in France went under and they couldn't find me a boom. Drat!  I may have to try and repair the one I have.  Not good. (When Mother Ocean is angry she stresses out every working part of a sailboat and the main boom needs to be @ 100% when she decides to spank you.)

Tropical storm Don cropped up down between Cuba and the tip of the Yucatan and initially was expected to move across Port Aransas as a cat one storm so we all secured our boats in the marina for a cat three. A lot of work for nothing as we didn't even get any rain and max winds were maybe 20 knts.  Which is a good thing. Farmers and ranchers could have used some rain. This may be listed as one of the worst droughts in TEXAS history.

Going to Mother's 87th Birthday tomorrow.  My Son, Daughter and All seven of  my Grandkids will be there. It will be great to see them and get my arms around the star of the show.  

1 Aug 2011-- The Birthday party was a huge success! All of my Grandkids, all their Aunts, Uncles and all their Cousins were there. Absolutely every one, starting with my Mother,  are healthy and happy.  My Family is so blessed. I look around me and see other Families that aren't doing so well. Would like to see all Families enjoying the good health and well being mine does.  

2 Aug 2011-- The Debt Ceiling "Compromise" was arrived @ yesterday in Washington. What is going on in Washington is turning Best Friends and even Families against each other. Seems to me we are heading to the same place we were @ during the Civil War. How can the far right and the far left be so far apart that this level of hatred re seats itself in my Country? My plan?,,I shall sail back to the Caribbean, away from Fox News, be tranquillo.  Will keep up with the issues enough to cast what I feel like is the correct vote but I refuse to watch it 24/7 and let it worry me to death. I  have one vote.

Will drive to Kemah today to see if I can secure a new or used boom. 

20 Aug 2011-- Went to a Family Reunion in Texarkana, Arkansas. Drove my Mother up there from Conroe and it was a great reunion. It was for my Mother's side of the Family, The Fondren Family.  All the Fondrens are healthy, prosperous and happy. We are thankful for that.

After getting back to Conroe I received a call from Stix n Rig'n in Kemah regarding the new boom they have located for me.  I should have it in about a week or so. The boom is the last thing on the list, I will be 100% ready for the offshore race and the sail back to the Caribbean. I am getting excited about both events.

For the sail south there may be three other boats leaving the same morning with me. We will be like an Armada.  

I have sat around this old boat watching Wall Street tumble and it was upsetting me a bit so I had to find a way to quit thinking about it. I took a trash bag and went to the beach and picked up STUPID PEOPLE'S TRASH for about four miles of beach. There are plenty of trash cans put in place along the beach road by the State and Stupid people choose to just throw their trash on the beach.  I DON'T GET IT!

Anyway, I don't cuss them while I am picking it up, it does me good to do it, it is good exercise and I am not in front of this computer watching Wall Street and my Country cave in. 

19 Oct 2011--Been a long time since I have entered anything in this log. A lot has happened. Did the Harvest Moon Regatta and it was a lot of fun.  It was a light air race and this old Gal needs a lot of wind to make her sail fast so we didn't come close to placing in the race.  But never mind, it was a fun race because I had a really good crew. All of them are good sailors, great @ the helm. The party here in Port Aransas was a lot of fun as well.

The new boom did come in before the race and I put it on. Looks funny to me as it is silver in color and the old boom was Harley Davidson black.  It will take some getting used to. It works well and that is good for now.

 I am now in the process of putting everything back on the boat. I have about 10 loads to move from the storage unit I rented.  Will be hoping for a good strong norther around the 6th of Nov. I believe the full moon is on the 10 so if we get a norther around the 6th or 7th and leave for Isla Mujeres on the 8th we should have plenty of moonlight for the passage. It is a 739 mile run and would like to sail all the way and not use the engine. 

I may have a couple of crew members, depends on their schedules. If not, it will be solo. I have gotten used to the idea.

I have to get the Life raft inspected. $700 for inspecting something you pray you never have to deploy. HHMM, the thought just occurred to me that if I did have crew and the boat went to the bottom like a rock and we had to get in the Life raft I would have to listen to a lot of whining while we bobbed up and down drifting for days, maybe weeks for someone to come rescue us. Ugly picture, I can't stand whiners.

It will be good to see my friends in Isla Mujeres, Roatan and Bocas Del Toro. I have missed their friendship over the last months that I have been home.  Of course I have gotten to enjoy my Family While I have been here.  Not as much as I wanted to. It is never enough. "We are here only a short while, a long time Dead we are".  (The person that gave me that quote made me understand how important it is that I sail on.)

28 Oct 2011--Everything is falling in to place for the sail back to El Caribe. One minor set back is another crown fell out and I have to get that replaced before I leave. (NO MORE DENTAL WORK IN THIRD WORLD COUNTRIES!!)  I have a good dentist here @ home and it would be foolish to put it off and have the new crown put in down south.

29 Nov 2011--Heck, didn't realize it had been a month since I entered some of my priceless information in to the site. Been busy, Finally got away from the dock @ Island Moorings, Port Aransas, TEXAS on  13 Nov. Left Port A on the 8th. 

Al, Amy and Debbie left with me and @ about 20 miles out Al noticed the new batteries were dead and had to sail back in to Port A.  Nothing I could do for him and I proceeded on to Isla Mujeres.  I had a great crew in Mimi.  Not an experienced sailor but she was plenty dependable to stand watches and wake me up if she saw some lights on the horizon. As a result I was not so sleep deprived on arrival in Isla. She was good to talk to  over the 739 mile run.  We had the wind on the hip and following seas for most of the way but when we got near the cut between Cuba and the Yucatan Peninsula we ran in to the current and the wind wasn't strong enough to move us toward the mark. The sails were full but the gps speed was showing 00 knts so I cracked the engine off and we motored the last 30 hours.  Wanted to leave as small a carbon footprint as we could but it is always smart to get out of the Gulf of Mexico no matter what time of the year it is.

Dan on Malachite, a fine looking 41 Hans Christian arrived just before the norther hit and was safely tied to the dock here @ Marina Paraiso in Isla.  We bounced around all nite but so far no boats have been damaged.  Passage weather is saying the winds will calm down enough for me to take off in the morning bound for Providencia, Colombia. 711 miles SE of here.  Should be a fun run south.

So pleased I got my crown put in in Corpus Christi, TEXAS instead of waiting and taking a big chance on getting it done here or Panama.  thanx to Dr. Hunsaker in Corpus I can now chew the hump off a brahmah bull's neck! 

Isla Mujeres is a great place to visit, it is time for me to move on now, getting ancie.

Will add some more of this bantor regarding the passage when I arrive in Providencia.

Oh, "Providencia" means Heaven in Spanish,,,,gee I hope I make the cut and they let me in. 

6 Dec 2011--  HA! They let me in!  Didn't ask for a rap sheet or anything. Now I just need to be good from now on and hopefully I can make the cut for the Providencia "up Yonder". I'll make it,,, been trying real hard to clean up.

The ride from Isla to Providencia was the best sailing experience I have ever had! Did not even adjust the sails once for the whole 711 miles, five days.  I was flying the whole time. This old boat stood up straight like a big Girl and I was even able to cook and have coffee every morning and none of the meals I cooked wound up on the galley deck.

Did you know the roosters in Providencia begin crowing @ 0245??  This morning they woke me up and I stumbled in to the galley, pushed the button on the coffee and stumbled back to my rack and fell back in for a couple more minutes of rest. I glanced over @ the digital clock and it read 0245!!  I went back to the galley, killed the coffee making process and went back to bed to listen to the roosters crowing. @ 0400 I couldn't stand it anymore and got up,  restarted the coffee, put my nose back in to my Kon Tiki book and sipped coffee and read.  I dunno, think I will leave crossing the Pacific on a balsa wood raft to our Norwegian friends.

I am going to go see the Port Captain about the rooster problem, I figure if we round up all the roosters on the island and have a big chicken fry get together we could eliminate the problem.  We could go down to San Andres and get some new roosters that have a more people friendly internal clock.

My friends on Diversion, Al and Beth and their crew Debbie and Amy will get here from Roatan maybe this evening. Possibly in the morning and we will tour the island together. Should be fun.

Changes in my Life seem to come @ times when I least expect them, some good, some bad but mostly they are great. I am blessed. Getting to see some islands I didn't get to see before and the opportunities to see and explore many more are @ hand. Just have to keep on with it.  Pacific crossing? Well, it is still something that I feel like I HAVE to do and like I've mentioned , I have to come to grips with doing it solo. The solitude during the passage from Isla to Providencia was more than bearable, it was enjoyable.

Something happened during the passage that made me feel like Tom Hanks in that movie where he was stranded on the Pacific Island and resorted to making friends and talking to Wilson, his volleyball.   The winds slowed down one morning @ about sun up for about an hour and I allowed myself to start dwelling on the situation in my country. The economy, the present administration, what it all means for the future of my country, my Children's future and that of my Grandchildren.  I was in a mental funk lets say and soon the wind picked back up and that beautiful American Flag began to crack and pop in it.  The wind got stronger, the cracking and popping got louder and it seemed to me she was talking to me.  It was like she was reminding me that we have been in worse shape before and we will rise up again and be as strong as ever soon. She wasn't saying it in a calm manner either, she was saying it loud and it was like she was telling not only my Government officials but she was saying it to the rest of the world as well.  It helped restore my confidence in the USA listening to her. She was popping like a whip and it was loud.  We will clean house in 2012 elections and the people that will occupy a seat in Washington will be there to SERVE, not just work to serve their party and themselves!!!

I Love my country, I do not Love my Government officials. Either side of the aisle.

Anyways, she popped and cracked out her message all the way to Providencia. (I didn't actually "talk" to her.), just listened.

19 Dec 2011- Arrived in Bocas Del Toro after a nice two day ride from Providencia. Going to Bocas Town this morning to finish clearing in and get some provisions. (beer stock is getting low)  S/V Diversion stayed in sight the whole way.  Don't have a problem with making passages solo other than it is kinda lonesome @ times but it was sort of cool knowing there was a few sets of eyes watching me 24 hours a day.  I seemed to sleep better knowing that.  Passage was uneventful, meaning nothing broke on the boat. 

20 Dec 2011- During the passage from Isla to Providencia I was sitting in the cockpit sipping coffee and watching the sun come up when for some reason I thought it would be cool to put on my Buddy Holly CD.  After the second song I realized I was totally wrecking out a wonderful, God given event with Buddy's music.  Buddy Holly is great but how could anything improve on a sun up @ sea with the sails full, moving along @ about 5 knots, lines creaking, waves lapping the hull and that American Flag waving off the stern? (I turned Buddy off for the rest of the event.)

Went to town to finish clearing in and to do some provisioning. Last night on the dock here @ Red Frog, Andy, Dave and Steve broke out their guitars and "yuke lai lee" (sp) and they did some jamming. It was great.

I am going to see if I can buy a used jib sail off someone here in Bocas.  I am down to just the one and it is a 100% sail.  Would like to have another 130% if I could find it for light air. 

 

SAILING IS EASY by Captain Wayne Harris

The sails go up,

The wind blows,

The boat goes,

Its Easy! 

 

 

 

 

 

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