We should have known that Panama wouldn’t let us go too easily… It’s Panama…. Nothing and I mean NOTHING is easy!!!
I successfully checked us out in the manner our wonderful agent had advised (you know, some cash inside one of the passports to avoid the $105 per person exorbitant leaving on a sail boat fee) but after I found the passports I had accidentally left in the supermarket hours before and returned to immigration a second time, the man casually looked surprised and handed the cash back to me (with a stunned uninterpretable facial expression) before simply stamping us all out of the country and laughing hysterically! I think he could see I’d had a rough day!
Eventually we all made it back to the boat alive and ready with supplies to last a life time (or at least a few months) but sure enough the engine wouldn’t work… By 5 am the once immaculate boat looked like this:
By 6 am we were all napping in the cockpit before reattempting problem solving. It’s a long story, but I fixed our engine with a garlic clove… no jokes!
Just before departure the heavens opened up and we finally had the shower we had all been dreaming of for weeks. It was perfect!!!
Some people might have taken too much soap though….
It was brilliant to hit the ocean again!!!
We stopped briefly in Las Perlas to say hi to some friends and get a free breakfast….
We caught some fish (and a shark – but the camera, like us, was all but ready for the ordeal)
We celebrated finally being out of Panama waters by smoking cigars.
And finally decided to go to Columbia instead of Ecuador…
Everything was perfect!
Until the wind died… (although there were so many whales and dolphins and sharks that we didn’t mind too much)
Although when in one day we made negative nine miles, we started to get a bit worried…
In fact the captain went crazy….
But despite the engine breaking (again), the sail ripping, the propeller shaft leaking, the cockpit leaking, the new stove breaking, the wind vane breaking, all our fishing lines getting tangled around the hull in a desperate attempt for a fish to escape… and I forget what else, we kept the moral up and kept ourselves entertained.
Because it really doesn’t matter how many things go wrong, you can’t not enjoy life with this kind of view.
Even the crazy birds wanted a piece of our action!
Yes, life was great!
But it was still really nice to see land again after 15 days at sea!
With our engine broken, we tacked through the craziest channels to find what we thought would be the perfect anchorage; fighting currents and dodging startled fishing boats as we went .
When finally we anchored for the third time that day, we found ourselves welcomed to Tumaco, Columbia with beers and an amazing meal and the friendliest people you could possibly imagine!
Yes, the 400 mile trip took us two weeks, but every single bit of it was worth it!
I licked the land hello and life was brilliant! And to be honest, I have fallen more and more in love with this place every day since!
We have worked and fixed and shopped and bid farewell to Michael as he cycles to Patagonia and Cinthia as she hitches/ bikes/ whatevers to the lands of snow boarding… And tomorrow the crazy Swede and I finally leave land for real and set sail for the proper Pacific. The trade winds. The nothingness. The stars. The phosphorescence. And all the time in the world for music and writing and reading and thoughts.
|700 litres of water…
It’s sad to say goodbye to the wonderful people and strange prettinesses of Columbia, but it’s time!!!
We are anything but ready for the months that lie ahead of us, but I don’t think you can ever really be prepared enough for the Pacific.
Tomorrow we will finally be sailors again.
It’s about time 🙂