Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Visiting Anchorages :)

I love being out at anchor again.  Left Starfish Beach  mid-day for that 2 hour motorsail back to the anchorage outside of Bocas Marina.   Dropped the hook, had a swim, shower and relaxed.  Called Sea Cycle to see if there was anything they needed as we were heading down their way to Rana Azul Friday afternoon.  Zipped into town in the early morning, dropped off garbage, picked up some provisions, picked up anchor and on our way.  Had a great sail, with all three sails up ... for about 10 minutes.  Wind shifted and then died, so motored with the main up.  Made sure we gave the markers at Isla Cristobal a wide berth, and then headed down Bahia de Almirante towards Palos Lagoon, in what's called the Dark Lands in Tierra Oscura.  Started out a beautiful day, and then we watched the clouds and rain squalls rolling in.  Great, right when we have to go through shallow water and a narrow cut.  Visibility wasn't great, but luckily it rained behind us and in front of us.

Deb on Sea Cycle had emailed us some waypoints to get inside the reef at Rana Azul.  Do you know that the difference between the waypoints she sent me of 09.070N and 09.090N, and the way points that Dennis entered in the chartplotter of 09.700N and 09.900N, are the difference of making it through the reef or almost going aground!!!  Like I said, the clouds had come in, so you couldn't read the water.  Dennis was on the bow as I was following the waypoints.  Luckily, Mark and Deb were in their cockpit and wondered where the heck we were going, so Mark hopped in the dinghy to guide us in ... just as I saw 11', 7' 6' ... 3.9'???  We draw 6', but the bow is cut out in the front, thankfully, so that when I immediately put it in reverse, we, amazingly, didn't touch bottom.  Mark guided us in in the dinghy with his portable depth sounder.  We went over to visit later and Deb showed me her chart plotter, the waypoints, and her notes. Didn't look the same as mine. That's when I went back and checked Dennis' entries (yes, I guess I should do that every time!) and found out that he had made that 'little' error.  Oh well, safe and sound, I guess that's all that counts.

Captain Ron, BEN 13, in the white tshirt,
Ernie, the self-appointed mayor of
Tiera Oscuro, and land based people
having fun!

Had a wonderful dinner ashore at Rana Azul, run by Josef and Maria from Austria.  Josef greets you at the dinghy dock as Maria stands by the restaurant in her chef's outfit to welcome you.  Good home cooking, absolutely amazing and great prices.  Finally got to meet Captain Ron, BEN 13, who does the local weekend net.  As someone said to me, we don't have TV or radio, so the morning net is our little bit of entertainment.  Local weather, news, community announcements, boat tips, trivia.  It's fun!

Josef with Manhing and his cousin

To explain the BEN thing ... it's the Bocas Emergency Net.  For the most part they're ex-cruisers, but just a lot of ex-pats as well.  Captain Ron has supplied all of these land based people with antennas and VHF radios, which they leave on 24 hours a day, to be available in the case of an emergency.  There's doctors, nurses, mechanics, people with fast boats ... but they're all there, waiting to help in any way they can.  This is a fantastic community!

Peace and quiet and getting boat chores done.  The good thing is, free internet.  The bad thing is, can't swim, way too many jellyfish.  The big, ugly kind as well. 

The wood in the cockpit needs some serious work.  All the rain we've had in the last 2 months has made everything black with mold no matter how much I clean.  I'm now sanding everything down and going back to Cetol.  A lot of work.  Did real well on all the handrails and the eyebrow on deck, then rinsing everything down ... until that last bucket of water.  Bucket up, back out :(   Agony!!!!  Worked through it the next day.  Need to head back to Bocas Town to visit Jules on Ocean Mandalay, a chiropractor! 

Always a fun time at Rana Azul

Headed in to Rana Azul again on Sunday afternoon for their clay oven baked pizza.  There was a crowd over from Red Frog Marina, and had a short visit with George and Pixie on Silver Sea.  Hmmm, pain medication and red wine ... this might be working!   ~~~_/)~~~

No comments: