I am going to take advantage of the fact that we have good, fast internet and upload pictures of our “circumnavigation” of Isla Montuosa. Let’s go a visual journey together, shall we?
What you come to find, sailing long distances on an old sailboat, is you live in a machine in constant motion that’s always breaking down. No matter how new, expensive, or trusted your brand of boat, entropy cannot be escaped for long at sea. Sometimes you need one of those in-between pieces. Or the specialty replacement part that’s an ocean away and costs more than you can stomach spending anyhow. If you want to stay on the move, it pays to invest in a little bag of tricks that will keep you equipped to respond to misfortune.
Try to record it all before it fizzles. So many thoughts pay me a visit while I’m sitting here on watch, but I rarely write them down. So many observations, words roaming around in my head. We have been on passage now for four days – just finished our fourth night…beginning our fifth day. I want to get some of this down on paper before we climb through the jaws of the Papagallo to be masticated and spit out somewhere near the Gulf of Fonseca.
Wow, I can’t believe we’re actually doing this. This passage marks the beginning of our ~900 mile trip back up to Mexico and our ~4000 mile trip back home. Isla Montuosa, a deserted island about 40 miles off the coast of Western Panama is our first destination. A shakedown cruise, if you will, to get back into the flow and fix anything that needs fixing before we start the long haul. Plus, we can’t pass up the opportunity to spend time on a very private, very beautiful deserted tropical island. After all, that is kinda why we’re out here on a boat. Don’t want to leave that dessert uneaten!
That about sums up the cat these days.
Day 4. Saturday. Halloween. It’s a Northwest rain with solid light gray skies. The green jungle trees outside the hatch look textured by the white noise of falling water. The island we’re anchored to belongs to a billionaire with celebrity friends, if that sort of thing excites you. Apparently Britney Spears walked around nearby Bahia Honda once, and there is good reason to believe that Mick Jagger has enjoyed the view. Not much is going on aboard Serenity this afternoon, which is a blessed break in the activity of the past week. The trip home has started.
We just left Boca Chica and the nostalgia is already overwhelming. I’ve written and rewritten this post in my head at least forty times but I can’t quite find the words to express how deeply we came to love this place and how difficult it is to leave.
The total expenses for October were $1150. Not too shabby.
I’m have a supremely hard time accepting that October is already over. Time is moving far too quickly for my liking because October/November straddle cruising seasons – hurricane season and rainy season are coming to a close – and that means it is really time to start the trip back home. October was PACKED probably because we knew our time was finite and there were so many things we still wanted to do! I made a feeble attempt to sell my wares (greeting cards featuring my photography) at the local market in Boquete – something I had vowed to do at the beginning of the month. Our friends were my primary customers and were much better about pimping my product than I was.
Cockroaches are pretty much a fact of life down here. You can try as hard as humanly possible to keep them off of your boat, but if you’re sailing anywhere south of the border…they will likely be a foregone conclusion. I tell you this because we have cockroaches again. BUT (silver lining) they are remarkably respectful cockroaches. They are rarely in our living space and they tend to prefer the areas immediately around the cockpit (get it?). Nonetheless, I am pretty anti-cockroach. Despite my name, this boat simply isn’t big enough for us to live together harmoniously.