Monday, January 29, 2007

Arrived in the San Blas Islands

We arrived in the San Blas Islands Sunday after a 4 day passage from Aruba. It was a much easier passage than we were anticipating having heard many horror stories of strong winds and huge seas. Happily our weather window held true and we passed the critical part along the coast of Columbia during just a couple of days of moderation.

We plan to be here two weeks before we move on to Cristobal.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Halfway to Panama

We're halfway into our ~600 mile 4 night passage from Aruba to Panama's San Blas Islands. Current position: N12.11' W074.53'

We've had 20 knot winds and 6-7 feet seas most of the way from Aruba. That's moderate for this time of the year in this area, which has a bad reputation as a difficult passage. Conditions are forecast to strengthen Saturday, but hopefully not too much. We expect to arrive in the San Blas Islands Sunday.

Thursday, January 25, 2007


We made a very brief stop in Aruba -- just 4 days. We had planned on a week in each of Curacao and Aruba but weather windows and our schedule messed that up. We moved on to Aruba mainly to get 70 miles of our San Blas passage out of the way.

We dived off Rennaissance Island while we were in Aruba. It was an OK dive -- generally poor visibility -- but there was the wreck of a plane that had been placed at the site. It was big -- a twin-engined airliner.

On Sunday at midnight I awoke feeling a strange motion of the boat. When I looked out of the hatch there was a naked couple on the trampoline having sex! I challenged them and they apologized -- "Sorry, man!" -- and jumped over the side giggling. They swam to a nearby dive boat and picked up where they left off.

We left Aruba on Wednesday 24th headed for Panama's San Blas Islands -- 560 miles.

Saturday, January 20, 2007


As a trial, I've started sending position reports to the Yotreps Position Reporting Network. I came across this server, which is based in New Zealand, while researching Pacific support services. I'll try to send a position report whenever we move, and daily while on passage.

You can view the result by clicking here

We'll see whether I can keep it up.

We've just today crossed from Curacao to Aruba, and now we wait for a weather window to Panama.

Saturday, January 13, 2007


We arrived in Curacao Friday January 5th. The principal cruiser anchorage is Spanish Water – a large inland lagoon entered through a quarter mile channel. From there, to clear in on Saturday, we caught a bus into Willemstad, the capital. It was a long walk to visit both Customs and Immigration in different parts of the town. We had to bus back in on Monday to visit the Harbour Authority and get an Anchoring Permit.

Willemstad is an attractive city with pastel painted European style houses. It has a floating pedestrian bridge across the river that is moved aside by giant ‘outboard motors’ to let the cruise ships in and out.

We’ve made a couple of dives near another anchorage – Fuik Bai – having obtained an Anchoring Permit for this bay. Seas were a bit high outside the bay, but the dives were good.

We’d like to leave here for San Blas (Panama) but this is looking unlikely right now. We’ll probably leave for Aruba later this week.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Bonaire Diving

We spent 3 weeks in Bonaire over Christmas and New Year. For Christmas we spent time with other cruisers including a party aboard one boat at which we cruised up and down singing Christmas carols. We had our Christmas lights up of course but they were only on for an hour or two each night due to the power they consumed.

We made about 20 dives. Most Bonaire dives can be done as either boat dives or shore dives -- they have both moorings and roadside markers. We dinghied up to 3 miles, north and south, from our mooring to get to dive sites. We also dinghied all round Klein Bonaire, a small island off the mainland that can only be accessed by boat. We rented a car for a week that let us see more of the island, and dive a bit further afield.

Bonaire diving is great everywhere. Some of the best diving was right under our mooring. Visibility was excellent, coral in beautiful condition, and plenty of fish. We last dived Bonaire 9 years ago and it’s still good. We, however, have dived all over the Caribbean since then.