FLEET UPDATE 2019-03-30

1) The (counter) Panama Posse.

Several vessels are now heading up the coast from Panama and
parts in between towards Mexico.
Many are working on their Hurricane strategies and are looking for
a safe place.

There are of course several options to consider.

We'll touch on these in one of the upcoming weekly LINE calls but
just as a baseline here is some info.

Please take all of this with a grain of salt.
Pacific Hurricane Strategies run the gamut with some general
markers for you to ponder.


Panama on the Pacific side stay at Vista Mar Marina 
(no hurricanes, yes
lighting strikes)

Costa Rica
stay at a marina Golfito Marina Village,
Banana Bay Marina
, Marina Pez Vela,
Marina Papagayo
- several offer the options with a bond which helps with
customs issues
(no hurricanes, yes
lighting strikes)

Nicaragua - stay at Marina Puesta del Sol 
(no hurricanes, yes lighting strikes)

El Salvador - stay on Bill & Jean's Moorings 
(no hurricanes, yes lighting strikes)

There are ample electrical storms, thunder and lightning and each
season vessel suffer from lightning strikes in these places.


Tehuntapec,MX is the area where the hurricanes usually originate

Mexico - Marina Chiapas and soon Marina Chahue - dredging
starts in May so stay tuned.


All Mexican marinas above this line on the Pacific side are in
the bona-fide Hurricane Zone
(expect for Ensenda) and vessels also occasionally suffer from
lightning strikes.

Here are some visualizations of the historic tracks in the Pacific

Image 24

the lighting strikes map

2) Bahia del Sol, El Salvador

Bahia del Sol

Crew member Dan, Curtis and Fynn, from Germany, made the track
from Huatulco to Chiapas, Mexico in February.The anchorage at
Huatulco harbor, chosen due to closure of the nearby marina Chahue
proofed a good shelter, even in sometimes windy conditions. Local
population is very helpful and the view from the anchorage offers
everything from little fishing dinghies to short visits of
seizable cruise ships. The local lemonade (after a hot day) is to
die for.After watching many website based weather reports and
local advise we picked a window to cross the sometime treacherous
Tehuantepec bay; we were so cautious that we sometimes cursed at
the calm winds. Do not let your guard down here, Closer to our
destination the wind picked up behind us and hugh swells from the
NW caused for an interesting ride.Chiapas marina is a delightful
operation; fairly new and idyllically tucked away in a corner of
Puerto Marino harbor. Memo and Ralph, marina management, as well
as yard lead Ronnie, are most helpful with paper processing and
taking care of the odd repair jobs.After Chiapas the trip
continued, in March, to Bahia de Sol, outside El Salvador. As we
were going to miss our appointed time with the harbor pilot we had
to drop anchor. With the wind picking up in the afternoon, the sit
became close to uncomfortable, not to mention looking at a near
full length of anchor line pointing straight out from the bow. Not
to many options there though. Pilot Bill was hard to find in his
little dinghy amongst the seizable waves but proofed to be a good
guide across the bar into the inlet.Be aware of a good current
flowing inside the small bay including at the small marina.Next
planned stop: Golfito, Costa Rica. To be continued . . . .



3) Bahia del Sol, El Salvador

Tips on entering Bahia del sol:

Ensure you contact Bill and Jean in advance for advice. They know
the surf and tide conditions intimately, and you want to ensure
they will be on hand to assist the pilot when you cross the bar., phone +503 7490 6894, hail “Bill and
Jean” on vhf ch 16 when within range.

If they are not available (having gone to town, etc.) the pilot is
still available most days (hail hotel Bahia del sol on vhf 16) but
does not have a vhf, and will guide you in with hand signals. This
is significantly sub-optimal.

You must enter at high tide, and morning crossings are always


Rob & Debra

4) Las Perlas, Panama

We've been back on the boat for a month and left 10 days ago from
Vista Del Mar to visit Las Perlas. We have only visited Bona,
Contadora, and now Isla San Jose so far. They are all wonderful.
Our only real complaint is the water is freezing. It's been
hovering right at 68 degrees F.  brrrr!   Nice for SUP and yaking
but even the fish apparently don't like it because we have seen
very few (of the coral type) and caught none of the eating
varieties.There has been north winds (12-25+) pretty much every
day but with picking the right anchorages it has been very nice
except the no swimming part.We have said good bye (or see ya
later) to a number of vessels heading west, some stopping at
Galapagos and some sailing on by. Fair winds to you all.We have no
schedule and plan to visit as many anchorages as we can.

NOTE TO TE POSSE ...Office manager Yordanka of Hacienda Del Mar
on Isla San Jose asked us to invite all cruisers to come visit.
The drinks and food are same price as any 4-5 star all inclusive
resort. $4 Beer, $10 Calamari, and you have to pay $10 to go in
and use resort amenities but...the pool is wonderful, the grounds
and views are awesome, and the staff are all very friendly. The
$10 resort fee is a one time thing as we spent 4 days there and
only paid the $10 once.What you also get is a free mooring ball
(first come first serve) or anchorage, free potable water (water
faucet on the beach) easy dingy landing. Internet at the pool or
at the anchorage with a wifi grabbing device) is available. NO
cell service. Cheers!



Rick & Brenda


Wednesday, May 1st - Panama
Posse Labor Day Party @ Golfito Marina Village, Costa Rica
Saturday, May 25th - Season
Finale - Panama Posse 18-19 Yacht Fest @ Vista Mar Marina -
For the list of all Sponsors please
go to

Panama Posse

6) Playa del Coco, Costa Rica
After two and a half glorious months in northern
Nicaragua with an amazing crew of local friends and surfing a
bunch with our buddies on SV Shearwater, we finally threw off the
lines and made the overnight trip from Puesta Del Sol Nicaragua to
Bahia Santa Elena sailing mostly the whole way in comfortable
conditions. We, thankfully, were spared from the normal harrowing
Papagayo experience by waiting very patiently for the perfect
weather window, credit goes to Eric and Pati for making the call
to go. We dropped anchor in the morning to calm breezes and
gorgeous natural surroundings.  By 4pm the beginnings of the next
Papagayo were already stirring. Gusts from different directions
were dramatically spinning the boat on it's anchor all night. We
had all sorts of plans for hiking and exploring the picturesque
bay for a few days, and we tossed them all out the porthole in
favor of the promises of greater shelter from the wind in Bahia
Culebra. The day passage to Playa del Coco, where we had to stop
in order to check in, ended up being some of the most pleasant and
memorable sailing of the entire Pacific Coast thus far. We poled
out the genoa and were hauling the mail, as our racer cruiser
tends to do in fresh breezes. SV Shearwater was looking regal with
all her canvas up as we sailed around the corner and past the Bat
Islands. We caught sight of a large bull shark and a magestic
giant manta ray. Rowan snagged a massive Dorado and we carved it
up right away for Fish Taco Dinner. Emmy was keen to dissect
something so I pulled out the eyeball and Rowan recalled memories
of childhood trips to the Exploratorium to give a hands-on fish
anatomy lesson. Fun fact: the lens of a fish eye looks like a
perfectly round marble of clear gelatin. Playa del Coco welcomed
us warmly with an easy and free check in process, a protected
anchorage with good holding, a great pier to lock the dinghy when
going to town and free WiFi that we could pick up with the
booster, good enough to stream a couple movies. The check in
cha-cha was pretty simple thanks to tips from our amigos on SV
Salt. First, Captain to the Port Captain in the blue building in
the middle of the main road by the beach. Second, the whole crew
walked up the road to a small white immigration office next to the
panaderia and the bus stop on the right hand side of the road.
Third, Captain took a taxi to Liberia Airport Aduana/Customs. And
finally, back to the Port Captain to check all the documents were
in order. No costs involved except the price of the taxi to the
airport. We dawdled in Cocos for three weeks enjoying the
abundance of restaurants, especially the pizza, gelato and craft
beer. We caught a local rodeo, had family come to visit, watched
the Superbowl on a bigscreen with a bunch of lively gringos, went
snorkeling at the islands just outside the bay, and even got the
chance to volunteer at a local school. Thanks to the kindness of
Pati and Eric on Shearwater keeping an eye on our boat, we snuck
away up to Bahia Salinas to try our hand at kiteboarding. Such a
gorgeous part of the country with wide open grassy fields and
aquamarine colored water. It was mostly dragging and swallowing
copious amounts of seawater, but with enough success to want to go
back for more. We also took my parents, who flew down from the
states, to Hacienda Guachipelin for a day filled with outdoor
adventure including zip-lining through slot canyon ravines, horse
back riding to a waterfall, natural mineral hot springs, and the
most delightful river tubing. We also did the hike to Rio Celeste,
where the science of nature starts to blur the lines with a world
filled with magic and wonder. The hike was good for the body and
the reward was a river and waterfall with stunning milky
tourquoise water, caused by the meeting of two clear rivers with
different chemical properties that reacted to create the
unforgettable water color. Our last few days in Playa Coco we took
advantage of the boat chandlery and the convenient food shopping
at the great grocery stores, panaderia, and fish market. Playa del
Coco was very good to us. With the safe and free anchorage, ease
of provisioning, quick access to Liberia Airport and surrounding
beauty of the bay, beaches and islands, it would be easy and
enjoyable to stay longer. But it was time to mosey.

The morning calm at Bahia Santa Elena, Costa Rica

The morning calm at Bahia Santa Elena, Costa Rica

 SV Shearwater flying full canvas

Dissecting a fish eyeball

Dissecting a fish eyeball

Best gelato! Yum!

Best gelato! Yum!

Volunteer day at the school in Playa Hermosa

Volunteer day at the school in Playa Hermosa

Rio Celeste

Rio Celeste

Next stop.... Tamarindo!

Paradisea is part of the triathlon course here in Herradura, CR.

Paradisea is part of the triathlon course here in
Herradura, CR.

Victoria & Rowan & Crew


Taliesin Rose


7) Vista Mar Marina, Panama

Cruisers handout - thanks to Jeariene GOOD JOB OF THE
WEEK !!!

I put together an
introductory handout that should be helpful to Panama Posse folks
coming to the Vista Mar Marina in May.

I've provided it
to the marina office and was told they will create a brochure for
the marina.
This is a
springboard, but is more than the marina has had in the past, and
is basic information that I wanted when we arrived at Vista Mar.
Safe sailing!

FYI -> this handout is now online in the Panama
Posse public documents section at

Jeariene & Walt


Always lock your dinghy
- especially if you go on shore.

Tie it to a sturdy pole or tree and remove any valuables.

Thieves are opportunists may swim out to cut your dinghy's
painter and
then use rocks on the beach to break off locks.

Please use a (PAD) lock with a difficult point of attack and a
heavy chain

or re-in-forced stainless steel  wire - see a sample lock

Image 126

9) Zihuatanejo, MX

BlueOasis bringing up the rear, anchored in relatively calm
small swell tonight on isla xtapa(grande) Zihuatanejo MX. Last
night we anchored in Caleta de Campos up the coast 70nm or so.
Not for the faint of heart, seemed like 6 foot swell, our ground
tackle (bow and stern) performed perfectly, but boy did we jump
around all night. Now we know why SeaGlub did the overnight to
Zihuat. We’re here and happy to explore the Zihuat area. Plan to
be in Acapulco around Tuesday/ Wed to pick up a part we ordered.

Image 34


season actually called every number)


    Rescue Coordination Center:  (510) 437-3701.  This is the
number for group receiving EPIRB emergency beacon distress
signals.  They will coordinate with local country Coast Guards
if boater is outside of the U.S. and they have translators, as
the numbers at the local country Coast Guards in Central
America will speak Spanish.  They said it would be ok to call
them in emergency.

    These numbers were given to me by the U.S. Coast Guard
Rescue Coordination Center.  The individuals from these local
Coast Guards will speak Spanish when you call them.  If you
cannot communicate with them, the Rescue Coordination Center
can call them, but that will take more time.
  El Salvadore Coast Guard:  (505) 22500210,   Extension 5103
    Nicaragua Coast Guard:      (504)22342507
    Costa Rica Coast Guard:      (506) 22314924
    Panama Coast Guard:           (507) 60451197

you cannot reach rescue coordination center, however the local
coast guards will likely just go through the Rescue Center:
    Coast Guard Sector LA/Long Beach:  310 521-3815
    Channel Islands office:  805 985-9822


MHZ                     UTC time
4.125        2300-11
6.125        24 hr.
8.290        24 hr.
12.290        1100-2300


World wide emergency Ham net:  14.313    24 hr.
Pacific Seafares Net 14300 @
0300 UTC 
Central America Ham net:  7.083   UTC time 1300

further information.  For Central America embassies, emergency
number is +1-202-501-4444, and press “0”,  from 8 a.m. – 5
p.m. EST.  When dialing embassy numbers below probably start
with “ +” depending on phone service.   

    +506 2519 2000
    Calle 98 Via 104, Pavas,     San Jose, Costa Rico

    +503 2501 2999
    Final Blvd. Santa Elena,     Antiguo Cuseatlan, La
Libertad,     San Salvador   

    +502 2326 4000
    Avenida Reforma 7-01, Zona 10, Guatemala Cuidad, Guatemala

    +504 2238 5114 (after hours X4100)
    +504 2236 9320 (per embassy website, but not
communications received:  011-504 2236 9320)
    Avenida La Paz,     Tegucigalpa MDC, Honduras

    +52 55 5080-2000
    Paseo de la Reforma 305, Colonia Cuauhtenoc,     06500
Mexico, DF

    +505 2252-7100
    Kilometer 5.5 Carreter Sur, Managua, Nicagagua

    +507 317 5000
    Bldg 783, Demetrio Basilio Lakas Ave, Clayton, Panama


press “0” for overseas citizen emergency services.


They provide information on piracy and safety and security,
and you can sign up for alerts by going online.
    Emergency:  1-202-501-4444 (8-8 EST, M-F)

Stan & Diane

CROSSROADS ( last season's Panama Posse )

11) Panama Canal, Panama
Sprezzatura thru Canal and headed to San Blas Islands. Arrive
Bug Isle later today.
Transit was fun and easy. We were solo center lock. Great
Advisor Guillermo.
Line handling: Not for inexperienced crew and it requires more
than average strength.

Can’t emphasize enough how good Flamenco Marina Yard is. The
Manager Alejandro Cora is hands on, extremely accommodating and
gets stuff done right now!!  I signed up for the “paint package”
rate and even though I had them do some other small jobs he
charged me just the quoted amount. They also did a polish and
wax job for $20/ft that produced outstanding finish. 3 step
process of wet sand with 1000/2000/3000 grit paper, polish with
3M #1, then final wax.
Marine Warehouse is a great source for equipment. They source
from US and ship from Miami at better shipping rates than Mail
Boxes Etc. which I used in Coronado and Panama City too.

Shelter Bay Marina personnel are super friendly and helpful. I’m
going back there.



12) La Marina
Acapulco - Mexico

22 pesos x foot x day
5 pesos  x kwatt
23 pesos x day water (non-potable quality 336 ppm)

Wifi at office only

24/7 security -
very safe

small store
small Chandlery

boat broker
bathrooms open from 9 to 6
no fuel - no laundry

supermarket right across the street

amazing pool and
hot tub for members only ( membership 125,000 MXP x 5 years )

TEL:+52  744 483 6143
TEL: +52 744 483 7744
Cel +52 744 131 3007



Dietmar & Suzanne
SV Carinthia

via LINE
We have over 77+ vessels in LINE and the calls are
great and very efficient and the Chatroom is open 24/7

It's a new way of doing things
- please download and install LINE 
Works on Android / ios /
Windows / MAC OS


How to use it ....

- Register using your vessel name as the USERNAME
Search for panamaposse or SV Carinthia or
Seaglub and befriend us -
- wait and accept your PANAMAPOSSE GROUP INVITE
- join the group chat -
it's awesome !

14) Please reply to this email with ...
anything really

- your updates
contenders for picture of the week - links to your favorite SONGS
- relevant blog posts - and of course your valuable suggestions

and we'll include it in the next FLEET UPDATE -
Keep em 'coming


Dietmar & Suzanne


Panama Posse

15) Opt-out from Fleet Updates simply reply with

FLEET UPDATE 2019-03-20

1) You
are now part of 112 Vessels of 10 flag states - a.k.a.

USA, Canada, UK, Germany, France, Norway, Costa Rica, New Zealand, Panama and Denmark

Hip Hip Hooray to the 2018-2019 Panama Posse 

2)  Good Nautical and the Panama Posse - CALL FOR COMMENTS

You and many other vessels are moving up and down the coast so we challenge you to Add your comment -
It's really pretty easy  - one you are logged into Good Nautical just follow the (Add new comment) link
for any Anchorage / Marina/ Fuel Dock / POI and please update these spots with your thoughts and valuable insights  

You can even upload an image - just be sure to click the SAVE button when you are done filling out the form ...

3) Mexico City, MX

The crew of Slow Dancer flew from Ixtapa for
Mexico City on Feb 28 and met Nilaya's crew, who flew from
Chiapas. Together we enjoyed two days in the very modern
Mexico City and a day at the ruins of Teotihuacan


and some
very old but amazing cathedrals. 


We then boarded a bus headed
for Anganguero. 

From here we hired a private driver to drive
us up into the mountains

to the Monarch butterfly sanctuary at
El Rosario.

We rode horseback into the tall pines and
experienced the quiet reverence of this amazing place.
Monarchs were everywhere. They hung from trees by the
thousands. They flew all around us and they landed at water


What an awe inspiring day. We then traveled to the
hot springs at Los Azufres for a soak and a cool night in the

We all thoroughly enjoyed our inland adventure! 

Ken & Dale



5)  Golfito Marina Village - Costa Rica

New Contact Infoas there has been a Management change.
and yes they will honor the Panama Posse discount so for reservations please contact

Gabriela Porras,
Guest Service Coordinator
Golfito Marina Village
Puntarenas, Costa Rica
T:    +506 2775-3000
F:    +506 2775-0204
C:   +506 8770-3098

6) Panama City Panama to Golfito, Costa Rica

Adventure between gales and no wind, but we have a way point to get out of the
strong N winds
that blow right into Naranja on the west side of the Pedasi


After 7 years cruising in
Panama we are finally started our long sail north to Mexico. Hard to believe we
are leaving. Everybody knows how rough the trip can be especially rounding
Punta Mala, which I think is easier going north than south. Just a little info
for those you have residency in Panama, when you check out of the country you
both have to go to Immigration. We didn’t know and had Rogelio do our check
out. Which delayed our departure as Sid and Paradise were in Contadora waiting
for me to return from our provisioning tip. We had to sail back to Panama City.
Reason we both had to be there as Immigration checks how long you were in
Panama and for each month you stayed over it’s a fine, I believe its $50 for
each month over. When the immigration guy saw our passport he needed to see us
in person plus both our cedulas of course, it really made sense. Oh well,
cruising plans are all written in sand at low tide. We had a great sail to
Panama City but couldn’t check out the same day so I did some more
provisioning. BTW for those looking for data all the way to Mexico or down here
I am using Movistar Ilimitado for a month, cost 39.22and you get unlimited
data, YouTube, WhatsApp etc., but best of all it lets you roam for no extra
cost the entire coast, except Honduras, to Mexico. I was able to buy monthly in
advance, but just in case it does not work out I only bought an extra months.
Arriving in Costa Rica at first it did not work, guess it had to find the right
antenna to settle in, from then on it worked like magic, actually better than
the Wi-Fi the marina provides, which is working good as well. And they do sell

By the way we use Rogelio
to check in and out and he was our Panama Canal agent. We have known Roger
since 2000. He has helped cruisers for over 30 years and knows wherever you can
find anything from parts to foods to you name it. He has a Price Smart card and
will take you shopping for an hourly price, will get you to or from airport to
your boat, including shopping. He will help you in any way, great guy to know.

Rogelio De Hoyos 
+(507) 229 2785   +(507)6717 6745

It was a teary goodbye,
sure will  miss him, he is a great guy
and always there when needed.

February 5th
2019 at 11 am we pulled anchor and sailed out of Panama City towards Punta Mala
with heavy hearts. We will miss Panama and all the wonderful friends we made

It was a 90 mile straight
shot to Punta Mala and our only hurdle was the northerly winds that blow very
strong from December on through February/March. Don’t let anybody tell you the
Christmas Winds only blow on the Caribbean side, not so, especially in the
Punta Chame to Punta Mala area. The winds can be very high with gusts to gale
force. We had it on our mind that it could be a rough trip. We did have 20
knots and at times up to 30 gust but it was actually amazingly calm on wind
waves, not to mention we were going with them. Main was out and so was the
staysail. We were sailing 6 to 7 knots which was too fast for our planned
arrival at Punta Mala just before ebb tide. Our main is fairly big and in these
conditions it’s easier to just let the jib pull us instead the main push us any
which way. You would think bringing down a big main would slow you down at
least 1 knot, but not on this trip, we actually reefed the jib 3 times to where
we could not make it any smaller and still we were going 5 plus. Our hull speed
is 6.

As we past San Carlos the
winds picked up steadily and intensified the closer we got to Punta Mala, we
now had a steady 30 knots with gusts up to 40.

There is nowhere to anchor
and wait out the weather so we kept going as it was a comfortable sail. But we
would have loved to slow down a bit.

When dark settled in after
the sunset I turned in for the first watch and Sid was keeping an eye out.
Never really fell asleep but no idea what made me get up and go over the port
side to look out, there was a lot of breaking waves on this side more so than
on our starboard side. But then what got my attention was lit up torpedoes
shooting through the water alongside our boat and towards the bow when it hit
me, it was dolphins. The splashes created by at least a dozen dolphins were all
lit up in phosphorescence. They all played with the bow for a few minutes then
they disappeared. I turned to my side again when I saw the torpedoes on the starboard
side so both of us rushed to that side and watched probably the most amazing
thing we have ever seen. I am sure you all have seen photos of dolphins surfing
waves breaking on to the beach. I count myself lucky to have witnessed this at
Zuma Beach in Malibu years ago. Now imagine about 8 dolphins side by side surfing
a wave but all you see is the silhouette of 8 dolphins glowing in solid
phosphorescence, wow. An image that will never be erased.

By still sailing so fast even
with just a hanky out we were going to sail around Punta Mala at 3 am, which in
this wind we did not want to do in the dark so we decided to anchor off Isla
Iguana which is 8 miles away from the point. There is really not much of a good
anchorage most of the time but considering not having much choice we found a
corner on the island that might be a bit more protected until just daylight. We
anchored and it was a bit rough but doable. Not to mention you can’t see in the
dark. We tried to sleep but by now a full gale was blowing we had winds 40
knots plus and it got rougher and rougher. When we finally could see oh shoot 6
foot waves bounced us around. Time to pull anchor and head towards Punta Mala,
had no other place to go. The anchor was snagged and would trip the fuse to the
windless, several times Sid had to rush down below and set it, while I was
motoring into the waves or doing a quick U-turn as far as the chain would let
me. By the 4th or 5th U-tern the anchor came up, we
figured it was wrapped around a rock or rocks. We sailed with just the little
sail up again towards the mainland, hoping the current would be less extreme
along the coast and found that to be the case. Wind away from the island slowed
down to 20 knots and the seas were half the size in the lee of the island. Our sail
around Punta Mala was with ½ the jib out very smooth, piece of cake, wow and
all the worries. Just about 5 minutes after we rounded the bay, the wind
started up again, we saw the reefs along the shore with waves of water spray
being blown up in the air from the off shore wind. The water was nothing but
white caps. Jib was pulled in to a small sail area again and Sid turned the
motor on. We knew there was a good south current but we never thought this much
of a current. Since Iguana we only had 21 miles to sail to our next
destination, a 4 hour trip that turned into 8 hours. We did not move an inch,
current was that bad with the gale force wind. Just good it was an offshore
winds so we had no waves to battle. We fought the current and with the RPMs at
full speed. When lucky we reached  a few
2 to 3 knots of speed but mostly was 0.8 to maybe 2 knots. It was frustrating,
at one point we took the sail in, figuring maybe that’s slowing us. We were at
a standstill and the wind blew us further off shore. Out came the jib again. We
finally managed to sail along with 2 to 3 knots. One bay we sailed passed I saw
something rush through the water and as it came closer to Paradise I recognized
about 15 roosterfish speeding just below the water surface. I told Sid but by
the time he came on my side they were gone, but wait, there is another group of
about 8, wow. Sid said they hunt together like this, it was a kewl sight. The
sail was still sluggish and slow but then when we came to Ensenada Benao, our
destination, it was the pits. Gusts now were 40 knots pushing us literally away
from the shore it was a nightmare. I was on the helm steering the boat the best
possible way to get a 1 knot to 2. It was getting frustrating we had just a few
hundred feet to go to the opening of the anchorage when I noticed the gear
shift lever. It was a bit forward but not far enough forward as it should be
and asked Sid: “are we in gear”.  We ran
the dam engine on high RPMs all day long fighting a barely existing (0.6 knot
current). I think that can go in the book of “The dumbest things we have ever

The worst of the trip was
over, so we thought as Punta Mala is a good challenge, well more so for
southbound boats, but. We still had another about 100 miles to deal with these
norther winds until we were out of the zone but from here on it should not be
as strong, so we thought…..

We cleaned up the mess
down below that Iguana anchorage caused and spent 2 nights resting in Benao.
The wind was just howling so we didn’t even feel like lowering the dinghy and
going ashore. We have been here on a car trip so know this beach. Beautiful
place and offers several good restaurants and resorts.

Amazing not even 2 miles
out of anchorage wind slowed from 25 to 18 as I had suspected that it is a
local condition for wind to funnel down the hill. Four miles later we had 8 to
10 knots and still in the lee of the land it was a smooth sail.

About 10 miles in to the
trip there was a canyon coming up and all we saw was white caps an indication
of lots of wind, we immediately reduced our sail as we approached the windy
area and had winds anywhere for 13 to 28 knots funneling down the hill. There
was another area blowing up to 36.7 and once cleared dropped to 13 to 28.

We noticed this wall of
clouds along the southern part and the closer we got to the west point Mariato,
the end of the Pedasi Peninsula, the wall abruptly stopped, we figured that was
there due to the high winds, hmmm, interesting.

5 miles before next
Mariato Point the wind gusted again with 30 then within 4 min wind changed from
N to SW. We were sailing with staysail up at 3.8 to 4 knots and had a slight

I saw several turtles peek
their heads out next to the boat before disappearing into the depths again.

It was a great sail until
we passed Mariato Point. Just around the corner is Naranjo an anchorage we had
stopped for a few days on our way south in 2000.

Just as soon as we rounded
the point the wind turned around and in just seconds all hell broke loose. Gale
force winds hit us including 6 to 7 foot high close together wind waves. Bow
was completely under water, jerry jugs lifted out of the fore deck onto and
across the deck. Never seen so much water over deck. Then again and again. We
didn’t even have to make a decision, it was clear this was not for us and
around we turned. Anchorage Naranja was out of the question as this weather was
heading right into it. While rounding the point I noticed a cute bay with 3
beaches and that’s where we headed. We had to race the sun there before she
said goodnight for the day as there is no info on this area so obviously nobody
ever anchors there. We needed the sunlight to see hidden rocks as there seemed
to be many of them. The sun gods were with us and we found a flat area which we
assumed is just sandy bottom and dropped the anchor just before the last blink
of the sun disappearing on the horizon. This anchorage has no name but is 3
miles before the corner of Naranjo, coming from Punta Mala.


Waypoint: 07’29.445N   81’13.469W we should call it “Paradise Refuge”


Be careful if coming in
here, lots of hidden rocks to the West side, East side has flat bottom. This
anchorage is perfect for the Papagayo winds but looks hostile with southerly
winds. We anchored in 45 feet of water, at time did not know what tide was,
calm 20 knots of wind which intensified overnight, had gust up to 40 knots, a
full blown gale again. We decided not to go anywhere until the blow is over.

When I finally went down
below I noticed the chaos, the salon hatch leaked, all fruit bowls on table had
¾ inch salt water in them. 4 pillows soaked and part of settee plus floor, a

The wind was still howling
in the morning and as the day went on the howling of the wind was jarring on
our nerves. Sid was looking for his earplug but found them all disintegrated,
all of them but the creative inventor he is he found some left over foam from a
life jacket and carved us earplugs. Oh that peace of “almost” quiet was sooooo

The rocks next to us let
us know how much the winds was blowing by the vail of a spray lifting up in the
air and out to sea.

We spent a second night
with hopes that the wind would slow down. We had no data service here and could
not check on the weather at all.

It was a nice anchorage
very scenic and we were all alone.

A couple hours later we
saw a sail boat heading east and hailed them on the radio to let them know in
case they need to hunker down there is a good place here. As it turned out they
were anchored in Naranja for protection they did not get and were so happy we
contacted them.

About 1 hour after they
anchored the wind dropped to nothing, wow, we waited another 30 minutes and
still nothing. We decided to pull anchor and head around the corner to see if
we can find data (while surprised with the waves over the deck WhatsApp got
some data) to get a weather report and in case the wind came back to return and
hunker down. Near Naranjo we did find some data but just enough to get WhatsApp
going but the wind stayed calm so we went for it. We had 10 miles to go to
Ensenada Cebaco, the weather stayed clear and dolphins had fun playing with the
bow wake before we anchored in the sheltered bay just before sunset.

No wind howling no ocean
motion we slept like babies. At 7 after coffee and breakfast we started the
motor to a really weird click noise in engine compartment but engine did not
start. Off came the box while Sid checked the engine, after checking the wires
to the starter he found a loose one a few minutes later and a few cranks we
finally started the engine, Sid put the box back on and came back to the
cockpit. I mentioned to him I smelled something funny, he did not. 5 minutes
later we both went down below when he smelled it too. He opened the engine box
and found the coolant lid gone and coolant spewing in the air. We immediately
turned the engine off as it was over heated. The fresh water pump was toast and
of course that’s the only spare part we forgot to get last time we replaced it
in Bonaire. Murphy’s law at its best again.

February 11. The good
thing was we have sails and only had 98 miles to go to Golfito so anchor came
up and hoisted sails. It was a slow sail out of the anchorage until we were
away from the lee of the island doing 2.2 knots for at least 1 hour. Around
noon the wind picked up to 10 knots and we were moving with 4.7 knots. This
held for a couple hours and all of a sudden out of nowhere we had this huge
gust heeling us over for just a few seconds then nothing for 30 minutes, we
were sailing with 1.9 knots. It was calm enough I decided to start cooking
dinner, when I noticed the dish washing soap was on the wrong side of the sink
and had fallen onto the faucet and opened it. Somebody put that darn thing on
the wrong side, if we catch that somebody…..There wasn’t much water coming out
good thing but had no idea how long it had been open and how much we lost.
Still had water so far so good. But when I turned the stove on there was no
propane coming through the hose, oh no we can’t be out, we just filled the
tank. Sid investigated for a kink in the hose or something cutting the line of
gas, nothing but then he realized the regulator was well on its end. He was
able to fix it so we had cooking gas. (We have small propane tanks which were a
nuisance to fill in Panama so we bought a local propane tank while in Panama,
once this one is empty we will switch back to our own tanks).

We still had little wind
and what we had moved us at 1.9 knots 50 degrees of course, but we were moving.
At 22.30 the wind completely shut down that was just off the point of Isla
Coiba. At midnight the wind decided to come back and with 5 knots pushed us at
a speed of 1.3. I think we can swim faster than this.

By morning we had moved 10
miles since the wind started up again and in the 24 hours since we had left
Cebaco we had moved an incredible 30 miles and had still 70 miles to go to
Punta Burrita not to mention a further 18 miles plus miles to Golfito. At this
rate it will take days to get there.

Feb 12th at
08:30 we had 67.72 miles to go and sailed wing on wing with 1.3 knots in 3.2
knots of wind. The whisker pool helped to keep the jib out. I went down below
for some water but realized: OH shit we have an empty tank! What else is going
to go wrong. Can’t make water with no engine, good thing we still have 2 gallon
bottles under salon table and 2-6 gallon jugs on deck. Not being able to run
engine we turned the freezer and fridge off during the night so not to run down
the batteries. Sid hooked up the Honda generator and we ran it to top of the
batteries. Not having batteries would have been yet another disaster as we
would have lost everything in fridge and freezer. Yes we were on survival mode,
that’s our survival mode.

At 11:49 we still had
62.34 miles go, wind was at 4 to 6 knots and our speed 2.4 knots. Sid ran the
generator for 3 hours for the water maker but water maker draws more power so
maybe only made 10 gallons of water but it was water.

At 15.33 we had 50 miles
to go and we were sailing 5.7 knots yeah, great. We had to change course to
avoid an island between us and Punta Burrita and as there were lots of
underwater rocks which were deep enough underwater to sail across but knowing
they would create lots of current we decided to sail around that area to avoid
the current. We sailed 10 miles and when we wanted to tack the wind shifted and
came from an impossible direction other than the direction we came from, so had
to sail the 10 miles back. We reached the island we now had to pass due west
but the wind completely shut down at 1.45 am. We were sitting 12.11 miles off
Burrica with no wind, so little to go. Feb 13th 11.30 am we were still sitting
in no wind and knowing that Way She Goes might be in the area and we spotted a
sailboat on the horizon we hailed them on channel 16 but no responds.

This was getting really
frustrating we were so close yet so far.

At 12:38 a puff of air,
hoping it would pick up but didn’t. At 13:29 we finally had 6 knots of wind and
were moving with 2 knots towards Golfito. 15:30 3 knots in 9.2 knots of wind
and the Geni was running to keep the batteries up. We were out of water again
so we only had made a couple gallons tops.

We had to change course
for a better angle and sailed 12 miles with 5 knots and had the perfect angle
to sail into the Golfito bay when the wind shut down again. We now were just on
the other end of the entrance than early that morning. Not a breath of air. But
we had a good night sleep with no one on watch, well we were not going anywhere
not even a drift in any direction. A good downpour of rain woke us up, what the
hell, its dry season, it didn’t rain long to collect water, just long enough to
get everything soaked. Back to bed when I woke up to dolphins swimming around
Paradise. Love it!

February 14th
Happy Valentines’ Day were 15.35 miles away from the Golfito Bay entrance and
still not a breath of air.

About 11:45 Sid had enough
of this and we lowered the dinghy and he hooked it up snug on the transom,
turned the outboard on and started pushing, we had a ¼ tank of gas and figured
to push the boat as far as it goes and amazingly it took us into the Golfito
Bay and since we still had another full tank we decided we had enough to get us
all the way to Golfito.

Sid always has said:
“never underestimate a 15 hp outboard”, he was pushing Paradise with 3.5 to 4
knots. I handed him the full tank down, an ice cold coke and an umbrella. At
one point he climbed in the boat so we could check the waypoints and to go pee
then slipped back into the dinghy.

As we inched closer to
Golfito the Golfito Marina finally heard us on the VHF radio and he organized a
boat to come out and get us. There was a misunderstanding, he took off and left
us to ourselves to bring the boat into the slip.

Just as we came out of the
channel to Golfito a green and yellow dinghy speed towards us, I be damned if
that wasn’t Wayne on Way She Goes. Together with his help after I rounded the
dock he pushed the bow of Paradise into the slip while Sid hit the reverse.

The, what would have been
48 hour trip ,turned into a 4 day trip from hell.

My hero Sid got us back to
civilization on Valentine’s Day and we celebrated it at the wonderful La Playa
Restaurant at the Marina with Sheila and Wayne.


Happy Ending

The Golfito Marina is the
newest Marina in Golfito and therefore the best one as well ,but still under
construction. Banana Bay Marina is I think the oldest and first one, it was the
favorite of all south bound cruisers when we left. We never went there as there
was a lot of break-ins and thievery in the bay. Not much has changed in Costa
but I will get to that.

We did have lunch at the
Banana Bay Marina just to see what we are missing. We are missing not much
except old worn out docks. One of the sport fishers in a slip entertained us to
no end. He has his beautiful expensive boat sitting in this ugly slip and the
entertaining part, after he got done washing the boat he went inside and in a
few minutes appeared with a hammer in his hand and went on the dock. It was
hilarious he walked the whole side dock and hammered all the nails back into
the wood, he must have hammered 60/70 nails then I guess he realized that was a
fun thing to do he went on the main dock and hammered more in. When we left we
teased him that he had forgotten some nails.

The Golfito Marina is
owned by a wealthy Naples resident who keeps his 168.9 meter $40 000 000.00
boat Annastar in this marina. The dock is well built and it had pretty flower
plants and well, makes you feel you are in Florida somewhere. The staff is
super friendly and it definitely is well guarded day and night. Every guard on
the premises carries a gun and we see the guards walk the dock at any time at

Rule number one in Costa
Rica is, hide anything of value down below and don’t leave anything on deck,
even boat hooks, bumpers etc. We feel pretty safe in this marina.

It’s very quiet though,
ever since Wayne and Sheila left there are no other cruisers here except big
sport fishers.

We ordered the fresh water
pump for our engine but found out that Costa Rica charges incredible taxes and
for everything different percentage, for shampoo for instance 28%,
items like coffeemaker, blender 49%, Guitar 29%,  Flat Screen TV, DVD Players 49%,  water heater 68.8%, Automotive parts 42.78%
yikes our part is $500

We are about 1 ½ hours (3
to 4 hours by bus) car drive away, from David in Panama so I opened a Mail Box
Etc  account and have it shipped there and will take the bus to David and

We are also losing a lot
of precious cruising time waiting for the part and are debating whether to
leave the boat here for our trip to Switzerland and head up to Mexico in
September. We are allowed to be in Costa Rica for 90 days and so is the boat.
In order to keep the boat in the marina here we have to obtain a bond on the
boat and boat is not allowed to leave the marina, which it won’t as we will not
be here. It’s an easy deal and all the marinas will help you to get the bond.
The boat can stay as long as you need and when you return you and the boat get
another 90 days of visa. I am not sure yet how much the bond is but heard each
marina is different. Sail Fish I know charges $100.

The marina has no pool but
Casa Roland Hotel is open for anyone. If you don’t like huge crowds avoid going
there on a weekend as all the locals are enjoying the pool. During the week if
you see 10 people it’s a lot. The restaurant has wonderful food and they make
yummy fruit cocktails.

Shopping here is basic but
they do have wonderful veggies, healthy looking and the tomatoes are vine
ripped. Every veggie I have bought so far is bigger and more colorful than in
Panama. Not much of a fruit selection other than Pineapple, papaya, apples and

Since then it’s been a
waiting game, on the part.


Sid & Manuela PARADISE

Wednesday, May 1st - Panama
Posse Labor Day Party @ Golfito Marina Village, Costa Rica
Saturday, May 25th - Season
Finale - Panama Posse 18-19 Yacht Fest @ Vista Mar Marina
- Panama
For the list of all of our Sponsors
please go to


8) Pictures of the Week - it's a TIE

Juan & Michelle


TALIESIN ROSE,Victoria & Rowan

Victoria & Rowan & Crew



9) Please reply to this email with ...
anything really

- your updates
contenders for picture of the week - links to your favorite SONGS
- relevant blog posts - and of course your valuable suggestions

and we'll include it in the next FLEET UPDATE -
Keep em 'coming

Dietmar & Suzanne


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FLEET UPDATE 2019-03-09

1) Bahia Balena, Costa Rica 
Octopus Garden update in Bahia Balena CR  - we’ve stayed in this beautiful place over a week now bouncing between the south anchorage (town of Tambor) and north anchorage (beach of your dreams).  It’s too nice here to leave.  Everything you need, nothing you don’t.  Store, bar, restaurants, taxi to the little town.  Really enjoyed eating casada de pescado at Christina’s, pizza at Henry’s and the beach volleyball tournament 


Jim & Susy


2) Zihuatanejo, MX
Venue for the Zihuatanejo Guitar Fest - an array of incredible musicians opening night, with lots more to come this week.
Plus there’s pickleball here!

Katy & Bill

KLICKITAT II3) Las Perlas, Panama

Here we are in Las Perlas and still loving it.

Since we got back from Europe we have been trying to decide where to go next! Panama really is a crossroads but having come from the north and already crossed the Pacific from the west it leaves east into the Caribbean or the south down the west coast of South America. Strong easterly trade winds make sailing in the southern Caribbean difficult before the end of March and then the hurricane season kicks in at the beginning of June, leaving us only couple of months to enjoy cruising there. We kicked around the idea of sailing south down to Equador but beating against the SE trades and the Humbolt Current did not really appeal and the few people we know who have been there were not terribly enthusiastic about it. So after mucho deliberation we have decided to stay here on the Pacific coast of Panama for the next few months . . . Da . . . Daaa!

A remnant from one of the Survivor series filmed in the islands

There were a couple of other factors which weighed in: firstly we thought we’d set up shop doing BnB/sailing tours on the boat. Contadora is easily accessible from Panama City and Islas Las Perlas is a beautiful archipelago with plenty of sheltered bays  for kayaking and beachcombing and reefs for snorkeling and fishing; great for 4-5 days tours. We figured it would be fun to show people our lifestyle, it motivates us to explore more of the islands and it will replenish our dwindling boat fund. We’ve had four groups of guests this month, it’s been a pleasure having them on board so it’s all going well so far.

The colourful pangas of the local fishermen brighten up the anchorage

We are also keen to get involved in cleaning up the islands beaches in some way. Although the beaches look pristine most of them have plastic debris scattered along the high tide line. Exposed to sunlight the plastic breaks down into smaller plastic particles which are washed back out to sea and are easily ingested by various forms of marine life. The best way to break this cycle is to stop putting plastic into the oceans, the next best way is to remove the plastic when it is trapped on the beach. Here endeth the lesson!

Garbage collected from 50m of beach on Isla Mogo Mogo

We are trying to work out a system to remove all existing plastics from the beaches and dispose of it via recycling and/or landfill, and to write a proposal in order to secure the necessary funding to make it happen. To scope out the project we cleaned up 50m of beach on the west side of Isla Mogo Mogo. It took four very hot and sweaty man hours and we collected about 1m3 of plastic. With over 8000m of beach distributed around 200 islands, this is no mean feat! What our role in all this might be we don’t know, perhaps we’ll combine sailing tours with plastic collection so you can come and have a holiday in paradise and feel good about contributing to cleaning up marine plastic. If you have any suggestions or ideas please get in touch – we’d love to hear from you.

Isla Contadora is a great little island to base ourselves at. It is the playground of the uber-rich and famous from Panama City who occasionally visit their mansions but tend to stay behind closed gates. Most of the other houses are owned by expats who live here semi-permanently or are small hotels or BnBs. A trickle of tourists come and go on the daily ferry from the City and at weekends a flotilla of gleaming white motor launches arrives and the anchorage is transformed; tents scattered on the beach, throbbing music, and jetskis zapping about.

Neil and John entertaining the crowd at Mar y Oro, Contadora

The tiki bar at the Mar y Oro hotel on the beach has a happy hour and we have met quite a few of the locals and tourists – it’s getting to be quite sociable. On Saturday evenings Neil has been playing keyboards with John, a local guitarist, in the hotel restaurant. They play laid back blues and attract a bit of a crowd – it’s good fun.

The World ARC fleet in the anchorage at Isla Contadora

A couple of weeks ago the World ARC rally arrived in the anchorage. This is a group of some twenty five yachts that are cruising around the world together over a period of about thirteen months. They started in St. Lucia in the Caribbean in November, have just come through the Canal and gathered in Contadora to start Leg #3 – Panama to Galapagos. Distant Drummer was suddenly surrounded by yachts, the radio buzzed with British and other European accents and the beach was crowded with dinghies. It was great to meet some other yachties and hear their tales from Caribbean shores.

The start of Leg #3 of the World ARC from Contadora to Galapagos

They only stayed for a couple of days then it was time to move on (they move a bit faster than we do!) We puttered amongst them in the dinghy as they gathered at the start line for the departure to Galapagos. It was quite a spectacle with their brightly coloured spinnakers raised to catch the light northerly breeze. As they sailed over the horizon we listened to their chatter on the radio and breathed a sigh of relief to be living life in the slow lane.

Green-footed boobies nesting in the islands (Photo from Louise Newsome)

Although we have been here for a couple of months now we are still exploring islands we haven’t visited yet. Isla Pacheca is a small island with a swathe of beautiful white sand beach and amazing clear turquoise water. We took a short walk in land looking for coconuts and stumbled upon a group of green-footed boobies nesting on the ground. They are totally unafraid of humans and sat on their nests making a croaky hissing sound to warn us to keep away. A half grown chick was strutting around showing off it’s fluffy white downy plumage, it was a treat to watch.

The incinerator on Isla Saboga at the campsite of Sailing Club Panama

Isla Saboga is a large island which lies just to the west of Contadora and supplies the power and the workforce to its more glamorous sister. We went over to have a look around and to meet Alex, Yaiza and Jacob who run a campsite and sailing school there. One of their other projects is collecting garbage from the beach. They recycle the tins and glass but most of the plastic they currently burn. They have been experimenting with melting different types of plastic at specific temperatures to make plastic bricks for building construction but it is difficult to do without an oven to maintain an accurate temperature. It was interesting to hear about their experience and hopefully we can work together with them in the future.

Ying yang beach art on Isla Viveros

The only downside of our Contadora “paradise” is the very limited water supply on the island so next week we will head back to Panama City to fill our water tanks. While we are there it will also be Carnival which is a major holiday in Central and South America. For four days before Lent people are celebrating in the street with parades, street parties, music, dance and feasting. It should be lots of fun!

More great posts at

Neil & Suzy

DISTANT DRUMMER4) Marina Papagayo Panama Posse Party, Costa Rica

Blessed - Floating Stones - Figment - Carinthia - Footloose - Ay Caramaba - Sonomara - Paradisea - Mai Tai - Toccata

Panama Posse Get together

Presentation of the Burgee to Dan Eaffaldano and Marina Papagayo

Pool Shark Michelle /  AY Caramaba !

Cheryl /Floating Stones and Lisa / Footloose

3 Motor Vessels, 4 Catamarans & 3 Sailboats
Going over the anchorages south of here at the awesome cruisers lounge at Marina Papagayo, Costa Rica
10° 38.4496 N 085° 39.2371 W
VHF 23A Tel: +506 2690 3600
Tel: +1 888-863-0301

For Rental cars in the Cocos area and in the marina contact Toyota
They bring cars directly to the Marina for about 50 US x day
Call +506 6054-3279
Francisco Bolaños - Zone Coordinator
5) Red Frog Marina, Bocas de Toros, Panama

We are now picking our way through the Trade Winds in the Caribbean but would like to let everyone know about Red Frog Marina in Bocas Las Toros on the Caribbean side of Panama.  Truly a great find!  A beautiful and protected location, reasonably priced considering La Playita and Shelter Cove.  Friendly staff and access to all the resort amenities.... restrauants, edgeless pool, electric carts to take you around, and great WiFi!  All at a discount !  We then spent a couple of weeks on Isla Providencia with some great cruisers and are now discovering Roatan while waiting for the Trades to die down. 

Doug & Nancy


6) Chiapas, MX
Marina Chiapas buses:  Walking up the exit from the marina to the main road, after maybe a tenth of a mile, you cross the road and you can catch one of the Combi buses (vans) going into the main town of Tapachula to the left.  The van has a dolphin on the side and goes by the main airport and the first stop in town is the Sam’s Club.  Next is Walmart with the Home Depot across the street.  The cost of the van is 25 pesos.  It’s about a half hour to Walmart.  You pay when you exit the van.

In the Walmart mall, there are other shops like optical shops, shoes, GNC, etc. and a little food court.  To get back home, just catch a van going the other way.

Robert & Carol


7) Marina Ixtapa, MX IXTAPA update. The dredging of the main channel is finished. There are no longer restrictions on entry times. We saw the dredger working the sides.
The tide chart for our arrival predicted a +.5’ tide and with our 7’ draft we saw 1.1’ under the keel just after the outer entrance.
While this was the only ‘shallow’ place, be sure to consult the tide chart when there are much larger tidal swings.

Jessica & Adam


8) Additional long term planning dates

Golfito Marina Village an IGY Destination              Golfito, Costa Rica May 1st ’19)

Rally Completion & Award Event                                Vista Mar Panama May 25th ’19)


All relevant knowledge and fleet updates are being compiled into
Good Nautical an official 501(c)3 non-profit organization

All Fleet Update contributors will of course  have access to all the shared data from Mexico through Panama.
Fuel docks, Anchorages, Marinas, National Parks, Routes, a.m.o.
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11) PANAMA POSSE HOWLER MONKEY MARKETING and PROMOTIONPlease help us promote the Panama Posse with sailors, marinas, yachtclubs and chandleries
- if you are currently near a marina  please print out this PDF in color and post it on the wall.
For extra fun (we did this last year) print it out and take a selfie with it on your vessel !

The Official Panama Posse Press Release - please forward it to your contacts and friends in the media

12) Please reply to this email with any updates - your vessel location -
contenders for picture of the week - your favorite song for our list -
and we'll include it in the next Fleet Update

Dietmar & Suzanne

SV Carinthia

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FLEET UPDATE 2019 - 03 - 03

1) Picture of the week

Vistamar Marina, Panama on the last full moon.
From the Free Spirit Crew

Jon, Kristi & Crew


2) Puesta del Sol Marina, Nicaragua

Nicaragua is very special to us. We have been traveling to Northern Nicaragua to surf for the past 4 years. The first time I arrived in Aposentillo to my friends' surf camp, I fell in love with the people, the tranquility, the beauty, the beaches and the surf. We went on a boat trip in the estuary and as we passed Puesta del Sol Marina I said "someday I'm gonna bring my boat here" and four years later we made good on that promise.
Puesta del Sol is worth the stop. Nicaragua has some big city problems but out at the beach, an hour away from the nearest city, you would never know, it's muy tranquilo.
The entrance to the estuary has plenty of water but the channel is narrow and winding and some of the channel markers have gone astray so be sure to arrive during daylight. Try to email Juanita at the marina at least two or three days ahead of time if possible. When you approach the channel hail the marina on the VHF it may take a while to get a response. It's a pretty sleepy operation. A lot of the marina crew does double duty as security and maintenance staff as well. Either way you will be met at the dock with extra hands to help you tie the lines. Port Captain, Immigration and Customs come to the marina for a very easy check in... It's all pretty casual. They don't get a ton of cruisers so just be sure to double check that all the passports have been stamped and name of vessel is correct, etc. Juanita speaks English and will stand by to help with any questions or clarification.
The marina facilities are beautiful and well maintained. The staff is extremely friendly and helpful. Juanita manages the marina and hotel and she is the most wonderful lady.  The marina showers are inside the main building behind the office. The restaurant serves a variety of delicious food. It closes as 6pm. The bar overlooking the estuary is open later. Be sure to go get your complimentary welcome drink (Toña Beer or Rum and Coke). There is a self service laundry room behind the main building. It takes US quarters. There is 24 hour security. The wifi  was complimentary when we were there. Make sure to walk out to the Beach Palapa. You will probably have it all to yourselves. You can bring your own snacks and swim in the beautiful infinity pool overlooking the ocean. The security guard has a fridge full of cold beers and sodas and you can charge them to your marina account. The tennis courts are fun if you have your own gear. One of the best things about Marina Puesta del Sol is the well stocked veggie truck that makes deliveries straight to the marina on Sundays, Tuesdays and Fridays. Just be sure to tell Juanita you would like to get veggies and she will tell the security guard to flag down the veggie truck as it comes through town. It usually comes between 11:30 am and 1pm. Some days a little later. You know... Nica Time.
Within walking distance of the Marina... If you go right just outside the marina gate on the main road towards the fishing village you will see a tiendas on the right just across from the school. It's owned by an American expat named Bodhi. He can also arrange boat trips for fishing or checking out some of the many surf breaks near by. The tienda is well stocked and he can order anything in from chinendega if you have a few days to wait. He also has horses for riding on the beach and surfboards for rent. Also in the fishing village are Joe's hostal serving cheap local food and a small bar across from the panga landing with pool tables and a juke box. Dirt floors, very local flavor. If you go straight out of the marina gate on the main road first on your right is a well stocked tienda. Next on the right is Badaboom hostal, great for snacks and drinks at somewhat local prices. Right next to Badaboom is Tanya's Fritanga (or Nica style BBQ). Tanja sets up tables in her back patio and is open most nights. The food is delicious, cheap and filling. Bring a to go container for leftovers. Further up the road on the left is Pedro's. He's got WiFi and can fix cell phones, set you up with a sim card. The breakfast is yummy and the smoothies are so good. He also rents motos and bicycles that have surfboard racks. For local entertainment try to catch a baseball, kickball or soccer game on Sundays at the field across the school in Aserradores or down the road in Manzanillo. Also check out Badaboom Hostal for weekend festivities. While we were there they had a new years party, bocce ball tournaments, volleyball tournaments and what is best described as Nica Style Highland games with pig wrestling where the prize is the pig you wrestle, and pole climbing where you work as a team to get the bottle of rum at the top of a slippery telephone pole. Las Dunas beach resort has salsa night on Thursdays.
Further afield but worth the effort... If you get yourself a moto or a car it opens up so many possibilities. A nearby surf spot is at Playa Aposentillo. You will meet friendly locals and expats on the beach and the waves are good for learning or longboarding. At Nahualapa Bay the waves are a little bigger but the rides are longer. Perfect for longboarding on a small day. After surfing spend an afternoon relaxing at Tapas and Surf. Good food, good drinks, good vibes. If you crave carbs and good drinks head up the hill to Al Cielo. Owned by two French guys, they make awesome pizza, pasta, infused rum drinks and keep a well stocked wine cellar. If you ask nicely, they will even send you home with fresh french bread right out of the oven. The views are spectacular so make sure to get there to watch the sunset.
Chinendega is an easy 45 minute ride by car. Longer but much cheaper on the chicken bus, ask Juanita about bus times. You can get most anything you need there. There is a Maxi Pali and for imported grocery items, La Colonia. There is a municipal market where you can score on prices but even the locals keep close tabs on their wallets here. The banks are all on the same intersection in middle of town and if you are looking for a yummy local lunch spot, try La Parrillada. Buffet style, cheap and delicious. Just outside of Chinendega is Flor de Caña Rum Distillery. They do a great tour for $10 USD per person. And if you have time, try to catch a baseball game at the stadium. It's a hoot and you can get box seats where the bartender comes to you for $15 USD. The most fun game I've been to. If you are up for a hike and some adventure, head to Leon and try volcano boarding on Cerro Negro Volcano. Leon also has a french bakery and the mojitos at Bigfoot hostal are delicious. The main plaza in Leon is beautiful and you can go up to the roof of the white church for some awesome rooftop photos.
If you are into volunteering, there are definitely opportunities. We threw a Christmas party for the kids at the school in Aserradores. There is an organization called Waves of Hope that does a ton of work with the local schools. Or just bring a trash bag with you and do a beach clean when you go surfing. 
A few last things. The sailing off the coast of Nicaragua has been some of the most pleasant and enjoyable we have had since, well since leaving California. Steady fresh breezes, comfortable wind angles, clear blue water. We waited for good weather windows and were rewarded with really fun passages. We even snuck out of the marina to go booze cruising with friends at sunset a few times because the sailing was that good.
We have since moved on to Costa Rica, but will definitely returning to Nicaragua for mas olas, amigos, y Toña time!

Pictures 1. Here's a picture of the salt water pool at playa Aposentillo, look for it near the rocky point at low tide.

2. Beisbol game at the stadium in Chinendega with Pati and Eic from SV Shearwater. Vamos Tigres!

3. The view from the marina pool with San Cristobal smoking in the distance.

Victoria, Rowan & Crew


3) Tamarindo, Costa Rica

Shearwater got their burgee delivered !

4) Ixtapa Zihuatanejo, MX
Want to give a shout out to two local businesses and their proprietor's.  Pariso Escondido in the playa Norte anchorage of Isle Grande is owned by Juan, his family started in 1950's.  He was a great host and makes everyone feel at home in short order "Tequila" Tina was great as well.  Good seafood under the palapa great staff.  They hosted our daughters 15th B day party got us a great cake and had great zarendiado snapper.  It's a easy water taxi ride to the town and a great surf spot at playa Linda.  Juan also introduced us to the Verboonen's a Las Gatas family who have had restaurants on the playa for multiple generations.  Hiram is a pro Mexican surfer as well as his daughter Pamela.  They were nice enough to take our daughter Violet surfing on multiple occasions.  Hiram and His wife Erika were wonderful hosts.  Their families have several restaurants at Las Gatas beach.  We ate at Hirams family restaurant "Che Arnoldo"  without a doubt this is the best seafood we have had in Mexico and possibly some of the best seafood ever.  Unique presentation and dishes in a amazing setting.  Can't recommend it enough great stuff!!
La India Huatulco, MX

We hoped to stop in Puerto Angel but the harbor is more or less filled with panga moorings and the open areas are all exposed to the swell.  We continued on to La India which we had not been in for 15 years.  we were happy to find it in the same state as when we had left.  The reefs are buoyed off to keep people from anchoring on but it is still a great spot to sit out the weather in the gulf on flat super clear clean water.  A bow stern is advised and there is room for several boats.  The tourist boats fill it up in the day but keep crew on board so not a problem.
Chiapas, MX

Had a great visit loved the Puebla Madera and Tapalachula.  This is a true big city and very easy ride from the marina.  Can get pretty much whatever you want or need, a whole city block of dentists.
Bahia Del Sol, El Salvador

Nice people, great spot to work on the boat in flat water.  Would not approach the bar here in anything other than mild conditions.  The northern and southern options to hold over make a foul or questionable wx crossing here unnecessary.  
Off to points south soon.

Timothy “Jake”, Burgandy & Violet


5) Isla Grande Ixtapa, MX

Rick & Diana ( headshot & pictures please - part of next years posse )

Tiki Notion

Wednesday, May 1st - Panama Posse Labor Day Party @ Golfito Marina Village an IGY Destination, Costa Rica
Saturday, May 25th - Season Finale - Panama Posse 18-19 Yacht Fest @ Vista Mar Marina - Panama
For the list of all Sponsors please go to

7) Huatulco Waterfalls, MX
Did the Huatulco inland waterfalls and old coffee farm tour with Enrique Pinacho's crew and enjoyed it enormously. A few notes to add tho. Tour was in a taxi, no big deal to us, but it might mater to you. Coffee farm does not appear to be really active with coffee, but they make a killer Tamarindo pork!  The waterfalls we're super fun! Good day away from the boat before we jump on a four day passage!

Juan & Michelle

Ay Caramaba !

8) Chiapas, MX

We just arrived outside Chiapas, drifting until the marina opens to give us a slip.  Dep Acapulco 0945 23Feb and sailed/drifted until we arrived off Puerto Angel the night of 26Feb.  Still no wind on the 27th, but we continued sailing very slowly toward Chiapas until we snagged a poly long-line at approx 15-30.7N 96-08.5W.  Fortunately, we weren’t motoring at the time.  The fishermen came up in their boat and were able to cut the line, remove it from the prop and tie it back together.  We started the engine and headed toward Chiapas a little faster.

We came across several more long-lines in the next 5-10 miles.  I think the best strategy is to look for the flag at the end of the line, then head directly toward the flag until you can determine which side of the flag the line is going and then steer around the correct side of the flag.  You can see the flag from a couple miles away.  You cannot count on the fishermen being anywhere close to the line.  Three times they were - once, they unhooked us, the next guy pushed two floats together to drop the line enough for us to pass and the third guy just watched us go over the line without giving us any direction - (fortunately, the line was low enough for the boat to pass over).  About three other lines were totally unmanned.

We sailed when we had wind and motored when we didn’t and took about 48 hours to cross the Tpec bay and arrive here; timing it to arrive after sunrise.  The forecast was mostly accurate.  When the wind came up at first, it was directly astern.  The beam wind didn’t start until we were close to the center.
We sailed  a straight line from Puerto Angel 15-35.397N 96-30.536W to 14-41.608N 92-25.497W.  Doing it over, I would probably go 5nm further offshore from Angel and maybe we would have missed all those long lines. Once we arrived in Marina Chiapas and waited for the customs, Puerto de Capitanía officer, and Navy to inspect the vessel.  You have to go through the inspection before checking into the marina office and going to the fuel dock.  We heard that the concrete dock of the fuel dock is too far out of the water except at high tide.  If the tide is low, there is a possibility that the bottom of the concrete would be above the toe rail.  So we’ll need to fuel tomorrow.

We also learned that we have to travel to the Guatemalan boarder to have our TIP cancelled.  About $1,000mx for that trip.

We plan to stay for at least a week and probably longer to do some touring of the area.  The restaurant in the Marina is very good with a unique Piña Colada recipe with cinnamon.  They also hand-make the salsa at the table with mortar and pestle.

Wi-FI in the marina is NOT good.  The restaurant’s free wi-FI with Facebook check-in was very good, so we may be spending some time over there.

Fuel dock in Chiapas. I would highly recommend going at high tide. These pics were taken at high tide.

Robert & Carol


9) Mechanic in Playas del Coco, Costa Rica

Simple Life, on the hook at Playas del Coco. Plenty of wind last few days, all offshore, nice flat sea. Landing on beach not so bad, if one is prepared to get wet. Had a few things to fix here - replace steering cable, fix fuel supply issue. All good now, so I’ll head out next day or so.

If anyone needs a mechanic in Playas del Coco, Alan at Coco Marine will tackle anything. He’s done some good work for me on replacing steering cable, and solving a tricky engine fuel issue. He also works on outboards. +506 8410-8419
Eamonn & Catherine

10) Punta Cabeza Negra, MX
Anchored in Punta Cabeza Negra with stern anchor to point us.

18°36'N 103°41' WBig 8'+ seas from Zihuatinejo entire 25 hrs. Super Dog Sam needs a beach break!

Phillip Jay & Kelley


11) Panama Canal, Panama
My Panama Canal advice...FWIW....

Work with Erik Galvez ( note he is our official Panama Posse Canal Agent ) 

Everything was done in Panama City and it would have been easier to just go there directly but the marinas are very expensive and anchorage are rolly. Balboa Yacht Club was $40/night for nothing but a mooring ball and boat to shore service.
Now that I’ve done it and had time to reflect I think I’d do this:
Go to Panama City directly and anchor on east side of Flamenco Island. Email Erik and tell him you’re there and want Measurement the next day. Dinghy in to Flamenco Marina and check in with Port Captain and Immigration. In the same building and easy. Apply for cruising permit at Port Captains office. Can take 1-3 days (!) so it’s good to be close. Go to Playita Anchorage next morning by 7 AM for Canal Measurement and expect to wait 1-5 hours. Easy process once they show up by boat. Go back to Flamenco anchorage then to Port Captain to check on Cruisers Permit. Expect to have to come back the next day. Go explore Old City. Keep going back to port captains office until you get Prermit. Go to Vista Mar Marina for best rate in world and prepare for Canal transit. Eric


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