Marina Ixtapa

FLEET UPDATE 2019-04-29

This weeks fleet updates - Headlines

Golfito, CR - Panama Posse Party Tuesday

New Panama Posse Marina Sponsor - Marina Ixtapa, MX

Pets in and out of Panama via Airplanes

Marina Papagayo, Costa Rica
Leaving the boat in Golfito, Costa Rica

No sail repair in Chiapas, MX - where to next ?

Departing Huatulco - Tehuantepec, MX

Anchoring at
Isla Otoque / Panama Bad fuel in Golfito, CR ?

Panama Canal Transit (Southbound - no issues)

Panama Canal Transit (Northbound - damages)

Green Island, Jamaica

Rio Cacique- Pta Matador, Panama

Santa Ana Department, El Salvador

Mayor of Zihuatanejo, MX

1) Golfito, CR Panama Posse Party
SV Taliesin Rose I may miss the call this morning, so I wanted to formally announce that the Golfito Party will be this
Tuesday, April 30th at Banana Bay Marina at 5pm. If you are planning swoop in at the last minute...swoop a little faster. Taliesin Rose, Shearwater, Secret Water, Paradisea, and Sonomara, Ata Marie will be there - anybody else?

Victoria & Rowan


2) New Panama Posse Marina Sponsor - Marina Ixtapa, MX

Happy to announce Marina Ixtapa just signed on as an official Panama Posse Sponsors -
20% discount on daily rates
25 % off rates if you stay 2 weeks or more

to make a reservation contact

Lic. Elsa Zuñiga Loeza
Manager Marina Ixtapa
Tel.+52 755 553-0222 /
Tel +52 755-553-2180
3) Pets in and out of Panama via Airplanes, Panama

This is the link to what you need to do to bring your pet into Panama: https://www.aphis.usda.go/aphis/pet-travel/by-country/petravel-panama
We did not get the paper work "approved" by a Panamanian Consulat but we had no problems when we checked into Pedregal. We DID have email evidence of sending the paper work to three days prior. I think that is a must. Our Panamanian Vet indicates that all you need to pay is $3/day for the 40 days of home quarentine plus $10 to a Vet for a verification exam. BUT we also did not do that. We just filled out the paper work and emailed it and showed the Port Captain that we did so.
This is the link to what you need to do to remove your pet from Panama:
We used our Panamanian Vet in Coronado (Vista Mar) that we heavily recommend. He did everything for us. He created the appropriate certification and dated it for us to have it be within 10 days of our exit. He also went into Panama City to get export permit for us, which you need. Our issue was for some reason the Airline we are using (United) thinks Panama will not permit pets on a plane and a third party has to be set up to ship (as cargo) your pet. If we did that, it was going to cost twice as much as our airline ticket. Our Vet said we should have used Copa Airlines. Don't know if that works or not, but if I had to do it all over I would have checked their flight schedules first.
Out dogs are 10 and 15 pounds, they have flown with us under our seat many times. But we had to make them our "emotional support animals" in order to get them on the plane out of Panama. For United, they have three forms which you can read about and download: The three forms, one for you, one for the vet and one for the licensed mental health professional.  For the Medical, We used an online service called CertaPet. After Jeariene finished her "certification" with them, she refered me and received a $15 Amazon reward for the referral. So if you want to go this route, I can submit your email (lol), or just try them yourselves. This also means you don't have to pay the airline for the pet travel, but I would still gladly fork over the $125, that wasn't our purpose.  Our Vet is in Coronado (Vista Mar) Panama on Tuesday, Thursday and most Saturdays. His english is excellant, and his front desk staff also is semi fluent in english. Dr. Jorge E. Barriga F.  +507 240-1468 Good luck
Walt & Jeariene


4) Marina Papagayo, Costa Rica

Marina Papagayo long stay. On our way thru Culebra we took fuel at Marina Papagyo.  The staff were very nice and helpful.  It should be noted at that time around March 24th.  The floating break water at the marina was not intact.  The staff informed us that a tropical depression last summer created enough sea state that the breakwater broke apart and there was severe movement in the docks.  We were surprised at the amount of fetch developed by a mild Papagyo blow while in the bay.  Something to think about if leaving your boat there. 
Timothy “Jake”, Burgandy & Violet


5) Leaving the boat in Golfito Costa Rica I have an addition to SV Nirvana great info on bonding the boat in Costa Rica. We just went through the process and Maikol from Banana Bay Marina explained that Golfito is the only place in Costa Rica that has special permission to bond boats for 90 days and Customs does not charge a fee. There are three marinas here Banana Bay, Fish Hook and the new Golfito Marina. This 90 day bond also stops your original 90 day entry visa and your boat is treated as if it is not even in the country so when you come back any time after 90 days you will receive another 90 days to remain and travel in Costa Rica. Maikol at Banana Bay wants you all to know that if you have any questions not to hesitate to contact him at Banana Bay Marina. He has been wonderful to us and is a great guy that loves to help and definitely knows the system here, having worked for Customs for many years himself. His number: +506 876 1938 We love the Golfito marina which is one of the best we have ever stayed in 22 years of cruising. Great service, friendly staff, help with checking in and out with Shuttle drive to all the offices. They make sure you are happy here.
The marina is currently going through a management change but will stay open during the transaction. The fuel dock is temporary closed until further notice and the restaurant has limited menu for the time being. But you can get fuel at Banana Bay has fuel. If you hear rumors the marina is closing that is just a that a rumor. The marina is in a quiet neighborhood. You can hear the howler monkeys in the morning and see the scarlet macaws fly over you boat, occasional Toucans. Dolphins skirting the docks and turtles taking a breath of air right next to your boat and yes you will see an occasional 1 or 2 crocodiles. The sunsets can be spectacular.  A short 5 minute walk will take you to a Pharmacy and Mega Super Grocery story which in my opinion has by far the best veggies. I don't buy my meat or eggs from Mega Super, just a few stores passed after the bakery is a great butcher, best pork ribs ever, plus eggs, plus fresh milk from the cow.  Right next to the Pharmacy is Cocoa Bar, that is only open from 3 pm on, but on Friday at 11 am they open for the Ex Pats here and it's always a lot of fun and nice to meet the locals. Ladies if you need a spa day, Rosi at Casa Roland is wonderful, you can find her on FB Rosibel Barboza or call Casa Roland and they will connect you with her.  We love it here. Happy sailing

Sid & Manuela


6) Chiapas, MX
Hola, spinnaker blew out near Chiapas, MX. No good sail repair resource here in Puerto Chiapas. Heading south from Puerto Chiapas, what will be next good opportunity for a significant sail repair? While Top Cider is here for the summer we are getting fresh bottom paint, mast pulled and painted, anchor chain regalvanized. We’re liking marina Chiapas. Enjoyed touring with Miguel locally and will probably do more extensive in the fall. 
Note: 18:52 SeaGlub Sorry about the Spinnaker, worst case you could have it shipped to Puerto Vallarta since you're still in Mexico it shouldn't be that complicated. There are two good sail repair shops in PV and one outfit near Playa Cocos in Costa Rica

Chuck & Sharon


7) Departing Huatulco - Tehuantepec, MX
Good morning all. Kachina departed  Huatulco this morning, headed for Chiapas. Weather looks good but may have to motor most of the way. Light winds through Thursday. It’s like a lake out here right now. Making 7-7.2 with full main and engine. Just enough wind to keep the main pulling a little but not enough to support the jib. Want know actual wind speeds, as the Frigate Birds destroyed the wind instruments on the mast, in Acapulco. Have new ones that I’ll put up in Chiapas maybe. 08:25 SV Kachina Bill and Jean’s contact info please? 08:27 sv Singularity Bill & Jean 08:27 Rob Murray @SV Kachina phone +503 7490 6894 email 08:31 sv Singularity Join their rally here and help support their cruiser help at Bahía del Sol


8) Isla Otoque, Panama
Has anyone anchored for the night at isla otoque, Panama ? Looks like a waiting point before the canal? 10:55 SV Knot Right I anchored close to the beach on the west village side. Pangas use the destroyed pier area for transit to the mainland. We hopped a ride in,  walked the town. No stores or restaurants. We didn't launch the dinghy because it was way too choppy. Very cute but nothing there.  We think the east town has something but we didn't stop.  It might not have the protection,  but if you do go into town, please let us know if anything commercial is there.

Bad fuel in Golfito, CR
FYI bad gas at Banana Bay Golfito, after 4 hrs had our 10 micron raycor filter blocked and shut the engine down  15:56 Mai Tai Johnson Put in 15 gal in a 59 gal tank  15:59 SeaGlub Water in the fuel or dirty?  16:02 Rhapsody We got fuel there, it was fine.  45 gallons, 15 hours motoring. We asked them about filters before fueling and showed us the filters on the pump. 16:08 Mai Tai Johnson My gauges say dirty, I have never had a problem with fuel until now, I should have used my Baja filters but have plenty of raycors on board  16:18 Footloose L When did u buy fuel?

Argan & Gloria

9) Panama Canal Transit (Southbound)
Great crossing! We’re now in the Pacific! Everyone is awesome! Jamie Figueroa has been a wonderful host and Erick Galvez a great support! There was an ACCIDENT yesterday coming through the canal. Our friend/linehandler cruising full-time last 7 yrs and been through Canal on another boat last month. (this being his last and on way home to Houston to live on the land) is now In hospital had one surgery reconnecting his foot last night and another in 3 days if no infection. Comedy of errors starting with a boat that nested to us not paying attention to advisor. We need to stay in Panama City  whole he’s in  the hospital.. we also will go back to Shelter Bay to put their boat in storage as he won’t be able to walk for 3 months. They’ll be going back to Houston next week after clearance from drs. Question is - what marina can we safely leave the boat for a few days  while in Shelter Bay ?  15:53 Mai Tai Johnson Location  :,-83.149002075195284
Karen & ?


10) Panama Canal Transit (Northbound)
 We transited the Panama Canal on Saturday the 20th. Figment is now in Linton Bay. We had our entire family on board during the transit. It as special for all of us. We are now trying to get a few days in Kuna Yala with one of our daughters and her family before they all head back to New Orleans.

While checking in at Linton Bay Marina today I asked Brian Davis – seems to run the office or admin side of things – about Panama Posse. He’d not heard of the group. After my brief description he asked that he be contacted if/when the posse extends to the Caribbean side. So with that background I’m sending along his phone number. Brian Davis +507-6676-5967.

As noted in my Line comments we have a number of photos with the PP burgee on the bow pulpit with various PC background scenes. They are mostly in my children’s phones so will get what I can to you when I can get them sent my way.

Finally, since we’ve moved to the Pacific side we’ll not be attending any of the celebrations scheduled in May. Our plans are to leave Figment (and Blessed) at Shelter Bay for most of the summer. I think Blessed is planning some summer trips to Cartagena and Kuna Yala. Figment may make another/longer run to Kuna Yala as well. Then we’ll head north and east in the fall.

During our prep and transit of the PC I recall thinking at times – for all the research I’ve done, I didn’t realize … and thinking I should share it. However, at the moment those details escape me. I’ll reflect on the whole experience and see if I think I’ve any value to add to the group of those following.

I’ll relate one detail that caught us by surprise and in the end resulted in damage to our vessels. In our transit Figment and Blessed were nested together in each chamber. To refresh your memory – Figment is a 48’ Kadey Krogen and Blessed a 43’ Nordhavn. We’ve been running together since leaving Barra. The ACP (or the pilot on the large cat ahead of us) decided Figment and Blessed would nest together at the aft end of the chambers. Going up through the Miraflores/Piedro Migel chambers we made up just as we approached the lower Miraflores Lock sliding to the starboard side of the channel to do so. We stayed nested through all three chambers including crossing Miraflores Lake. Figment managed the propulsion. All went well.

As we reached the Gatun Locks we had to wait for a tub/barge unit to catch up with us. It was late afternoon. We finally received instructions to nest the two boats. We nested Blessed on the starboard side of Figment as we had earlier and started to move to the Gatun Lock ahead and to port to position ourselves to enter the chamber first. Just after beginning to move toward Gatun an ACP launch went by on Figment’s port side perhaps 50 - 75 yards off running at that speed they make where they throw a fearsome wake. I saw them pass us. There was no time to change heading to take the wake on the bow. Consequently we ended up with the two vessel rolling violently side to side – and of course out of synch. At one point I understand Blessed’s port gunnel was above Figments upper deck coaming as Blessed rose on the wave and Figment fell into the hole behind the wave.

The result was a series of enormous impacts between the two vessels. Damage was:

o    teak cap rail dent and varnish removed

o    stern hawse cleat forward ear folded 90 degrees from its cast position as it failed before the stern line parted

o    we’ve decided to not pursue a claim though the cost may well be significant


I’ll leave it to John to describe in detail the damage to Blessed if he cares to do so and say only there was some distortion to metal fittings and a crack in some fiberglass. Figment stands taller and is a heavier vessel

To my knowledge it isn’t yet known if the crack is superficial or deeper

The advisers on both Figment and Blessed were very angry and got on their radios identifying the offending vessel and so on. We were instructed to report any claim issues to Erick Galvez – our agent. Frankly, he has gone very formal and skimpy with the info seeming to take a position that he doesn’t want to advocate for anyone as though it might compromise his position as an agent with the ACP even indicating in his email that his line handlers couldn’t server as witnesses should a hearing occur. One of those line handlers was Erick’s son Juan who indicated to me he’d discuss the whole event with his father. I think if he were allowed to speak freely he would be a credible witness.

Fortunately there were no personal injuries.

Since this event I’ve spent a lot of time reflecting on what we could have done to avoid such damage. A bit more background – while anchored four days in La Playita I was regularly stunned at how close the ACP launches would run to our anchored vessel with no reduction in speed throwing those fearsome wakes. Fortunately Figment has some at rest stabilization equipment which was deployed to counter some of this abuse. It only served to moderate the resulting movement. However, that wasn’t possible on Gatun Lake. Same type launch, same type inappropriate behavior. My present conclusion were I to do the same thing again is to object to the advisor’s decision to make up the nest as far from the Gatun Lock entrance as we did and insist on getting very close in before doing so to minimize the kind of wake exposure we experienced. The ACP vessel operators have no concept of wake damage to others or simply don’t care.

I’d like to thank you for the value you and the group added to our journey to Panama.

Figment Figment is now in Linton Bay Marina after a week in Kuna Yala

Don & Jan


11)  Green Island, Jamaica
Sprezzatura @ Green Island, Jamaica Between Negril n Lucea! (Lol) Hanover Hanover Parish Jamaica :,-78.271098525440706


SPREZZATURA12) Rio Cacique- Pta Matador, Panama.
We're in 24 feet of water at +11 high tide right now. It is well protected and beautiful. N 8 18.220 W 78 54.161.  09:49 Ay Caramba! - Juan We broke shifting cable,  fixed it. On to Pta Matador N 8 29.547 W 78 51.547 21feet  At +7. Good protection from N wind and moderate protection from S swell. Fishermen use the spot to collect water bathe and wash clothes. We bought lobster from Pune Indians.

Juan & Michelle


13) Santa Ana Department, El Salvador
Santa Ana Department, El Salvador :,-89.534567383542054 22:03 SV BlueOasis Blue Oasis on a land tour in El Salvador @ Mikiteria lake resort on Lago Coatepeque Very cool B&B on the lake which is a volcano caldron. A bit hazy so the scenery is not as vibrant, but the El Salvadoran people are so friendly. We also visited a small artsy town of Suchitoto.

Barry & Kathy


14) The mayor of Zihuatanej, MX Great meeting with the mayor of Zihuatanejo today. Mayor Jorge Sanchez Allec, thank you so much for taking the time to tell us your great stories and plans for Zihuatanejo!! We're looking forward to many years of bringing the Panama Posse to Zihua!
The public dock will be remodeled over the next 6 months and hopefully we'll get a floating dinghy dock.

Chris, Monica & Penny


15)Please reply to this email with any 

updates and we'll include it in the next Fleet Updates.
Please take pictures of your celebrations.

Dietmar & Suzanne
SV Carinthia

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FLEET UPDATE 2019-04-20

1) ABOUT AIS - Zihuatanejo, MX

Hailing Commercial Ships
When cruising from Isla Mujeres to Corpus Christi, we were hailed by a “Crane Ship” captain who had seen us on AIS. He was a “good ole boy” from the south and he was quite chatty.  In the process of talking to him, he gave us this advice…whenever you are in the vicinity of a commercial ship, cruise ship or anything a whole lot bigger than you, hail them on Channel 16 because they are so big and you are so small (and they are often not watching), that they won’t even see you on their radar or on their AIS.
When you hail them, there is a record of your conversation and you alert them to your existence.  Ask them if they see you on radar and AIS.  If necessary, be ready to give them a definition of where you are in relation to them. i.e. 2 miles off your port bow.
We do this on a regular basis and have actually had some nice conversations with some ships, especially cruise ship captains.  We also find that they respond more often to a woman’s voice, so I am generally the one that does it. 

On the way south from Bahia Hadras, we were traveling loosely with three other boats, all of whom had AIS, but one only had receiving AIS, not sending.  He was under sail and was very difficult to see in the dark.  There was a commercial ship bearing down on all of us, so I hailed it and asked if he could see us.  It took him awhile and then he finally said that he did.  I alerted him to the fact that we were four sailboats in the vicinity and asked him if he saw all four of us.  That took awhile longer, he said that he did see us and that he would take evasive action given that we were all under sail.
I really enjoy hailing ships both because it is a safety issue and it if fun if you get a chatty captain, but also because it breaks up the night watch a bit.  I used to be hesitant to chat on the radio, but since I started hailing ship captains who don’t know me from Adam, my confidence has increased to the point that I can’t wait for a ship to come in range so that I can yak away.

John & Trish


2) Barillas Marina Club, El Salvador
13° 15.6562 N  088° 29.4645 W
(503) 632-1802

It's not just an anchorage - the have mooring, fuel dock and not a big river bar to cross and only 30 nm from Bahia del Sol 

Moorings are $ 45 for the first night and $ 16 after that - they have custom facilities and immigration

And a  lovely Restaurant, Transportation

Plus they provide transportation to go shopping, get to the airport, laundry, showers and a pool

It's very relaxing and pretty

The also have fuel and water

Launch ramp next to fuel dock 

Oscar & Nellita


3) Chiapas, MX Here is an overview of our tour. If it's already been done by others, just pitch this.
The crews of Slow Dancer and Blue Oasis joined Miguel in Marina Chiapas for a day tour. 
First we went to the ruins at Izapa. Miguel was super knowledgeable about the ruins themselves as well as the Mayan and Aztec peoples.

After the ruins, we visited the small town of Tuxtla Chico. We walked through a beautiful old church and shopped a bit at the local market. Miguel is also knowledgeable about the plant life in the area and had us taste several fruits from the trees that we passed.

Next up was lunch. What an amazing feast! La Parra is owned by Josefina. This amazing woman has won competitions in several countries for her wonderful chocolate that she grows, roasts, grinds by hand and packages. We enjoyed tamales, quesadillas,  rolls and hot chocolate. We enjoyed watching the making of tortillas over a wood burning stove. We also watched them make the chocolate. Next we traveled to Dona Petra's kitchen to see the tamale making process. Best tamales in the state according to Miguel. We thought so too!

Lastly, Miguel took us to see the Guatemala border and then to Walmart for some last minute provisions. 

We highly recommend Miguel as a tour guide. His English is great and his knowledge of the area is amazing.  Plus he's a really nice guy!

Dale & Kenneth


4) Long Term Stay in Costa Rica

Hi All,
Here’s the info re leaving your vessel in Costa Rica beyond the 90 day basic temporary import.

There is a process called Exoneration, which provides for importation of the boat into The country for up to two years, with no import tax consequence. The proviso is that you must enter into a contract with a marina in order for this to occur. The contract need not be for two years, but for a period of time that you work out with the marina. The vessel must be physically in the marina with which you enter into the contract, while the Exoneration paperwork is completed which takes between 14-18 days. 

When the Exoneration process is completed you surrender your original 90-day TIP, and henceforth the boat is in the country under the exoneration permit. With that in place, you can now leave the marina, under a zarpe that the marina puts in place and sail anywhere in Costa Rica and even out of the country and thereafter return, all under the auspices of the Exoneration. The obvious kicker is that you will still be paying whatever marina fees apply vis a vis your contract, assuming you don’t leave the country permanently, i.e., terminating your marina contract and commensurate with that, your Exoneration Permit. It is permissible to change from a one marina to another during the two year period and your Exoneration permit transfers from one contract to the next. The Exoneration Cost, which is primarily an Agent Fee to put the paperwork in place, with the Agent we’ll use through Marina Papagallo is approximately $800. BUT, Marina Papagallo offers to offset the Exoneration fee which some very attractive marina fee reductions in order to have our marina business. For a six month contract, the cost to us, net, is about what we’d pay on a monthly long term basis for Marina La Cruz, Marina Vallarta, Marina Paradise Village, and the three marinas in La Paz, or El Cid in Mazatlan.

For us, it makes great sense to do this, so we are. We’ll fly out of Liberia airport non-stop to LAX on Alaska Airlines at a very affordable fare. Liberia airport is a taxi ride from this marina. This region of Costa Rica is considerably drier than, for example El Salvador, or even Golfito, and the bottom growth comparatively is negligible. So, boat issues should be less than in Chiapas, or El Salvador, or even Golfito, and anywhere in Panama. And the bonus is, we can in the meanwhile and upon our return, sail throughout the country at will until northbound to Mexico weather suits our fancy.

I’m certain that Contract Offers differ from marina to marina, and probably even agent to agent, so all is negotiable. For those in Golfito, Miguel at Banana Bay, who used to be at Marina Golfito, was in a former employment capacity, a Costa Rican Customs official, and undoubtedly knows the ins and outs of this on par with Marina Golfito.

So, there it is. We’ll leave here in late October/early November and make Barra de Navidad for the annual Cruisers’ Thanksgiving fete,😎
If any questions, shoot an email back and I’ll clarify. Ciao,

Bob & Sherry


5) Sumwood Channel, Bocas del Torro, Panama

Sumwood Channel is a convenient connection between Bahia Almirante and Laguna de Chiriqui.
It is also a beautiful ride between the mangroves. We cruised it from South to North.

We planned our route on Navionics charts. We checked the route against positions obtained from grid on Bauhaus’ photos and the ferry route indicated on Google Maps’ (!) sat images. Critical areas could be easily identified by lookout. Minimum depths recorded on approach was 8.5 m.

In the canal sometimes becomes shallow in the midst. If your attention is not distracted by the beautiful landscape, it may be easier to stay in max depths (bottom is mud ...).

North of canal Navionics and grid from Bauhaus photos shows discrepancies. Nacionics Sonar Charts are of great help.

And for those, who still rely on Pat Rains ten year old revised edition 2017:
There are no buoys anymore in the Boca del Toro Canal (as correctly reflected on the chart in Bauhaus‘ book).



4) Casco Viejo, Panama

The gifts of Living in Gratitude 🙏🏻 continue in abundance as we met with JAIME FIGUEROA the Tourism Ambassador of Panama and Alva, the proprietor of Panama House Bed & Breakfast this morning at the most quaint and personal B&B we were honored to spend time whilst in Panama City .. thank you Alva for sharing your home and family and hospitality with us . Thank you Jaime for your welcoming spirit to your Country and the stories, knowledge and passion you share. We look forward to coming through the Canal Sunday with the added information you enlightened us with. We also look forward to visiting with you soon. You live and share a fascinating life and we’re honored to call you a friend. Till next time - Carpe Diem - live love and laugh 

Fantastic meeting with Our ambassador in Panama, jaime Figuero ! Beautiful person!
Jaime is sharing so much of his life and experiences and his passion for Panama !

To contact him email

Ron & Karen


Every Monday UTC 16:00 LINE GROUP CALL

Our cruising season in the area and for the Panama Posse is NOV - MAY based on the hurricane season.
Most participants will be staying put after June 1. Thus our last weekly LINE  call will be held Monday May 20. At this time the plan is to leave the LINE chat room open and but it will no longer be actively managed.   Everyone will have the choice to remain in contact with each other thru the chat room. When we start the new season in November we will open a new LINE chat room for the next seasons' members. Download from

We will fade out the Panama Posse  Facebook group over the summer and start the new FB group page in September.
Fleet updates will stop June and start up in October for next season's posse. SO  it's time for you to ....

16 vessels have done so already

If you are ready simply reply with an email and re-register (no new registration form to fill out)
and we'll take care of the rest - or sign up here

We'll meet in Barra de Navidad in October / November for an early  December kick off ( right after Thanksgiving)

7) Las Perlas, Panama

Ay Caramba ! is in Isla Parida, two different anchorages. In the N, a good first stop at N 8 07.183 W 82 20.888 un 25 feet at +7 tide.

It was rolly in the evening.  The second spot near Playa Socorro at N 8 07.679 W 82 19.427 under 21 feet of water at +10. It turns out I Gamez is probably the better place for the current conditions. There's an annoying swell that seems to be wrapping around the island, we're exposed to it here. Isla Gamez at around N 8 07.722 W 82 19.062 ( just across) seems to have good protection for that.  SV Octopus Garden is there. They reported a little rolliness only when the wind went to the East.
03:40 Ay Caramba! - Juan A note to vessels leaving Golfito, you will benefit significantly from timing your departure with the ebb .. ;-) + 1.5 kts.

Juan & Michelle


8) Panama Posse Swag ... coming this summer ...

9) Please reply to this email with
any updates - songs - pictures - alerts and we'll include it in the next Fleet Updates

Happy Easter & Happy Passover to all from

Dietmar & Suzanne


10) opt-out from the Fleet Updates simply reply with "REMOVE"


FLEET UPDATE 2019 - 04 - 13

1) La Marina, Acapulco, MX

Happy to announce our latest addition to Sponsors of the Panama Posse

16° 50.4790' N  099° 54.4468' W - deep draft and length up to 200 feet

20% discount of daily rate ( $1.00 x foot  x day - 20% discount) up to 60 feet
20% discount of daily rate ( $1.20 x foot  x day - 20% discount) up to 61-100 feet

25% discount for 2 weeks stay ( $1.16 x foot  x day - 20% discount) up to 60 feet
25% discount for 2 weeks stay ( $1.29 x foot  x day - 20% discount) up to 61-100 feet

Base  Rates for 1 month+ stay 

$ 11   35-39 feet
$ 15   40-50 feet
$ 17   51-60 feet
$ 25   61-80 feet
$ 34   81-100 feet

5 MXD x kwh

+16% Tax IVA on all fees
For reservations please contact

TEL: +52 744 483 6143
TEL: +52  744 483 7744
MOVIL: +52  744 131 3007
email :

24/7 Security and friendly dockworkers
30/50 AMP electricity
300 TSS Water
Small Store 
Small Chandlery
Wifi (in the office only)
Showers / Bathrooms (9 AM - 6 PM)

Amazing Superama (owned by Walmart) grocery store right across the street
ATM inside the Supermarket (so probably one of the easiest places to provision from in all of Mexico)
Lavanderia in walking distance and
Bus stop right outside the gates for the $1 yellow air conditioned bus which takes you all around the bay of Acapulco
Lot's of collectivos and taxis stop on this bus stop too and are happy to take you to see the cliff divers or

For 500 MX x day we hired the very dedicated and extremly hard working
Jose Miguel Carbajal Leyva to help us get the "Tehuantepec salt" off
+52 744 2058184  AND +52 744 263 7112

We had fuel brought to the dock in Jerry cans by Vicente
or you can go to the main Pemex fuel dock
⌖ 16° 50.8644 N 99° 54.3474 W  (they all charge between a 12-18% premium for fuel)

2) Tamarindo, Costa Rica

We finally unglued ourselves from the comforts of Playa El Coco to begin again our journey southward. We popped up to Marina Papagayo for some fuel. As we had already checked into the country there were no issues, but we wouldn't have been allowed if we were not already cleared through immigration and customs.
The fuel pumps did their work quickly and as the sport fishing fleet are the main customers, the fuel was clean, no need for a baja filter. As we headed out of Bahia Culebra we saw hundreds of jumping Mabula Rays trying to catch flight in hopes of catching a mate, apparently. Yet again, the the breezes were allowing for pleasant sailing.

We pulled into Bahia Portrero for a quick overnight, with the crew of Shearwater over for dinner on board. The lights in the mooring field are bright, supposedly to prevent theft. We had no issues at all in our spot between the two groups of fishing boats and pangas. We we're up in the morning to get a head start and pop around the corner to Playa Conchal. Due to the name we had dreams of some shell collecting but the shells had already been ground up to make the beautiful light color sand. A walk along the beach revealed a few souvenir vendors on the side of the gravel path. And the beach clubs for two hotels. Not open to the public, unfortunately. But we had planned to picnic anyway, and not long after we picked our lunch spot, a man with a cooler came by, offering ice cold beers and coco frios. It was a perfect lunch-hook stop-over. The afternoon graced us with more good sailing weather and we enjoyed snapping pictures of Shearwater flying full canvas.

We pulled into Tamarindo just as the sun was setting behind us. We picked a spot near the mooring field. We spent the next week taking full advantage of all Tamarindo has to offer with our buddies, Pati and Eric. We took the dink and anchored outside the lineup at Playa Grande and caught some fun party waves at the beach break near the river.  We beached the dinghy and headed into town most days. We found the best landing at the jet ski launch. We did lock the two dinghies together but never had any issues. Each time we found our dinks just the way we had left them. We sampled the microbrews at Witches Rock Surf Camp. We found a street off the beaten path that had a coffee shop called Breaking Bread that Walter White would approve of, Nacho Libre tacos at Little Lucha, and the open air El Mercadito with lots of options including poke bowls and a bar in a sailboat. The roadside BBQ skewers near the beach were cheap and delicious. We had a great meal at the beautiful Bamboo Sushi Club.

We checked out the funky shops more for the air conditioning than anything else and came away with some cool shirts from the five dollar bin. Pati arranged an estuary tour and we saw a ton of birds and a few crocodiles. If you go at high tide you can see monkeys as well. The Papagayos were still howling and at one point we were slowly dragging along the rock bottom and had to reset at the edge of the mooring field and a little closer to the beach, but there was no fetch to speak of so it was still pretty comfortable even in the high winds.

We got to meet up with Dietmar and Suzanne as they pulled into the bay to deliver a Posse Burgee to the Shearwater crew. Tamarindo is pretty busy with a lot of crispy gringos escaping the snow and soaking up some rays. But even with the crowds, the vibes are mellow and there are plenty of chilled out spots to find a lounge chair or hammock and an umbrella drink.  We almost skipped it since we had been before, but from the water, Tamarindo is a real treat!

Pura Vida!

Tamarindo Swings for Crew


Tamarindo Beach Bar

Tamarindo Sunset

Captain Rowan celebrating his birthday in Golfito with a cold imperial and a beautiful sunset,
before meeting up with fellow cruisers for happy hour at Fishhook!
Victoria, Rowan & Crew


3) The 2018-2019 Panama Posse now stands at an amazing 120 vessels !
HIP HIP HURRAY to all of you from 14 different nations !


2019-2020 Registrations are open
and there are already 11 vessels signed up for next season
including  3 "re-posse" vessels ;-)

4)  We wish to thank all of our
Official Panama Posse  Sponsors, Partners and Ambassadors

  • Marina Puerto Vallarta, Puerto Vallarta – Mexico
  • Marina Puerto de La Navidad – Barra de Navidad – Mexico
  • La Marina Acapulco, Acapulco – Mexico 
  • Marina Chiapas – Mexico 
  • Marina Bahia del Sol – El Salvador 
  • La Palma Moorings – Bahia del Sol, El Salvador 
  • Marina Puesta del Sol – Nicaragua 
  • Marina Papagayo – Costa Rica 
  • Marina Pez Vela – Costa Rica 
  • Banana Bay Marina – Costa Rica 
  • Golfito Marina Village – Costa Rica 
  • Vista Mar Marina – Panama 
  • Shelter Bay Marina – Panama 
  • Red Frog Marina – Panama 

Official Panama Canal Agent

Official Panama Posse Ambassadors

Panama Posse Partners

  • Vicente’s Moorings – Acapulco – Mexico
  • Luis Sanchez Tours – Chiapas – Mexico
  • Discovery Tours - Tapachula - Mexico
  • Park Avenue Villas – San Juan del Sur – Nicaragua
  • Coconutz – Annual Papagayo Victory Party – Playa Cocos – Costa Rica
  • Abernathy – Chandlery – Panama

5) Acapulco & Marina Chiapas, MX

Blue Oasis used the main Pemex fuel dock in Acapulco by the cruise ship docks. Very helpful staff. We took on 370L of fuel successfully. The dock has a big surge, and angle bracket underwater perpendicular to the float. The surprise was a commission/docking fee that was a percentage. Since our Spanish is not up to negotiation skills. We paid ~14%!very pricey diesel indeed all in 25pesos/L . On our way South this am to Puerto Angel, MX. Entrance to Tehuantepec.

Blue Oasis arrived safely in Marina Chiapas this afternoon. We had a brilliant crossing of the Tehuantepec: sailing starting Thursday morning until 2 in the morning Friday. Off the wind, fast beam ride. Seas were following and not too churned up, current with us from the afternoon through the night to Chiapas. We did catch 2 long lines as we left Bahia Huatulco about 12 nm off shore. We were very careful, but were sailing a a good clip. We had to cut one stuck on the keel, the second one slipped off. Tons of Sea turtles and  several mating pairs in the middle of the Bahia de Tehuantepec. All toll about 32 hours crossing. Predict Wind Offshore was spot on PWG was a little closer than PWE. Slow Dancer we’ll be over to say hello after some rest.


Barry & Kathy

6) Clearing in Panama

Simple Life UK Thank you question: is the Cruising Licence the equivalent of a TIP?  We plan to leave the boat in Vista Mar, dry storage, leave the country next Wednesday, return in October. So must I procure the cruising licence now, or can I defer until October?

Figment Reply: Just looked at our Cruising Permit. It expires one year from date of issue. Says it must be renewed prior to expiration or we will face a fine if found to be navigating in Panama with an expired permit.  So no TIP in the MX sense.
Immigration was more fully staffed the Sunday we visited. The Port Capt's office - not so much it seemed. When we arrived at the building - before we met up with Erick Galvez - we asked one of the local employees for directions. He started to take us in then noticed a lady sitting outside with a uniform of some sort. Seemig to recognize her he spoke with her about going to the Port Capt's office and she shook her head no and he then changed his attitude and wasn't going to take us to the Port Capt'ns office. About that time Erick showed up.
We managed to get in on Sunday. Both offices are located on the second floor of the Fuerte Amador Resort and Marina Building (Flamenco Marina). When we were there the stair was roped off. We gained access. But don't know if we would have been allowed to pass without the presence of Erick Galvez. We retained him as agent to assist with the canal transit - we did get our requested date - and he also then worked the clearing in process. So rambly response - open on Sunday but for walkins - don't know.

A small adder. The Panama Cruising Permit takes 1 day or 2 or 3 to process at the Port Captains office.  My advice is this.

1. Don’t go to Vista Mar and make multiple trips (you CAN or stay in Panama City and tour a bit). Go directly to La Playita anchorage, pay the $50/week dinghy dock charge and get all your paper work done by walking to the building across the street near Flamenco. Then go to Vista Mar.
2. Vista Mar haul out capabilities are not great. You load onto a “trailer” and they tow it up the lunching ramp that looks dicey. Maybe it’s ok but your bit best be shallow and light. On the plus side Marine Tech Ollie is setting up shop at Vista Mar and he’s excellent for mechanical work.
3.  Flamenco is a Great Yard for haul out if you need it. Manager Alejandro is the best I’ve met. Not sure they have dry storage though.



A different adder from Carinthia (if you are not in a hurry to go through the Canal like Eric or plan to spend the season in Panama) Go to Vista Mar - get settled in - take a bus to Albrook Mall and Uber to Flamenco -
pack a light bag for 3 days and go to Panama - check in with Port Captain at Flamenco spend 1 -2 nights in a cute boutique hotel - celebrate a great meal at Tio Navajo
at the Casco Viejo District and tour this stunning city.

then pick up your cruising permit and head back to Vista Mar.

Playa la Ropa Anchorage, Zihuatanejo, MX

8) Playa la Ropa Anchorage, Zihuatanejo, MX 20' but need to deploy a  Stern anchor.
Much cleaner water than the municipal anchorage near downtown
Chris, Monica & Penny


9) Panama Posse Weekly Line Net - we currently have 78 vessels taking part

MONDAY'S at 16:00 UTC via LINE  and open 24/7 to all !
( go to and download the app works on WIN/MAC/IOS/ANDROID )

- Register using your vessel name as the USERNAME SV CARINTHIA
- Search for panamaposse or SV Carinthia or Seaglub and be friend us
- wait and accept your panamaposse GROUP INVITE
-  send us your position via the message system and listen to the vessel check ins
- the LINE system allows for up to 200 live conference call participants  !

To Drop your location and share it in the Panama Posse group simply click on (+) and drop your location PIN

10) Call for testimonials and feedback

We are about 6 weeks from finishing this season - can you believe it ?
so please take a little time out from your grueling cruising schedule reply to this email with
any testimonials or what we could all do to make next season's Panama Posse better.

- your updates
contenders for picture of the week
- relevant blog posts - and of course your valuable suggestions and testimonials

Keep em 'coming

Dietmar & Suzanne


11) Opt-out from Fleet Updates simply reply with "REMOVE"

Fleet Updates and Music

FLEET UPDATE 2019-04-06

1) Banana Bay Marina, Golfito, COSTA RICA
Hi from Octopus Garden here at Banana Bay Marina in Golfito with Shearwater, Chantey, Nirvana, Paradise plus a few others.  The marina is great, the staff is wonderful and the food and restaurant is very good.   I highly recommend it!  

Picture  of the week - the Banana Bay Beach Band. 

Jim & Susy


2)  Bahia del Sol, EL SALVADOR
Summer Storage marinas in Bahia del sol for summer storage. 
Marina at the hotel Bahia del sol. $300 per slip (length insensitive). You may need to argue a bit to get this rate, they sometimes ask for more. Includes power and water. Slips available, perhaps 1/2 dozen free. 
Marina at paradise fishing lodge.
Rates need to be negotiated, but you can usually get them to match Hotel Bahia del Sol. Few slips available, perhaps 1 or 2.

Bill & Jean will do boat management at either location. Security is good at both. 
While Bill and Jean have moorings available now, if you want one you should reserve now. They are getting close to a full house situation, and it takes a couple for weeks to make another mooring (which he is willing to do if you book for the season). 


Rob & Debra


3) Las Perlas, PANAMA

We on Knot decided not to go through the canal to the Caribbean immediately.

We left Vista Mar Marina on Saturday 3/23 to sail to the Las Perlas Islands. We had been stuck in the Marina for almost three months and were forgetting what this adventure was all about. So we prepped the boat for a two week visit to Las Perlas. When I dove the boat, I saw that my Gori folding prop was frozen in a half way reverse position. Barnacles and such had decided to make themselves at home. I know this had happened, because Mike on Interlude was heading back north and he too has a Gori prop, and delayed his exit until the prop was scrapped clean. After spending 2 hours on the hooka, my prop was clean but I couldn’t get to all of the gears. It would only open all of the way in reverse mode and close. Could not get it in the forward mode. I decided to finish the job the next day. Unfortunately I left my heavy plastic “reserve tank” connected to the compressor tank. With the cooling down over night and the heating the next day, the reserve tank blew apart, exceeding its 60 psi limit. The pressure hose to the regulator was still attacked, and that swing helped to redirect the trajectory of the end cap (pointed end of a football shape,about 12” diameter) to avoid my nav station at the helm. A witness said it went around 70 yards before it went into the water. No damage and no one was hurt, but the boom attracted everyone from the marina. Now I could dive without that tank, but I wasn’t looking forward to it. So there was a boat in the marina where the young french guy was a great diver and needed th money, so I let him do it. Also, I didn’t have a wet suit, so I could avoid some of the lingering jelly fish in the marina. He got my prop working and cleaned my bow thruster and bottom.

Saturday 3/23 we sailed (motored) to Bona, then did a sharp left North to get into the south bay of Otoque. THe Northerly winds changed the swells to come from the north also. So I felt extremely safe for the night. We had gotten a very late start leaving Vista Mar, and I was tempting to cancel that day (should have). Anchored late afternoon, and the anchor did not set. Sounded like solid rock. Didn’t want to re-anchor, it was getting dark so I dropped a stern and it set. The next day, se sailed to the west side town of Otoque, the chop was too great for us to launch the dinghy, so we flagged down the mainland panga ferry and he pciked us up and dropped us back on the boat after an hour. Sleepy Sunday afternoon, hardly anyone there. No shops or restaurants. In other words, not worth it. I do believe that the town on the east side might have a restaurant, but I don’t think you are protected from the Northerly.

Monday morning 3/25 we motored to Contadora.

We had some friends on Distant Drummer in the south amchorage of Contadora, it was great to see them, There is a very large anchorage and mooring field, The Hotel, restaurant and a beach bar is called Marr y Oro. The Beach bar has two for one on wine and domestic beer from 4 to 5:30. The beach landing is easy, But the tide range is 17 feet, so walk it all the way up and tie it to a stairway railing, or bring your anchor.

Some additional friends came in on Wednesday (Dandelion) 3/27 and they brought some of the ex-pats from Vista Mar (Steve and Betty). So Jearine and I we Steve a Betty rented a golf cart and drove around the island. The roads are steep, so go big with a golf cart, we had not power and sometimes no brakes.

Saturday 3/30 we left to anchor between Isla Chapera and Mogo Mogo. Mogo Mogo is where some of the Survivor episodes were filmed. We took the dinghy in and found one of the reminance of a lean-to with the survivor “buffs” still marked on one of the poles. This anchorage is a very popular place, there were 10 party boats that eventually dropped the hook. But as the sun set, they left us alone for some peace and quiet.

The next morning 3/31, we traveled south to Isla Pedro Gonzalez. There is a small town on the north shore, but it would not have any protection from the Northerlies at night. Just east of the town is a beautiful Marina, identical construction to Vista Mar Marina. Probably cabable of holding 60 Cats, big double slips. There is a hundred foot cruiser five slips away. But there is a total of four to six boats here. Beautiful “High End” restaurant (opens 18:30, call ahead of time on week days, to make sure it’s open). Showers, power, open WiFi but water is not potable. Laundry can be done, but it is $10 a load.

We could hear the music coming from town on a Sunday night, about 1 NM away. Sorry we didn’t go there, might have been fun. After I got the bill for one day at the Marina, I wish I had anchored by the town. The total was $146 for a 47 ft. $2.25/ft plus $0.65/ft for utilities. YIKES.

If you are interested

Monday 4/1, going to leave “On Golden Pond” and head to San Jose. In San Jose, we went to the bay in the SE corner where the resort Hacienda del Mar overlooks. There are about 8 to 10 mooring balls, so we grabbed one. Also there is sufficient room for anchorage. This was the resort that Dads Dreams mentioned. Every good thing he mentioned was very accurate. We dinghy’d into the beach (very little waves), had some wine and an appetizer. Then went back to the boat. We rolled a great deal that night, which was not expected because the winds were slight. At 23:30 I heard a crash. Someone hit our bow. I thought that it was a panga that earlier I had told them that they were way too close, and they moved. But it was a small open deck sport fishing boat. The two guys must have anchored after we were in our bunks, but they too were awakened by the crash. They fought to free themselves from the area. It look like they hooked “a mooring line”. As they left, they shouted back that I was tangled up with another mooring line. The next day I took my dinghy and its anchor and used it as a grappling hook to determine what was going on. Found it almost immediately. My mooring line had angled back on the starboard side and laid on top of my bulb trailing off to port stern. We were turned 90 degrees from everyone else. No wounder we rolled all night. Fearing wrapping the line on the prop, I had Jeariene engage the bow thruster, while I nugged starboard stern around. We were successful, but heavy lesson learned. Some gelcoat scratches that I have to work on back at the marina. That day we spent a lazy day at the pool. The resort is completely empty, except for the beautiful and very noisy McCaws.

Today Wednesday 4/3, we are hired a guide for a motor tour of the island. We saw the air strip, with the island’s owner plane. We saw a WW2 antenna base on Punta Muialto (sp). All of the roads were dirt or rocks. Two hours of driving and not worth it. Next time I’ll sit at the pool and drink Cervezas. Thursday will be our last day in this bay, we will be leaving for Vista Mar Marina early Friday morning with the hopes of getting there to re-fuel before we tie up at the slip. The picture is Knot Right while overlooking the infinity pool. BTW, no cell coverage at all, but Wifi “Hacienda Del Mar” pw “islasanjose” (no quotes)

In Vista Mar,  some cruisers started what we call The Bubba Cruiser's net.  It starts at 1330 UTC.  On marine SSB, starting on 6A, then 8A, 12A, 16A. Two of our boats are halfway to French Polynesia. For you hams, 6.224.0, 8.294.0, 12.353.0, 16.528.0 USB. It is daily. Join us if you want. Nirvana was net control, he went north and we haven't been able to hear him too much.  I have been net control when I can.

Walt & Jearine


4) La Marina Acapulco, Acapulco, MEXICO

Blue Oasis had a fast overnight from z-Huat to Acapulco, 18 hours 12-15 behind our starboard quarter most of the 115nm. Caught a nice tuna just S of the Rocas Potosi. We ran 8-12nm off shore to keep the breeze, avoid fishing nets(didn’t see any) , only a few freighters that were 9-30nm offshore. At La Marina Acapulco resting, waiting for a new wind vane from fed ex through a dealer SS Marine Parts and Service .

Barry & Kathy


5) Offshore Waters Forecasts for the East Pacific Ocean

Offshore Waters Forecasts for the East Pacific Ocean within 250 NM of Mexico,
Central America, Columbia, and Ecuador to Operational Effective April 16, 2019

Rob & Debra


6) Herradura Bay, COSTA RICA
Anchored in 30’ at low tide.  All the party barges left and we’ve got this place almost to ourselves.
09° 38.625N    084° 39.4616 W

Rowan, Victoria & Crew


7) Bahia Ballena, COSTA RICA Footloose anchored Bahia Ballena, CR, 20 ft, sand bottom, 09  43.078N, 085  00.606W

Celebrating Michael's Birthday !
Michael & Lisa


8) Panama Posse Weekly Line Net - we currently have 78 vessels taking part

MONDAY'S at 16:00 UTC via LINE  and open 24/7 to all !
( go to and download the app works on WIN/MAC/IOS/ANDROID )

- Register using your vessel name as the USERNAME SV CARINTHIA
- Search for panamaposse or SV Carinthia or Seaglub and be friend us
- wait and accept your panamaposse GROUP INVITE
-  send us your position via the message system and listen to the vessel check ins
- the LINE system allows for up to 200 live conference call participants  !

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


10) Opt-out from Fleet Updates simply reply with "REMOVE"