FLEET UPDATE 2018-03-07

1) SV ARGONAUTA – Welcome to the Panama (counter) Posse

Hello Everyone
We are new to the group. Had a great time at Gordy and Carol’s yesterday. Special thanks to Sea Glass for including us,
We are heading back North to Pacific Mexico after spending several years in Central America and the Caribbean Home port Ventura Ca. We may start 6 months on and off.

Yesterday several members asked us about our canal and other experiences ….. so I thought I would share

Have been thru the canal both ways and Dave has assisted cruisers another 4 times.

It’s a great time and really fun, not hard. Have plenty of bottled water for your pilot. It ‘s required ….. Also a “proper lunch” no sandwiches. We have met cruisers that did not comply and the pilot ordered his own lunch delivered and a large expense to the vessel! Dave barbecued chicken thru the lake.

A great read before you go thru the canal is a Path Between the Seas by David McCllough. It really makes the canal experience come to life. You understand what is beneath Gatum lake and all that went into building of the canal

We did use an agent both times. We had company flying (two of our line handlers) in and were date sensitive. Your agent can tell you when you must arrive in Panama City to obtain the date requested. It varies by time of year. You need to be measured the first time… under 50 ft is the magic number.

First time our agent was quick, easy and cheaper than our second agent but keep reading.. First agent Eric Galvez, second agent Alex ASA @shipsagent.com . During our first crossing the canal authority had us sidelined for another boat, At completion of the locks we were told we owed the penalty 800.00 US (our crossing was too slow). Our agent did not help us. He accused us of being beneath our stated speed. At our request our pilot wrote a letter stating what really occurred and our penalty was dropped. In many ways the canal authority does not always know what their counterparts are doing.

We had one experienced hired line handler the other two were friends. Rick(hired line handler was great) he rented us fenders and lines at a cheaper price and was great company and had a lot of knowledge of the area. Rick 506-6427-3044 You never know ahead of time what configuration for the crossing you will have, despite your request, We were nested that last time, We were the center boat. The other two boats had no experience causing the trio to cross like a snake, coming dangerously close to the cement walls. Lines were too tight and then too loose. At the end both boats started to un group and forgot to release our stern lines from theirs We almost lost our cleats. Rick was great and helped save the sides of our boat mates and our cleats.

We hired the same driver both times for Panama city. The four of us to toured old town, found boat parts and supplies and arranged a panga to monkey island. He charged 100.00 US per day Much cheaper than any ” tour” for four people Speaks perfect English nice guy and knowledgeable of the area. Avil 506-6706-8343
It’s fun and a good idea to visit the Miraflores locks and museum before making the crossing. Your friends at home can see you cross thru a live cam at the Miraflores locks… see website

Hope this helps have fun

Dave and Mary


2) SV MYLA – Costa Rica
Myla and crew are doing well. We left Coco and planned to go to tamarindo, but it looked pretty wide open, plus we got there before noon. We continued on to Garza. Got there in time for cocktails and the sunset. Anchored in 20ft at 09’54.401 85’38.573. Pretty little cove with reefs and breakers on both sides of the entrance. Lots of surfers. Needless to say, a bit rolly. Probably might have been better behind the panga fleet. If we’d left cocos earlier, probably would have continued to Samara or Carrillo, just about 12 miles further. Garza looked happening, though. Didn’t go to shore but there were lots of lights and music on shore. After being rocked to sleep, we continued to Bahia Ballena. Beautiful bay and heading in to explore soon. We will report back. Hoping to check out montezuma hike and waterfalls today. Winds on both legs were close reaches to dead downwind, and everything in between. Very fluky with some mild 10-15 gusts. Just as finicky currents. Made for vigilant sail trim. Saw whales, Dolphins, and tortuas. Nice passages. We did pass a sailboat heading north. They didn’t come up on AIS nor respond to a vhf hail. Maybe part of the counter posse? We waved. Tomorrow, Bahia Herradura. May do a night in the marina and do a little inland tour. Wishing we had some company! Question: which port to ck into panama? Various guidebooks have different views. Curious about other’s more recent experiences. Fair winds, Myla

We are at Bahia Baleena in Gulfo de Nicoya and we read all the guidebooks about the yacht club and dinghy tie-ups. We had visions of cold beers and a restaurant. Our experience was quite different from the guidebooks. Maybe off season? We anchored right near the pangas and the “dock” The shacks that are supposedly the restaurant were empty and locked up. The “dock” looked like nothing more than a pier with crumbling steps that looked beyond scary. A few local fishermen were using the pier area to fish, so certainly a hazard for inflatables! Good news, soft beach landing all through the center beach area of the bay. Major tides so had quite a haul to get the dink up to lock to a tree, but wheels helped. We walked along a little dirt road to a little cluster of vacation homes and a little bar. Right about center of the bay on the beach. We then took a nice hike back behind the “Yacht Club” and continued down to the Punta Piedra Amarilla. Heard there are waterfalls around the end of the Punta. Didn’t get that far, but nice hike. Note of caution: when entering the bay, give both Puntas plenty of room and stay in the middle. The reef and rocks along Piedra Amarilla go out a lot further and continue inside off the point further than anticipated from multiple charts. S/V Myla

We are now in Bahia Drake and will be in Golfito tomorrow. We should be there a few days to check out of the country, etc. Couple of could haves, should haves, would haves… Bahia Baleena-wish we had anchored on the south side. Late night swells no bueno on anchorage off the “Yacht Club” that was closed, anyway Manuel Antonio – gorgeous and just now seeing green, tropics. Great until middle of the night. Wishing we’d had our stern anchor out. Swells and surf so big we couldn’t get to shore for a park tour. Follow Serana Guide into anchor. We were at 9’22.921N and 84’08.851 in 14.5 ft under our keel. No mas Papaguyos (until we are into the Panama Canal Bay approach – ugh!) Had light 7-12 k, gentle swells across to Drakes. We are anchored outside a bit due to the shallow slope and swells. We are at 08’41.887/083’40.068 in 16.5 under our keel. Where is everyone? We miss you! We will be in Panama City to secure a date. Heard from a passing boat, Cats Paw 4, that it took them 3 weeks to get a date. They’re heading north to the Sea. They’d dept their. Pay in Golfito for the rainy season and had good things to say. After we get a canal crossing date, we plan to play in the Las Perlas. Hope we see some of you! John and Julie King S/V Myla


John & Julie

3) SV JULIA – MAX – Panama
Hola Amigos!   Our Transit Date is March 25th, 3 weeks after the boat was measured.  So it’s taking time.  The bad part is that our two crew from the States were coming March 7th and departing March 21st.  So we’re trying to work out an alternative .   We are currently in La Playita Marina.  Rates for 45′: $150 first day, $2/foot/day afterwards.  Electricity, potable water, trash, restrooms/showers, fuel dock, 16′ tide!!!! Surge comes and goes.  Have laudramat, small chandlery, taxis and buses to everywhere.  Have a dockmaster that arranges for mechanical work, stainless polishing, bottom cleaning, etc.  WiFi is great at the Office area, not good at the docks.  Did I say having an agent is a great asset?  Tina McBride processed us into Panama, arranged for the slip at La Playita, had her assistant meet us when we arrived, had the boat measurer come the next day, and communicated with the Canal Transit Date setters.  She also has arranged for lines, fenders, and line handlers.   Heard a story today: a large catameran coming south on the Atlantic side stopped in Guatemala (Rio Dulce) to have engine work done.  Mechanic’s name Rocky was to service the eight injectors, and service the exhaust manifolds for both engines.  The captain was not present for the repair work.  Paid over a thousand dollars for the work, and THE REPAIR WORK WAS NEVER DONE BY THE MECHANIC!!!  They are here in La Playita Marina having the work done here, and they have lost a month of their two month cruising plan to Tahiti.  Buyer Beware was his message to me!

Resources in Panama City:
1. Grocery: Rey’s has better meat and great produce with excellent selection. Big 99 had a wide selection, but meat was below average, and a small produce section.
2. Marine Supply: a. Islamorada Nautical Books: The Panama Cruising Guide 5th Edition (Eric Bauhaus) Bldg 8 Balboa Road, 507/228-4348, info@islamorada.com b. Centro Marine (in Amador), Ave. National #45, 507/225-6654, info@centromarino.com has general marine supplies like a condensed West Marine
3. Propane fills are 55 minutes away, and are often combined with other boats propane needs, and sent by cab.
4. Albrook is a mega/huge/humongous mall that has everything!
5. Phones are available everywhere. We have a Claro SIMM card on a 30-day, $15, 175 minutes/75 messages/4 gig data. $15!!!!!! Available at Albrook Mall for starters.



George and Sue 

4) SV EASY – Costa Rica

Tamarindo, Lots of mooring balls. I anchored southwest and was 15′ when I dropped. The lowest I saw was 9′. 10 17 943 N 85 50 971 W I moved this morning. To the northwest 10 18.176N 085 50.807W in 27′ should be 20-30′ with tide swing. I suped in and sup surfed yesterday evening. Waves were small but fun. Great beginner wave. The anchorage seems tight, I have not gone ashore yet. This anchorage may not be for everyone. But want you all to come. Mike

SUP surfed and went to shore today. I took the dink in this evening. There is a spot where the tours shuttle people to/from. The waves are small and don’t really break. I was too lazy to drag the dink 100′ got lucky. Was after dark.



Hey Posse. I just got word via Cruisers_Network_Online that a vessel is overdue from Long Beach, CA to Playa Hermosa, CR. Since so many of you are cruising along that stretch of Pacific coast, can you keep an eye out and report to the USCG if you see anything?

“RCC Alameda has asked for assistance in locating the S/V Jasman. She is sixty-five feet with two masts, white sails, white hull with a teal border. Four POB Ronald Peck, Doug Landers, John Larusso and Josh Graveline. Vessel comms unknown. Vessel is overdue Longbeach, CA to Playa Hermosa, Costa Rica. Waypoints unknown. MARINERS TRANSITING THE AREA ARE REQUESTED TO KEEP A SHARP LOOKOUT, RENDER ASSISTANCE IF POSSIBLE, AND MAKE REPORTS TO THE U.S. COAST GUARD ALAMEDA CA. PHONE 510-437-3701, TELEX 230172343, E-MAIL:RCCALAMEDA1@USCG.MIL. Please have them call their family to let them know they are okay.”
John (asked) & MichelleREPLY FROM – SV DANIKA – Costa Rica

Jasman arrived here in Playas del Coco yesterday! The guys dinghied over to us and said hello. They are safely anchored here and plan to stay awhile now that they’ve arrived in Costa Rica. We’ll try to radio them or have someone dinghy to their boat if we can’t reach them. We are taking off today so the dinghy is already off the water.


Jenn ( replied )  & Jason

Panama Posse

note – not to say the obvious – GREAT JOB !!!


Waponi Woo is in Chiapas. We arrived late last night/early this morning with Happy Dance right behind us.

The Tehuantepec crossing was pretty uneventful. There was some good sailing on the first day with SSE winds at 10-16knts. After sunset, the wind disappeared and didn’t not return until last about ten miles from Chiapas. Yesterday was a long, hot motoring day with no wind.

We plan to be here for a few weeks before heading to El Salvador.


Ryan, Caroline

7) CARINTHIA – Costa Rica

It’s been 6 weeks since our last marina (Puesta del Sol, Nicaragua ) so we stayed at the lovely Marina Papagayos and
had an excellent few days of washing the salt of Carinthia. Chrystal clear water with an aquarium of species surrounding us.
The marina has clean and modern cement floating docks and we enjoyed all the amenities.
Showers, laundry facilities, gym, large pool with lounge chairs, crew lounge with a pool table, potable water on the docks (155 TPP)
and a wide and floating fuel dock, bar, restaurant – and all that in the shadow of 6 superyachts

Bahia Brasilito

We are now anchored in Bahia Brasilito (Guanacaste – Costa Rica) 13 nm north of Tamarindo
@  10 24. 350 N – 85 48.950 W in 12 Feet Sand – the reef breaks ( but does not eliminate) the wrap around SW swell

Dietmar & Suzanne


8) SV ANILA – en route to the Galapagos
Anila departed Marina Papagayo on March 2nd after an enjoyable week-long stay. The staff were extremely helpful and friendly. Fueling up at the fuel dock was quick and easy the day before we departed. Oil was available at the fuel dock store also. We also rented a car for the day on Thursday for $58 and started the checkout process early. The order was 1) Airport, 2) Immigration, 3) Port Captain to get fee for 4) Bank, and 5) back to Port Captain for International Zarpe. The bank stop should not be necessary for a National Zarpe. The cost was $50 + $5 bank fee for Anila based on boat size. The bank was very busy and we waited in line for about 1 hour. It was great to see everyone and unwind at the happy hour at the end of the day. We are now halfway to the Galapagos and had great downwind sail for the first 2 1/2 days until we hit the ITCZ where the favorable winds mostly disappeared. There’s a chance for more wind Wednesday afternoon (depending on which model you choose) but for now we are moving forward under the “iron sail.” Unfortunately, we’ll miss our new Posse friends in Panama, but hope to meet up again with some of you in French Polynesia. We are blogging at http://sailinganila.org.


Dave, Satin, Camille & Kyra

9) KNOT RIGHT – Mexico

After seven and a half weeks in Acapulco, Knot Right, captain and crew (of one) are on the move again. We are heading to Huatulco on the morning of March 8th. I have a crew member from Seattle named Marshal Peabody who had “Knot” been to Acapulco, but has been to Huatulco and Chiapas multiple times. Has crossed Tehuantepec three times, so I think I have acquired some local first hand knowledge. Looking at the weather, it appears that the window for the T-Peck crossing is going to close on Monday afternoon, so when we get into Huatulco on Saturday, we either need to keep going on, or take some time to absorb the local culture. Now that I have my cargo netting up, I don’t have to tether my 14 year old, 14 pound Border Terrier Dog named Bella. She can walk the deck and find her potty station all by herself.  Fair winds and Following Seas to you all, looking forward to catching up with some of you. When we get to Chiapas, going to put her on the hard until November. so looking forward to next year’s Posse with my significant other, Jeariene at my side..


(note – Knot Right is part of next years Panama Posse – registration is up and running with 11 vessels already )

10) OCTOPUS GARDEN  – Mexico

Pineapple, Wildest Dreams and Octopus Garden tour the chocolate maker


Tour in Union Juárez

Tour 2

@ the Eva Braun family house. The all day tour cost $2200 pesos per couple, lunch was included at the chocolate house and our guide Luis was terrific and with excellent English

Tour 3

Jim & Susy


Another Chiapas potluck, with posse members Avant, Kea, Octopus Garden, Pineapple, Shearwater, Wildest dreams, and many fellow travellers. A good time was had by all.

Pot luck

Rob & Debra

13) SHEARWATER – Mexico

Hi Panama Posse SV Shearwater is leaving Mexico . We are heading to Bahia Del Sol and should be there Sat. AM. Glad to hear all are well


Pati & Eric
(note – YEAH ! )

14) Picture of the Week by Jim & Susy of Octopus Garden
Keep em coming