FLEET UPDATE 2018-03-24

1) MV CROSSROADS – Panama It’s been awhile since we reported in. After a fabulous stay at Vista Mar Marina near the town of Coronado we bid goodbye to our wonderful new friends Luis & Paula who own the Marina and made our way back to Panama City. (We highly recommend Vista Mar, especially for extended stays, which is a new marina 40 nm SW of Panama City  and MUCH more reasonably priced than the City marinas. You can rent a car nearby and it’s about an hour’s drive into the City and even less into the charming Valle de Anton).
Since leaving Vista Mar we enjoyed some of the must sees and must-dos in and around Panama City while we awaited our transit date. Our new Panamanian friends arranged a driving tour around this beautiful, vibrant, modern city. We saw skyscrapers, convention centers, beautiful neighborhoods (and some not so beautiful) and shopping malls. We visited the Miraflores Locks and the museum there, walked around and ate lunch in Casco Viejo (the Old Town), went to the Panama Canal Museum, and saw the Frank Gerry designed Biosphere Museum. We also took a cab out to The Gamboa Rainforest Resort, a beautiful resort hotel in the jungle. They have many activities from there, including a cable car over the jungle (closed on Mondays) but we chose a 1-1/2 hr boat tour on Gatun Lake watching the ships transit, seeing troops of Capuchin and Howler monkeys, toucans, crocodillos and numerous birds.

During our stay in Panama City we stayed on a mooring at the Balboa Yacht Club just south of the Bridge of the Americas. It is busy, noisy and sometimes huge wakes will roll you severely but it is reasonably priced and in the heart of the action with huge ships going by you just 100 yds or so away from you. The Club provides a free water taxi service to and from your boat 24/7 and there is a Club restaurant and a TGI Friday’s just on-shore. We also got fuel there at the cheapest price in the area ($2.66/gal).

A few days ago we transited the Panama Canal. We got quotes for agent services, line handlers and line and fender rental from several agents. We chose Erick Galvez (‭+507 6676 1376‬; info@centenarioconsulting.com) who came well recommended to us. He did a great job, provided good quality proper fenders (not old tires) and good lines. We hired 4 line handlers, one of whom was Erick’s son. They were experienced, needed little to no direction, did a great job and were a pleasure to have aboard.
Our transit was near perfect. Not only did our line handlers do a great job, our advisor and his trainee were terrific as well. We made certain to feed them all well and keep them supplied with bottled water, Coke and snacks throughout the day.
The 4 line handlers arrived at the boat at 5:00 am and the advisors (we had two) came at about 8:30 am.

We did the entire transit in one day even though we did not get into the first lock until about 10:30 am (the last northbound boat that morning). We were center chamber, not tied to any other boats, all the way through, which was great! We were able to maintain 8.5 to 9.0 kts when outside of the locks which allowed us to barely make the Gatun locks that same day. If you get an earlier start you may make it in one day too if you make it clear to your advisor that you want to.

We had one problem moving into the last of the Gatun locks on the north side. Just as we passed the gates the boat suddenly spun 90 deg. I don’t know where the turbulence came from but we nearly slammed into the wall. It took a couple of minutes to gain control and get us straightened out while the gigantic ship behind us bore down on us.  Our hydraulic bow and stern thrusters and big rudder proved their worth and earned their keep during that two minutes but I may have lost a year or two of my life! The rest of the trip was uneventful.
After dropping off the advisors in the Flats anchorage area In Cristobal Harbor we headed for the marina to drop off the linehandlers fenders and lines. We got into Shelter Bay Marina just after dark. Make certain that you get entrance instructions from the marina so that you avoid the reef at the entrance.

Happy sailing everybody! We miss the Posse.



Stan & Diane

2) Welcome to the Panama Posse
CINDERELLA  Pavao, Pajo & Ava
BETTY MC    Rodger & Alison

(please email us your pictures) 

3) EASY – Costa Rica
Bahia Herradura High 8′ tide anchored 28′ N09 38.560 – W084 39.440 Anchored near Halcyon. Water taxi is $20! Ouch.



4) LIQUID – Costa Rica

GPS location Date/Time: 03/23/2018 06:58:40 PDT
Latitude: 10.55591
Longitude: -85.7032
Message: This message serves as our one of our traveling check ins. Just letting you know all is ok 🙂

Ok. Next question. Is anyone in Costa Rica or Panama seeing any rainfall yet?
There has been nothing here in Playa del Coco Costa Rica.
Just wondering when we are going to be able to wash the decks a bit more often (note Myla: We’ve had rain off and on since we’ve been in Panama. Our decks are clean!)
(note Danika: Yeah I think you’re right. I spoke to someone at Quepos who said it doesn’t usually happen until May. )
(note Respite: Weather report from Golfito: enough of a shower last night to close hatches for 10 minutes or so. Small showers night before that but passed quickly. It does rain down here more which means everything is very lush and green, starting around Drake Bay. You may have to wait a bit! Good luck. )


Marc & Laura

5) MYLA – Costa Rica

We’ve kind of been “hoofing it” to get to Panama City to meet friends on March 23rd. We’re having some alternator and regulator issues, so we’re now glad we jumped ahead and can get somewhere where we might be able to get some work done. We’ll let you know how it all goes with the canal crossing arrangements, too. There’s very limited cell and wifi between Golfito and Ensenada Benao, as in we didn’t get any, so you may want to get the ball rolling in Golfito.
After we left Golfito, we headed around Punta Burica for the elusive Punta Balsa (pg 180 Sarana guide). That was about a 65-mile leg. I say elusive because there wasn’t much of a punta to judge where the heck the anchorage was supposed to be.  It is just a roadstead anchorage, and one that requires you to be pretty far off the shore due to shoal. We were pleasantly surprised to find it a decent anchorage, and we had a fairly pleasant night’s sleep, but it sure seemed strange. We anchored out front of a large hotel/estate that had an expansive low, orange wall all around the yard. Watch the depth finder as there’s some real shoal water about. We anchored at 08’04.643; 082’51.013, about 20 ft., about a quarter mile off shore, almost right on top of a little panga mooring. May want to give the mooring bouy more room, but it wasn’t in use and we didn’t get any middle of the night surprises. Our approach was somewhere near 08’03.40; 082’50.29. We really did some sniffing about until we found where to drop the anchor. Kind of weird, but not too rolly and not too windy.

From Punta Balsa, we went to Islas Las Secas, about 50 miles, and anchored at 07’59.477;82’01.795, about 20 ft. We went to Isla Cavada. It was gorgeous! While it is a private island, we had a pleasant, protected anchorage. Abundant sealife all around, and there was some lightening off in the distance. Howler monkeys’ cries filled the air. Feeling quite tropical. Did the bottom and the water was fabulous.
From Islas Las Secas, we went to Isla Cebaco, about a 61-mile run. Wasn’t our favorite anchorage, but surprisingly fairly calm. We saw several sport fishing boats, and what appeared to be a car carrier mini-ship, and a barge that apparently sells diesel. We anchored behind the barge and while it wasn’t exactly flat, it was a decent enough anchorage to allow for sleep.  We had a lot of lightening and some rain. Anchor waypoints were 07’29.435; 081’13.381, about 20ft.
From Isla Cebaco, we did a short hop over to Ensenada Naranjo, on the Peninsula de Azuero. This was really a lovely little two chambered cove. We anchored in the cove to the right, next to the one indicated for anchorage on most guides. We anchored at 07’16.325; 080’55.617 in 20 ft. It was a little narrower, but better protected, we thought. There were cows on the shore, and we dinghied into shore for a nice hike. After making our way across the beach that was literally crawling with hermit crabs in every possible size, color, and type of shell, we were then confronted with some pretty intimidating hollers from some monkeys who didn’t exactly like our arrival. We sped past them and followed what appeared to be some kind of path up through some creeks, pastures, and up into some beautiful hills. The beach cows were at the creek and scattered when we arrived. I’d make sure you followed the same path back as it got kind of twisty, but beautiful. There were some panga fishermen who came into the cove to sleep after putting their long lines out, and a sport fisher came in just to sleep. Quiet and well worth a visit.

From Ensenada Naranjo, we went 56 miles to Ensenada Benao. Do not believe what you read in the guides. We feel like we are right back in the Papaguyos, clinging onto our anchor for dear life. This isn’t the ideal place to wait it out, but there aren’t any alternatives. (pg. 201, Sarana Guide). Surf, swells, and did I mention wind? Gusts about 25k off shore. Kind of rolly, but there isn’t any alternative. Recommend checking weather gribs and not plan to be here in a blow, if you can avoid it. It isn’t awful, just not a lot of fun. We tried the anchorage over behind the island, (07’25.464; 080’11.352), but it seemed rather precarious. We went over and dropped the hook just inside of Punta Guanico at 07’42.000; 080’11.352. Still getting swells and the wind kicking the snot out of us, but at least we have some room to swing. There is a nasty reef behind us, around the entrance just inside of Punta Guanico, so take it wide. Weather kept us here longer than we would have liked. We ended up moving back to the anchorage tucked in by the island to help with the swells, once the wind kind of piped down. We did, actually, make it into town. It is a young person’s beach town, basically. Burning man type structures burned on Saturday night and techno base booming all night, up until we left at 8am.  But the hotel Villa Marina, near the island in the cove, was quite welcoming. We were able to make it ashore, although this place gives surf landing a new meaning. Try behind the island. The gardener at the hotel was kind enough to take us into town so we could fill our jeri cans. It was about a 30 min drive each way, and there was a grocery store, called Mini something, right across the street. It wasn’t mini; rather, good place to provision. The gardener’s name is Alexis, and he’s really accommodating. We paid him $30 for the trip, plus we filled up his car’s tank. Even with that, we ended up paying about the same for 5 jeri cans to be filled as we were paying in Costa Rica. Think it is about $2.88 gal in Benao.
We were awaiting a weather window to round Punta Mala, and we found it. The approach to Panama City, and what we’re experiencing here will be coming in the next chapter to our epic tale. Just a tease…. There was plenty of current on the last three legs, so rounding a place called Punta Mala…. How does 1.2 knots of boat speed sound?  Stay tuned!

The rounding of Punta Mala and approach to Panama City….

Ohhh, if we only knew then what we know now. Okay, not that dramatic, but there can be one heck of a wicked current. There’s been some current on and off, fore and aft, etc. since we left Playa Coco, but what we experienced coming around Punta Mala and into the bay was like nothing we’ve seen before. It hit us particularly bad about 10 miles into the Gulfo de Panama.

Recommendation, depending upon weather, etc., consider reaching over to the Las Perlas Islands. We thought we could time the wind bloom by going straight in, but the current delayed us significantly. Actually, turned out to be good because we needed the wind since our engine was overheating.  We tried to crack off and head towards the Perlas about 15 miles into the bay, but the current was impossible. We cracked off to the left and actually we were able to make some headway. FYI, when we mention that there was head current, we’re talking about making our boat almost dead in the water, seriously. 

We are anchored here in La Playita anchorage. It is okay. There are some wakes from the pilot boats that can get your attention, but we’re finding being further inside against the wall near the entrance of the marina is a bit more manageable.  There’s a $50/week charge to use the dinghy dock at the La Playita Marina. That doesn’t include use of the laundry facilities. Heard you can “sneak” in, but we found a great taxi/tour guide who helped us out. He took us to both a laundry place and a place to fill up our geri cans with diesel. The fuel was about $3/gal.

The taxi guy’s name and number: Ricardo – +507-6777-0222.  He’s taking us on a tour tomorrow, too.

Fleet community: It feels like we’re at a convention of sailors representing the UN. There are flags flying from all over the globe. Very cool. Great community, too. Wednesday nights is pizza night here in Playita. Friday night is another night out on the town. Met some great cruising folks, all headed for the South Pacific or Galapagos. There’s quite a fleet here. Getting great intel for the Caribbean.
Having a wood ladder step repaired by Tomas, he works in marina La Playita on a boat named Merx, his number is 6569-5700.

Engine mechanic is Amiram at amiram@narvalmarine.com  , Naval Marine +1954-456-4755

Here’s contact info for an electrician who came highly recommended by several cruisers: Tom Valentin th.valentin@gmail.com

And we are happily working with Tina McBride as our agent. She’s very well respected by everyone here. Her assistant, Elias is very helpful, too. Tina McBridetinamcbride@hotmail.com

We should be here for at least a week, then hope to get out to the Las Perlas for a bit while we await our crossing. We’re thinking it will be some time in April between the 16-26.
Big shout out to fellow Posse Pals on Julia Max. They were kind enough to let us use the help from their two pals in town to help with their crossing. These guys helped diagnose some electrical and mechanical  issues that were very helpful. But then going even further beyond the call of duty, George and Sue arranged for their son to pick up a new thermostat in the states before he heads to Panama where he’s going to be another line handler for them, so the timing and ease of getting the needed part was beyond helpful!


John & Julie

6) DAD’S DREAMS – Costa Rica

Still in Bahia Ballenas…(anchor kind of stuck in the mud😛) with Sea Glass, FredAgainIII,
and arrived this afternoon, Anapurna.

Yesterday Montezuma waterfalls and today a return to the estuary (with Sea Glass) in search of those elusive monkeys.


Rick & Brenda

7) ANNAPURNA – Costa Rica

Punta Quepos
Annapurna anchored at 9°24.244’N 84°10.027’W in 18′ of water (mlw).
Stern anchor made for a peaceful rest.
Dinghy to shore SW. Big Al (right side of the umbrellas in the photo) called us a taxi so we could go to Quepos. Taxi driver was great – Roger telephone 84-66-98-96 if you want to call yourself.
There is a pretty good grocery just a little more than a mile from playa Biesanz.


Robert & Debbie

8) Raven – Mexico

Raven is in Huatulco after motoring for 28 hours from Acapulco. Heading for Chiapas when we get a window.


Neil, Tally, Jan

9) PINEAPPLE – Nicaragua

Hola Posse! Pineapple arrived in Puesta del Sol, Nicaragua after an easy 110-mile passage from Bahia del Sol, El Salvador. (And true to name, plenty of sun in both places :D). Here are notes on our passage and on the marina here!

On the passage:
– We left Bahia at 5pm (on the high tide) and had a very smooth crossing of the bar.
– We went straight south from Bahia for 10 miles. I wanted to get out of the long line zone before nightfall.
– We chose a window with no papagayos forecasted. This gave us the confidence to stay further offshore (~10NM) to clear fishing traffic and long lines. It worked. We saw a fleet of shrimpers working inshore from 10pm–12am but they never got closer than a few miles. We didn’t see anything or anyone else.
– The next morning, wind built out of the east and we bashed into choppy seas for a few hours. Thermals or papagayos? It swung around to the south by late morning… thermals, me thinks 🙂
– Never saw more than 12 knots of breeze, mostly forward of the beam.

On the entrance:
– The entrance was tricky and a bit stressful. There is no sea buoy. None of the waypoints provided by the marina or the guidebooks (Rains and Sarana) were very helpful. Looking ashore with binoculars, it’s just miles and miles of waves breaking on the beach. Scary.
– The marina did not answer on VHF 16. We called them on the phone, and they told us to look for the entrance buoys “to the right” of the big palapa on the beach.
– We could not see any buoys, so we proceeded slowly toward shore, working our way between the two big patches of breakers.
– Finally we saw the buoys—inside the entrance! Doh! The channel is well-marked and helpful once you’re inside, but there’s no help getting there.
– The charts (Navionics and Transas) were remarkably accurate. I recommend using the palapa as a bearing at 70°M, then angling toward the entrance (as marked on chart) at 80°M. Use your eyes and common sense. FWIW the Sarana “Shore Approach” waypoint would have taken us through breakers.

On the marina:
– The staff is super friendly, the grounds are nice, the docks etc are in good shape. Juanita at reception helped us. She speaks very good English.
– The customs/immigration/port check-in went smoothly.
– There is NO ONE here. There are probably six other boats with no one aboard. We were excited to meet three young Americans at the bar but it turns out they’re not staying here either!
– Our papagayo window closed. It’s WINDY here. Gusting up to 25 knots in the marina, but it’s nice and still with no surge or chop at the docks.

Oops, that’s more than I meant to write 🙂 Please let me know if you have any questions.


Michelle & John

10) RESPITE – Costa Rica

Fish Hook Marina and Lodge in Golfito are going to be giving Posse Boats a deal in the Marina.

3 days for 2
7 Days for 5

If you stay longer they will work a longer term deal for those who want to stay more than a week.
Chris is the marina manager, Christy is in the office and Jose is working the dock.
Note to Posse the current run 2-3 knots, time your arrival VHF 16 or 69
$2.00 x foot x day


Chris & Janet

11) TOTEM – Costa Rica

SV Liquid at sunset last night in Playas del Coco. Good to meet you Mar and Laura !


Behan & Jamie &

12) XENIA – Mexico

Our first 2018 rain storm here in Chiapas! Light but nice. Hawaiian blessing for Xenia and our Posse for safe travels.

Sail on Amigos. Dream BIG and don’t quit!!!


Tara, Mike

13) SSB Panama Posse Net  8297usb fall back 4417usb @13:00utc 7:00 local

3/22/18 SSB net.1 Easy in Leona with Annapurna
2 Xenia in Chiapas with Tapp an zee
3 Dad’s Dream in Isla Cedros Carinthia in route the Cedros


14) Punta Leona Resort Deal ! Costa Rica
Thanks to SV EASY Mike we now have acces to a 4 star resort 10 USD p.p. per day)
with a 2 dollar pp round trip water taxi option – access to a full resort with pools – awesome showers – lots of activates
courtesy shuttle buses – bars – restaurants – karaoke – security – provisioning – shops and additional discounts on F&B
– this is a large intl. eco resort on 300 acres – you must have a daily wristband though !

nicely protected anchorage 9° 42.4726 N 84° 39.9119 W @ 14 feet
(expect for north – north easterlies )


Room for about 10 Panama Posse vessels at a time .. safe spot to leave your dinghy on beach
9° 42.3813′ N 84° 39.6828′ W

To get your all access daily wrist band schedule your arrival with
Jeoffrey Torres  Cel+506 862 91648 or Office +506 263 01030

15) SEAGLASS – DAD’S DREAM – CARINTHIA – Costa Rica Yacht Club

Our goal was to see Puntarenas – visit the yacht club without having to check in
with another Port Captain. We all took the ferry to Puntarenas, which was a very fun experience.

From one for the most comfortable anchorages of the year Isla Cedros – W )
9° 50.5418 N 84° 53.0998 W
@13 feet, we launched the trip by leaving 2 dinghies next to the ferry dock (locked) at 9° 49.7670′ N 84° 54.1828′ W
The ferry ride is 820 Colones ( ~ U$ 1.25 p.p. each way ) and holds cars trucks and up to 850 people – takes about 75 minutes.

On board you have a great view of the Golfo de Nicoya and it’s currents with
music – bar – a fully air conditioned middle section with food or bring your own. 


 We took the 9 AM ferry and returned on the 5 PM ferry


Panama Posse – roughing it


Arrival in Puntarenas next to fishing fleet and fuel docks.
You can get several parts and some repairs done here but need to check in with Port Captain if you bring your vessel

Best Chandlery in town – Borbon – borbonmarino.com  +506 8957-5007 and a Yamaha Outboard dealer

There are at least 3 grocery stores ( medium) and lot’s of taxis – tad of a sleepy town which has seen better days…


 Big Cruise Ship in town  – Chris and Amanda in front of the obligatory City Sign


The Costa Rica Yacht Club has SOME dredging issues at low tide
otherwise clean facility with pool bar & restaurant, laundry Service
and haul out facility, but tide dependent.


Magnificent Golfo de Nicoya Sky


Back to the Anchorage


Chris, Amanda, Rick, Brenda, Suzanne & Dietmar

16 ) PICTURE OF THE WEEK – Sea Glass –


Vessel stuck in the mud at the Costa Rica Yacht Club 1 hour before low tide….

Keep em Coming