FLEET UPDATE 2018-05-21

1)  Season finale Panama Posse Celebration Party !

Wednesday May 23rd at Boga Bar / Vista Mar Marina / Panama  

Bogha Bar

5PM – 8PM – Free beer from 5:00 – 6:30 PM

Free fixings – but bring your own proteins to BBQ

Even if you can’t make it please reply to this email with a quick greeting – picture or toast to your fellow Panama Posse vessels – we’ll read them out for you.

RSVP’ed YES – (so far)

Sea Glass
Dad’s Dream

2) Our Panama Posse Facebook group www.facebook.com/groups/panamaposse/
will stay active, Fleet Updates will be suspended from June – October 2018.


Our mission and tone are always focused on facts, information and solutions – please keep it that way !

Below are the trusted admins.


Mike – SV Easy

Marc – SV Liquid

3) WIND DANCER – Panama

Successful 2 day north-bound passage through the Panama Canal with an overnight stay at Lake Gatun.


Wind Dancer had the following raft up combinations on it’s north bound Passage

– 2 x Port tied to a Panama Canal Tug (behind a large Cargo Ship)
– 1 x Center Single tie  (all alone in lock)
– 3 x Port tied Lead vessel next to a 42′ Sailing Vessel (in front of a large Cargo Ship)

assisted by fellow Panama Posse

Interlude – Mike (Senior Line Handler)
Easy – Mike (Junior Line Handler)
Carinthia – Dietmar (Newbie Line Handler)


(note – if you ever plan to go through the canal helping out a fellow panama posse vessel (or other) volunteer as a line handler.
This provides you with an invaluable insight of what you will go through – as going through the canal is a logistical and tactical challenge with lot’s of moving pieces
to the puzzle. As dates and times of your transit can literally change the day of and you can be pushed back days it’s best to have “flexible” line handlers with you. The general rule of thumb fro line handler volunteers is – you pay for the line handler transportation to and from your vessel and provide all food libations and cocktails on board your vessel
– for us 3 the transportation cost from Vista Mar Marina to Flamingo Anchorage and back from Shelter Bay Marina to vista Mar Marina came to about
70 USD and total time of 3 1/2 days.  Alternatively you can hire local line handlers for about US 100 x day – check with your agent)


Matt, Nancy & crew

3) We wish to welcome the following vessel to the (tail end of this Season’s) Panama Posse .



4) AVANT – EL Salvador

Weather, weather, weather . . .

We all have a favourite weather app or model to use when planning passages, but I have found that that level of attention is not warranted when at anchor or in a marina. But I still want a forecast every day, just in case I need to prepare for *something*. There is a zoned forecast updated every 6 hours from the National Hurricane Center of the National weather Service you can subscribe to get in a text email format via saildocs. Background on these forecasts can be found at https://www.nhc.noaa.gov/pdf/TAFB_experimental_offshores.pdf. You can see a sample of what you will get at https://www.nhc.noaa.gov/experimental/epoffshores/data/WRKOFFPZ8

To subscribe to a free daily text format email for a zoned weather forecast from Mexico to Panama, send an email to query@saildocs.com with the text ‘sub OFFPZ8’ in the body of the Email, and it will start a 14 day subscription, sending you the text every day for 14 days. For a longer term subscription, send ‘sub OFFPZ8 days=30’ for a 30 day subscription, or change the ‘30’ to the number of days you want.

More information on how to use saildocs, vary the timing of the subscriptions, cancel subscriptions, get other stuff sent to you, etc. is available via saildocs.com .


Rob & Debra

5) COLMENA – Costa Rica

Colmena suffered an invasion of sorts last night in Bahia Ballena, Costa Rica. I was sitting in the cockpit enjoying my evening “glass” of wine, when these little flying bugs showed up. At first it was only a couple, then more, then hundreds. I escaped below (yes, the wine survived) and made sure the mosquito net was in place, but they followed me. They flew up, shed their wings and were literally dying to get into the boat; burrowing their way through the netting. Some made it in. Too many. And I spent my night killing little black crawling bugs. This morning I went out into the cockpit to find millions of discarded wings.
For me, this is the stuff of nightmares. I read online that they might be termites from those big black nests you see up in the trees. Have any of you had any experiences with these?



6) MARAKI  – Costa Rica

We parked our dinghy on the shore very near police station high enough to lock it to a stout tree for our trip to Customs at airport. We returned to dinghy by 1pm to find someone had tried to steal our dinghy wheels from under the dinghy, the oats and our anchor and rode. Luckily for us we had chatted with a gentleman who worked at a restaurant there each morning and he saw a local man at “work” at our dinghy. He called in the police, recovered our things until we returned and described missing items. So beware of this even during broad daylight and ask Johnny D to keep an eye out. Glad we friended him and he received a “tip” from us for his willingness to get involved. FYI

(note – always always lock up your dinghies, valuables and vessel when not near it)


John & Lucy

7) SUGAR SHACK- Costa Rica

Suffered a kiss from Zeus (lightning). Looking for an electrician and refrigeration guy on Pacific side of Panama. Any suggestions or feedback?

(note from Andrew Davis : Allen @ cocos marine may be able to point ya in the right direction. hes n expat that run a marine shop on the main street in cocos ( one bay over). very helpful when he chased down some parts for me. +506 8410 8419)

(note: Panama City Cruisers guide has many many qualified electricians and parts)


Christine & Matthew

8) LIQUID – Costa Rica

Our Bahia Drake Guide is up! Let us know what you think and if there is anything else we should add. 🙂


Device Name: SVLiquid
Latitude: 8.61985
Longitude: -83.15250
GPS location Date/Time: 05/17/2018 14:07:29 PDT

Message: This message serves as our one of our traveling check ins. Just letting you know all is ok 🙂

Click the link below to see where I am located.

If the above link does not work, try this link:


Marc & Laura


Does anyone have a recommendation for a canvas person in Huatulco?
Also any recommendations for sightseeing while we are here would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

(your pictures PLEASE)

Victoria & Rowan


Questions about Boca Chica. We’ve heard good things and thinking of stopping for a bit, maybe going inland.

Some of you may know that Carolyn is working full time so connectivity is critical. Can anyone report on Claro service from the anchorage or Wi-Fi from the nearby Hotels/Restaurants with dinghy docks?

Untangled has a very high aspect ratio mast (air draft 66′) Does anyone with a tall mast have experience crossing under those powerlines on the way to Carlos’s mooring field?

If we can’t make it to Carlos’s are there any other reliable moorings/boat watchers in the area on the other side of the power lines?

(respond to svuntangled@gmail.com )

(note SV Easy – Mike went via dinghy and may have some data)

Untangled is currently enjoying SJDS and planning the rest of our trip south with the intention of joining the reverse posse. I read on noonsite that if you leave Costa Rica you cannot return for 3 months. Does anyone have more detail? Do we have any reasonable options if we want to spend only one or two months in Panama with the boat before returning to Costa Rica? Do we do anything special to cancel the 90 day permit on the way out?

(your pictures PLEASE)

Philippe & Carolyn11) CHANTEY – Mexico

Just a heads up for anyone still sailing in Mexico to avoid our immigration mistakes:

1. If you come in by sea or land (not plane) make sure you keep the receipt from Banjercito when you pay your tourist visa fee. We just checked out and were required to pay again as we couldn’t produce the receipt. First time we have been asked for it, but Marina staff in Chiapas here said it was usual in their experience.

2. 180 days is exactly that – not 6 months! We checked out exactly 6 months after we entered and that was 182 days! We had to send an email of apology to Mexico City (written by the immigration officer) for being 2 days over, and wait in immigration for the reply, fortunately accepting our apology and no fine. We were told this could be $8000 or more.

Hope this helpful for someone!


Ivan & Jane

12) CARINTHIA – Panama

Lightning Protection and strategies:

As the weather in Central America changes with lot’s of lighting and squalls I wanted to just find out what each vessels tactic is – SV Liquid for example is a Steel Boat therefore somewhat immune from lighting – on Carinthia we have installed a lightning rod on top of the mast which is higher than the VHF antenna – on the base of the deck stepped mast we can connect a thick electric cord which drops into the water below our keels ( this works even if we are underway ) – in the Marina we also drop 2 battery cables from the base of the chain plates into the water – next week after the Panama Posse party – we will also drop our anchor at high tide and wrap some of the remaining chain around the base of the mast so as to GROUND the vessel – We will also plan to disconnect some of our electronics – there are no guarantees with lighting and placing small items inside your oven ( laptops – handheld GPS handheld cellphones VHF ) will protect them from what Tony on Volante calls an EMP (so even if items are not connected they can still fry) 

We also aimed to be out of Costa Rica area by May as Costa Rica ICE reported 290,000+ lightning strikes in May of 2017 alone (link below)


(note Volante III  – Sounds like a pretty good plan to me. The only thing I would add is placing one of those lightning arrestors (tube with a bunch of fine wires at the top) at the very top above everything else on the mast. The thinking is a rod will store a charge and the fine wires will dissipate the charge. No perfect solution for sure. I know somebody who has a boat that has been hit three times by lightning. I would recommend not mooring next to their boat.  )

(note Avant  There is a good collection of articles on this at https://www.kp44.org/LightningProtection.php .
They contain lots of advice, much contradictory)


Dietmar & Suzanne

13) CROSSROADS – Florida
Device Name: CrossRoads Spot
Latitude: 29.89261
Longitude: -81.30740
GPS location Date/Time: 05/18/2018 05:35:22 CDT

Message: Motor vessel CrossRoads is OK!

Click the link below to see where I am located.


Stan & Diane

14) VOLANTE III – Costa Rica

Device Name: Volante III
Latitude: 8.63733
Longitude: -83.17153
GPS location Date/Time: 05/19/2018 22:30:52 CDT

Message: Hello from Volante III. Checkout my current location.

Click the link below to see where I am located.

If the above link does not work, try this link:



15) Wind Dancer – PICTURE OF THE WEEK


Since the canal opened in 1914 until today, rowboats are used to run the lines from the large
cargo ships to the locomotives which will pull on average 45 ships per day through these locks.


Matt, Nancy & crew

16) Dear Panama Posse Participants of the 2017- 2018 Panama Posse

Please take some time and email us your journey summary – notes – comments – info – anecdotes and suggestions

THERE IS ONLY ONE MORE FLEET UPDATE for the 2018- 2019 season – please keep ’em coming