1) The (counter) Panama Posse.

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

There are of course several options to consider.

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

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

SOUTH ZONE

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


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

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

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

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

CENTRAL  ZONE

Tehuntapec,MX is the area where the hurricanes usually originate from

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

NORTH ZONE

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



Here are some visualizations of the historic tracks in the Pacific

the lighting strikes map

2) Bahia del Sol, El Salvador

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

Dan

WINDS OF THE WORLD

3) Bahia del Sol, El Salvador

Tips on entering Bahia del sol:

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

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

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

Rob & Debra
AVANT

4) Las Perlas, Panama

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

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


Rick & Brenda

DAD’S DREAM
5)  SAVE THESE DATES &  SPONSORS
Wednesday, May 1st – Panama Posse Labor Day Party @ Golfito Marina Village, Costa Rica
Saturday, May 25th – Season Finale – Panama Posse 18-19 Yacht Fest @ Vista Mar Marina – Panama
For the list of all Sponsors please go to
https://www.panamaposse.com/sponsors

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

The morning calm at Bahia Santa Elena, Costa Rica


 SV Shearwater flying full canvas

Dissecting a fish eyeball


Best gelato! Yum!

Volunteer day at the school in Playa Hermosa


Rio Celeste
Next stop…. Tamarindo!


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


Victoria & Rowan & Crew

TALIESIN ROSE

7) Vista Mar Marina, Panama

Cruisers handout – thanks to
Jeariene GOOD JOB OF THE WEEK !!! I put together an introductory handout that should be helpful to Panama Posse folks coming to the Vista Mar Marina in May.
I’ve provided it to the marina office and was told they will create a brochure for the marina. This is a springboard, but is more than the marina has had in the past, and is basic information that I wanted when we arrived at Vista Mar. Safe sailing!
FYI -> this handout is now online in the Panama Posse public documents section at  https://panamaposse.com/welcome-to-vista-mar-marina

Jeariene & Walt

KNOT RIGHT
8) REMINDER
Always lock your dinghy
– especially if you go on shore.

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

Thieves are opportunists may swim out to cut your dinghy’s painter and
then use rocks on the beach to break off locks.
Please use a (PAD) lock with a difficult point of attack and a heavy chain

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

9) Zihuatanejo, MX

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


Barry & KathyBLUE OASIS10) SAFETY/SECURITY TELEPHONE NUMBERS (Diane last season actually called every number)


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

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

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

VHF EMERGENCY CHANNEL FOR MAYDAY: 16

U.S. COAST GUARD EMERGENCY SSB CHANNELS
MHZ                     UTC time
4.125        2300-11
6.125        24 hr.
8.290        24 hr.
12.290        1100-2300


HAM SSB NETS

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

CENTRAL AMERICA EMBASSY CONTACT INFORMATION.  Go to www.usembassy.gov/ for further information.  For Central America embassies, emergency number is +1-202-501-4444, and press “0”,  from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. EST.  When dialing embassy numbers below probably start with “ +” depending on phone service.   

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

REPORT U.S. CITIZEN MISSING ABROAD:  1-888-407-4747

GLOBAL MARINE DISTRESS SAFETY SYSTEM:      1-888-407-4747, press “0” for overseas citizen emergency services.

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION MARITIME ADMINISTATION, OFFICE OF MARITIME SECURITY. 

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

Stan & Diane

CROSSROADS ( last season’s Panama Posse )

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

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

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

Eric

SPREZZATURA

12) La Marina Acapulco – Mexico

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

Wifi at office only

24/7 security – very safe

small store
small Chandlery

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

Great supermarket right across the street

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

Contact
LUIS RAMIREZ MAGDALENO
GERENTE MARINA ACAPULCO
TEL:+52  744 483 6143
TEL: +52 744 483 7744
Cel +52 744 131 3007
marinaacapulco@jarestate.com

Dietmar & Suzanne
SV Carinthia

13) WEEKLY 2018-2019 PANAMA POSSE FLEET CHECK IN and MORNING NET on MONDAY’S at 16:00 UTC via LINE
We have over 77+ vessels in LINE and the calls are great and very efficient and the Chatroom is open 24/7
It’s a new way of doing things – please download and install LINE  https://line.me/en-US/ 
Works on Android / ios / Windows / MAC OS


How to use it ….

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

14) Please reply to this email with … anything really

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

and we’ll include it in the next FLEET UPDATE – Keep em ‘coming

Dietmar & Suzanne

CARINTHIA


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