• Picture of the Week – Panama Posse Crew in Chiapas, MX
  • Uninvited Visitors, Chiapas MX
  • Trouble in the Tehuantepec, MX
  • Bar Crossings, El Salvador
  • Road-trip in Central and Southern Mexico
  • Chiapas, MX Additional documentation for the in Mexican Exit Zarpe requirement
  • Sámara, Costa Rica
  • San Blas, Panama
  • San Andres, Providencia, Colombia
  • Papagayos, Nicaragua
  • Bio Security – increased inspections and scrutiny
  • ’tis the season for Long Lines
  • Line.me – live fleet line calls on Mondays
  • Good Nautical is Mobile Friendly
  • Season Finale May 30th at Vista Mar + report
  • Safe Esteem – get your free personal risk barometer app
  • Please reply to this email with any updates
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And are delighted to have these key marinas supporting the Panama Posse.

  • Marina Puerto Vallarta, Puerto Vallarta – Mexico 
  • Marina Puerto de La Navidad – Barra de Navidad – Mexico 
  • Marina Ixtapa, Ixtapa – 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 
  • Vista Mar Marina – Panama 
  • Shelter Bay Marina – Panama 
  • Red Frog Marina – Panama 
  • Bocas Marina – Panama 
        Posse Burgee

Official Panama Canal Agent ( DISCOUNT !!! )

Official Panama Posse Ambassadors

Panama Posse Partners

2) Picture of the Week – Panama Posse Crew in Chiapas, MX

        of the week

Historically we refer to boat kids as (really good) Panama Posse CREW


Annie & Chris & CrewSECRET WATER

3) Uninvited Visitors, Chiapas MX


We have arrived in Chiapas. 475nm and 75 hours after departing Acapulco. 180nm covered yesterday riding the 20 knot winds but the favorable current made up for the rough ride. Wind definitely wraps around point angel so if you have a window that is forecasting s/sw wind I recommend the B-line route as it will just build up as you follow the shore north, and the one foot on the beach route becomes counter intuitive. The wind dropped from 28 down to 20 once we got ~15 miles off shore, and gave us a beautiful broad reach averaging over 9knts the first 12 hours (our hull speed is about 6). Today we rested in light winds and prepped for a night time arrival. Navionics is spot on, and navigational lights and bouys are well placed and lit as this is a commercial port. The channel markers disappear after entering the last channel for Marina chiapas, but again can confirm navionics remained spot on. Whisky time.


4) Trouble in the  Tehuantepec, MX

If everyone didn’t already realise, I just wanted to say that this is a fantastic group to be part of and thank @Thisldu for coming to our rescue yesterday. Susimi is once again back in Marina Chiapas after getting 43 miles into out Tehuantepec crossing heading north we heard a strange noise coming from below the boat. We put it down to either catching a fishing line or a problem with our sail drive but either way we needed to get in the water and find out. Sails down and my partner, Paul jumps in. It didn’t take long to see that the zinc on the sail drive was just spinning when it should be held in place. Unfortunately we have to remove the prop to change the zinc so in 50 meters of water and 2 meter swells out there wasn’t the right place to do that. Knowing the Tehuantepec winds were coming in in about 24 hours we decided that without a motor in case we did any damage we should return to marina Chiapas under sail alone. @Thisldu must be psychic as about 10 minutes later called us on the vhf to see how our northbound crossing was going as they were heading south and knew we would be in the vicinity. They kept checking to see how we were going along the way but when the wind died in the evening about 30 miles from the marina we said they should go on and we would continue as fast as we could. It was a frustrating night with 1 – 2 kts of wind but at least we managed to keep the boat pointing towards the marina. 19 hours after deciding to turn back we were still six miles from the marina with no wind so winched the dinghy off the deck and winched the outboard down. We hip towed Susimi to the entrance where @Thisldu came out in their dinghy and made sure we negotiated all the bends safely into the marina slip. You can’t imagine how nice it was to be tied to that slip! Thanks again @Thisldu – you are stars!


Paul & Hazel

5) Bar Crossings, El Salvador

Rosa Lee

Rosa Lee safely in over the bar at Bahía Del Sol El Salvador !!

And Here is a quick 4 minute video link from SV Jean Anne on what crossing the bar can be like 



6) Roadtrip in Central and Southern Mexico

We’d originally planned to cross the Tehuantepec in January, but the weather had other ideas. So leaving the boat in Chiapas, we hit the road to meet friends in Puerto Vallarta.

Failing to understand the additional charges that would be assess at the airport counter, we booked our first rental on the Internet (18 Jan – 22 Jan). The all in rate turned out to be $55 per day even though we were quoted $6 on line.

For our second attempt at a rental, we first reviewed prices on the internet as a starting point, then called the companies at the airport to understand the full-price and negotiated a better rate (without giving a credit card details to reserve at Eurocar). On the day of pick-up, we negotiated the rate even further and ended up renting from Localiza. We paid $26 per day.

The whole community participates in weekend weddings in Oaxaca, with the party pouring out from the church into the streets.

We visited the following stops along the way.

Jan 18 San Cristobal

Jan 19 San Cristobal | Day trip to Chamula

Jan 20 San Cristobal | Day trip to Chamula

Jan 21 Day trip to Sumidero Canyon | Tuxtla Gutierez

Jan 22 Day trip to Chiapa de Corzo | Port Chiapas

Jan 23 Salina Cruz (I recommend Hotel Mision San José – price/quality)

Jan 24 Oaxaca,,Jan 25 Oaxaca

Jan 26 Tula

Jan 27 Tula

Jan 28 San Miguel de Allende

Jan 29 San Miguel de Allende

Jan 30 Puerta Vallarta

Jan 31 Puerta Vallara

Feb 01 Puerta Vallarta

Feb 02 Puerta Vallarta

Feb 03 Puerta Vallarta

Feb 04 Tlaquepaque

Feb 05 Guanajuato

Feb 06 Guanajuato

Feb 07 Day trip to Teotihuatican | San Sebastian  (I recommend Villa Las Campanas)

Feb 08 Mexico City

Feb 09 Oaxaca City

Feb 10 Day Trip to Yagul and Mezcal Distillery | Oaxaca City (eat at Casa Del Tule)

Feb 11 Day trip to Mitla | Salina Cruz

Feb 12 Port Chiapas

Map online at https://drive.google.com/open?id=1-VHzevXmauOA-CgboPO6FIiBmMu462Vy&usp=sharing

We loved the trip and would recommend every destination we visited.
We missed Monte Alban in Oaxaca this time around, but would add it to the list if you are in the area.

The best (price and quality) accommodation was the Hotel Mision San José in Salina Cruz. Not a very interesting town, but a perfect stop over en route from Chiapas to Oaxaca. Our favorite restaurant was Casa Del Tule near Oaxaca City serving local cuisines in a comfortable atmosphere for an incredibly low price. And should you find yourself in Teotihuacan, I highly recommend staying a night or two at the Villa Las Campanas. 

If you drive, take the toll-roads. They are deemed ‘safer’ and are speed bump  (toles) free. Our first day out, we took the back road to San Cristobal from Chiapas and experienced a speed bump almost every mile.


NOTE – The tourist office cautioned against driving to Palanque from San Cristobal given attacks on tourists along the road. 

Lisa & Captain Fabio

7) Chiapas, MX
Additional documentation for the in Mexican Exit Zarpe requirements.

The Harbor Master in Chiapas under instruction from the MX MARIAN

is starting to ask for documentation with regards to your “seamanship” upon exit.


If you find yourself in this situation in need for a document you can obtain a Free document online via

Takes a little time and stable internet but does the trick –
Any USCG / Captain License / RYA / US Sailing or ASA / CA Proof of Competency
document will also suffice

        - COsta Rica

8) Sámara, Costa Rica


Beautiful Samara beach Costa Rica

Dennis & Margaret


9) San Blas, Panama


Walt from Knot Right,  crewing on Context. Just dropped the hook in San Blas, Panama.
Dugout canoes approach to sell their wares. The Guna Yala deliver !

Walt & Jeariene


(note: from Amandla  Enjoy. Here is my (b)log entry from there if you need any ideas of where to visit

10) San Andres, Providencia, Colombia


Bonzai was in San Andres for three weeks prior to New year’s and in Providencia for the month of January.  In each case, it can be a pill to find a window to leave this time of year.  We only wanted to spend about a week on each Island. 
San Andres is like Oahu for Colombians and the anchorage is prone to dragging being open to the east behind the reef. 

Julian Watson is a great agent for San Andres. whatsapp +57 310 2340781

Providencia is like Kauai for Colombians. 
Little more laid back and remote.  Excellent holding and shelter in the anchorage. 
Alex Newball was an excellent agent. whatsapp +57 310 2138518

You are required to use an agent for both or either island.
It certainly does grease the wheels to send Julian or Alex your documents before leaving Panama.



11) Lake Arenal, Costa Rica

Costa Rica’s largest lake, a popular spot for wind- & kitesurfing, offering scenic volcano views.


But today we sailed on lake Arenal ! It was awesome. Ok – that’s with our kites of course!


Bob and Margie


12) Papagayos, Nicaragua


Northbound through the Papagayos


Alice & Greg


13) Bio Security – increased inspections and scrutiny


Since COVID-19 – be prepared to be boarded, questioned and examined in most countries.
This is in El Salvador – expect similar situations in Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua etc in the near future.
You are required upon entry to a new country to hoist the yellow Q-FLAG until you are cleared for Pratique by the authorities.
This is a longstanding maritime clearing process.

note: ROSA LEE – El Salvador has implemented a health check before you can come ashore.
We had to anchor just off of Bahía Del Sol and have our temperature taken and account for our last 2 weeks.

note: SANNA Breaking news here in Boca Chica, Panama

Although we have completed checkin procedures, we are still waiting for our cruising permit which we are told will be another 2-3 days. In conjunction with another sailboat checking out of Costa Rica at the same time here in Boca Chica, we have had to sign and agree additional paperwork and questionnaire forms relating to the Corona Virus. We have also endured a detailed vessel health inspection which, we have been told, is now mandatory for all vessels both private and commercial entering Panama from Costa Rica or any other country.

We have also had to provide additional detailed evidence of our and our vessel whereabouts during the past fifteen days in Costa Rica, showing domestic Zarpes, Costa Rican customs cruising permits for checkin and checkout, diesel receipts etc etc. Worryingly, if Costa Rica declares a corona outbreak then we have now been told we would either be refused entry or required to quarantine ourselves on our vessel for fourteen days, presumably flying a yellow quarantine flag. Also, if any crew member has joined a vessel within the past fourteen days from any infected country then they must be quarantined or refused entry – I’m not sure how that is gonna work tho.

It is our understanding from the health official who presented the additional documentation forms and notices (in Spanish), that Costa Rica and the C4 countries are about to declare the same protocol.

14) REMINDER ’tis the season for Long Lines

… I trust that sailors will not take my attached sketches as absolutes, but rather a documentation of my observations:  
After un-charted rocks and lightning, the thing that sends shivers up my spine is the thought of long lines. We have seen many, hit 4 or 5 and had to dive on the prop 3 times to cut loose/unwrap them from the shaft. Unfortunately the marking standard for these nuisances seems to vary from country to country. What we learned in one country caused us to hit lines in another country. For instance in Mexico we would run parallel to the long precession of spaced flags and do an end run around the last. When we tried this maneuver in Costa Rica we consistently hit the lines because in that country, it turns out, many of the fisherman only mark the middle of the line with a black flag. There are no end markers.Through our encounters with the lines and with one with a fisherman whose long line we had to cut off the prop we think we have learned a few things about these obstacles that we believe is worth sharing. I am sure there are other variations and not all fisherman follow these unwritten standards but it is at least a documentation of what we have experienced. I have attached the various marking conventions we have seen on our trip south. We are only in Costa Rica now so I am sure we will have more learning to do in Panama !

Mexico Long Line Observation
The long lines in Mexico were anywhere from ½ mile long to 4 miles long but seemed to be pretty consistently marked in the below manner. We did not encounter any at night. We do not know if this was dumb luck or if they were pulled in before nightfall. Perhaps someone else has more insight.


Black Flags at various intervals up to several hundred yards apart. Last flag indicates end of line.
Intermediate floats: water bottles, milk juts, oil bottles, fishing floats etc. between flags.

Guatemala Long Line Observation
The long lines in were poorly marked and the black flags at each end not always easy to see. Any time we saw a floating plastic bottle ahead we approached with caution and a string of them indicated the presence of a line. Like Mexico, we did not encounter any at night. We averaged about 15 miles off-shore as we passed Guatemala.

Guatemala Longlines

Black Flag at both ends of line.

Intermediate floats: water bottles, milk juts, oil bottles, fishing floats etc. between flags. Spacing between floats was inconsistent with sometimes large spacings

Nicaragua Observations
We did not encounter any long lines off the coast of Nicaragua, however we encountered many fishing pangas both during the daytime and at night. They seemed to work in groups and I do not know what type of fishing equipment they were using. We passed well outside the mouth of the gulf of Fonseca , so perhaps there were longlines there; we do not know.


note: Here is a long-line marker off the coast of Nicaragua

Costa Rica Long Line Observation#1
The long lines were marked in the middle with a single black flag and typically extended 1 kilometer in each direction from the flag (according to a fisherman whose line we ran over and tangled in our prop.) and there may or may not be a panga on station at one end of the line. We encountered quite a few lines, particularly outside the mouth of the Gulf of Nicoya. We day-hopped between anchorages in CR so we do not know if they are out at night.


Black Flag at center of 2 km long line.
Floats: water bottles, milk juts, oil bottles, fishing floats etc. with perhaps 40 to 50 meters between floats. The last float will be about 1 km from the flag. Watch out for a string of floats cut off from the main flag by another passing boat.

Costa Rica Observation#2
This line is only a couple of hundred meters long and drifts parallel to the wind. It usually has a large black flag and small black flag on a float on the downwind side and a small float on the upwind side. Usually a panga is on station at some point along the line. We are not sure if this is a net or line. This was only encountered in bays and close to shore

CR 2

Large black flag and small black flag a few meters away.
Floats: no observed intermediate floats; just the down-wind flag and an upwind float, mostly with a panga on station.

Costa Rica Observation#3
This line is only perhaps a hundred meters long and seems designed to drift perpendicular to the wind. It usually has a black or some other colored flag at each end and single float ½-way between. We do not know if this is a long-line or net. This was only encountered in bays and close to islands and shores.

CR 3

Black Flag on each end of line Floats: One intermediate float between flags.

Bob & Joan




15) Line.me – live fleet line calls on Mondays
 @ 15:45 UTC  Warm up  @ 16:00 UTC  Panama Posse call (mute your mikes)
 @ 16:30 UTC 
Counter Posse Call(mute your mikes)

 Remember to practice muting and un-muting your microphone 



White mike is OPEN & we can all hear you

– Register using your vessel name as the USERNAME (example Carinthia or CARINTHIA_Dietmar)
– the LINE system allows for up to 200 live conference call participants  !
Search for dietmarpetutschnig and become a friend wait and accept your panamaposse20192020 GROUP INVITEsend us your position via the message system and listen to the vessel check instab > +   Location  – adjust the blue marker – tap the grey box


Good Nautical is now mobile friendly (aka responsive)
so whip out all your cellphones and give it a tab

        Nautical Mobile Friendly

17) For the regular Panama Posse here is your goal post  Vista Mar Marina, Panama
Sat May 30th, 2020  – Panama Posse finale Celebration at Vista Mar Marina, Panama



Vista Mar Marina has been our home for the past 6 weeks. We have to say it’s been a great place for us to prepare to cross to French Polynesia. It is very close to Coronado, which has 4 major grocery stores with good provisioning options, there is an Abernathy, which is limited, but we’ve been able to find a few things that we needed. There is a Do it Center, a Novey, and a RIBA Smith which have been our home away from home.


If you are looking for a fancy marina with a resort and pool this is not the marina for you, but the price was right for us. We paid around $.40 a foot with our Panama Posse discount. There is a friendly group of permanent cruisers here trying to beef up the community and gain momentum with a cruisers net each morning. Cesare and his crew in the boat yard we’re amazing. If you plan to dry dock, it’s a fine place to do it, but not for larger boats (our opinion). Hope this helps in some way. Happy sailing


Bill and JulianneEPIPHANY

Note: happy happy crossing !

Safe Esteem

18) Safe Esteem – get your free personal risk barometer app

Free to try for 6 months for all Panama Posse participants
– safe esteem is a barometer for personal risk and thanks to
Van – COO of safe-esteeem  who gave a very good travel risk presentation
during the safety seminars – you can use it for free to see how your risk score’s change along the route.

To download go to https://www.safe-esteem.com/  
scroll down and use the invite codePP1920
This is a private beta release and currently only works on iphones.

SafeEsteem app

 “Safe-esteem is the map & compass to navigate risks in our life’s journey and provides a life risk barometer”

19) Please reply to this email with any updates – your vessel location –
contenders for picture of the week – your favorite song for our list –
and we’ll include it in the next Fleet Update

The Panama Posse transfer of knowledge and learning process operates under the gestalt theory
We will not tell you what to do, when or how – we want you to to figure it out. YOUR VESSEL YOUR CREW YOUR RESPONSIBILITY


Dietmar & Suzanne
SV Carinthia

Panama Posse BUrgee

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