After relaxing in Las Perlas for a few days, it was time to head back to the long to-do list that awaited us in civilization. We jumped back into readying the boat, provisioning, and finishing up all those important items that you just must do before you even think about crossing the world’s largest ocean.
Let me share with you the intricacies of our pre-passage to-do list. Are you beside yourself with excitement? I know I am.
First of all, our drogue was towards the top of our MUST-DO list. We decided that after spending money like it’s going out of style, we’d save some bucks by making our own drogue. The boat didn’t come with one, and after some research, we realized the general consensus is the series drogue is the best option out there. After finding the plans on Sailrite.com, we figured we were up for the challenge. I don’t really want to know how many hours of my life I’ve devoted to this device who’s purpose is to slow down a vessel that averages little more than my own despicable jogging speed, but let’s just say it’s been many hours. Very. Many. Hours.
Cones had to cut from fabric, webbing attached, sewn into a cone shape, spliced into our 3-strand nylon rope, then the final touch- eye splices were added to each end.
But it’s done!! Glory be to all things holy, it is done!
General maintenance, like servicing our winches and lubing all pulley tracks, is beyond important before all the wear and tear your boat takes while at sea for weeks.
Liza has become our weather guru, and she’s put in many hours researching weather patterns and how to download the correct documents via our SSB radio, pactor modem, and airmail software. No small feat!
Our boat has required a few major projects amongst the basic preparations, one of them included getting our portable generator working for those windless, sunless days at sea. Sounds easy, but when you factor in having to do wiring in this position:
it’s not such a quick job.
We’ve fixed leaks, added more lighting, sewn up holes, made a cover for our dinghy motor, done plumbing, bought spares for anything and everything we think might break, contacted agents in the Galapagos and French Polynesia, filled our diesel tanks, our gasoline tanks, our propane tanks, and finally finished the list with the grocery shopping…
Oh, the grocery shopping! We’ve set out to stock our boat for four months of provisions, which required no less than four different grocery store runs. We started at, you guessed it, Costco! (well, the Panamanian version called Pricemart) Filled up three carts full then, we, very sillily, proceeded to the general supermarket just down to street (Riba Smith), without making a stop back at the marina in between. Filled up another three carts full. Both the packing boys at Riba Smith (yes, we needed two) audibly laughed at us when we open our trunk and they saw just how full it already was. But we managed. Pete drove and Liza and I packed ourselves in amongst our groceries.
I have never in my life seen a car more jam packed full of food! God knows where it will fit on the boat. Looks even more menacing organized on the dock. Denny has the most important stash!
But, of course, we found some time to have fun! Casco Viejo and mojitos! Great combo.
And, we took a day to escape to nature in the Parque Nacional Soberanía, only 20 kilometers from the city.
Sadly, we bid farewell to Jeanne and Denny. They set off to explore a few sights outside the city and, probably, escape our grinding to-do list of tasks that we put them through during their stay on the Tayrona. 😉
We’ve filled our last few days with trips to the fruit and vegetable market…
…and attempting to find space for said fruits and veggies on the boat.
We spent our final day in the city cooking up our first week of meals while on passage and getting checked out of the country.
Well, here goes! Galapagos here we come!