Panama to Galapagos Passage: Day 4

Day 4 correct
Author: Pete
Location: 03º 51.412N’ 81º 36.720W’
Date: 17:00 March 12 to 17:00 March 13


Day 4 at sea.


Several hours of good wind yesterday. Okay, by good we mean ‘some’. Kept us cruising at 3 or 4 knots without motoring, a welcome quiet after 21 hours of becalmed air. Took turns jumping off of the bow of the boat, floating between the hulls and out the back where we had two long lines with floats attached to grab onto and pull ourselves back up the sugar scoops. Lots of fun. We always had two aboard in case we had to go pick someone up. The boat wasn’t moving fast, so it was fun to be repeatedly run over by Tayrona with nothing but 3000 feet of water under you.




Played Settlers of Catan while we bobbed along this afternoon and had a cold beer! What a treat!

Wind died again just as we reached Isla Malpelo.


Couldn’t stop at the flora and fauna sanctuary on the island. We are trying to outrun the Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ), a 60 mile wide snake of squalls and poor winds that runs roughly east-west and slides north and south like an elevator. It’s farther north and to avoid its adverse conditions we are trying to scoot on through to better weather while it is happily north of us.

Sir fry for dinner! Get the veggies while you can! Puppy chow for desert!


Stars are out in force and the moon has yet to rise. Calm seas.


Panama to Galapagos Passage: Day 3

Day 3
Author: Pete
Location: 04º 07.070N’ 81º 10.524W’
Date: 17:00 March 11 to 17:00 March 12

Day 3 at sea.


We were becalmed in the night and ended up motoring through the darkness with the bioluminescent plankton streaming out our twin sterns like rocket bursts. I took advantage of the flat seas and engine-heated water to take a (hot!) shower off the transom. Occasionally squid light up in the water like little fireworks, especially bright when one goes through the props! A big black bird came scooting in to sit on our boat for rest. It was a good night.


This morning we were still with no wind and glassy seas.


Saw the highest concentration of dolphins I’ve ever seen in my life. There had to be 100 of them in small groups all around the boat, jumping and cavorting. I’m guessing that they were mating because I haven’t seen that many together at once. Didn’t seem like feeding behavior either.



They’d jump like rockets into the air, seemingly just to play the who-can-get-the-best-air-time game with each other.




Still about 15 miles from Isla Malpelo, a Colombian island which is home to a military base, and no landing available. We turn more west from there and head to the Galapagos. The diversion south then west is to take advantage of the stronger winds further south. I’ll tell you when we find them!

All of our market fresh produce is aging quickly in the tropical heat. We are each eating about 3 bananas, and apple, and a quart of cut up papaya and pineapple EACH daily just to keep ahead of the fruit going bad. I think I smell like fruit. Who’d have thought you’d go to sea and be sick of fresh, tropical fruit?

Taking advantage of the calm seas, and excess power from the diesels to do some projects on the boat. All good here on Tayrona.

Panama to Galapagos Passage: Day 2

Day 2
Author: Pete
Location: 06º 4.714N’ 80º 08.573W’
Date: 17:00 March 10 to 17:00 March 11


Day 2 at sea.


Well it’s our second full day aboard in passage to Galapagos. Yesterday brought low winds and we hoisted the purple, pink, and blue spinnaker. It’s nice to have something colorful out in all this blue and white. We made 5 knots in 7 knots of wind. Pretty good, and beat sailing wing-wing in low wind with the headsail flapping.

Some stronger winds last night made for a faster ride. Waves hadn’t had time to build, so we went lickedy-split!

Yesterday we heard blowing sounds off our starboard and saw whales spouting about a 500 meters away. Also big dolphins came to investigate us. Dolphins seem larger and slightly less interested in us than their Caribbean counterparts.


Made 96 miles and are averaging 5 knots. Calm, comfortable sailing. Finally made it out of the big bay of Panama City. Now we’re into blue water, though we’re still seeing tree trunks floating by occasionally.


Boat traffic has decreased. Last night we only saw one. This morning we had two stowaways, squid landed on the deck! We will fish with them today!


Took advantage of the flat seas to trim up my wild-sailor mane.


All is good aboard Tayrona. Working on a set of Baggywrinkles for chafe protection on the spreaders. The mainsail touches when we are going downwind and we don’t want it to rub holes in the fabric.

Baggywrinkles are made by pulling apart an old rope into strands, then tying them into two 8′ fishing lines with a lark’s head knot. Makes a shaggy line that looks like a dirty Pomeranian hung out to dry. Then you wind it around the spreaders, something I’ll have to do when we get into port.


day1-6 & 8day1-6 & 8


More later from the deck of the Tayrona!