The Plan...of course it's written in the sand at low tide....

The Plan...of course it's written in the sand at low tide....

Monday, July 26, 2010

Panama to Florida Part I

After getting Mac settled in Redding with the family it was time for Alan to head back to the boat with his crew, Jim and April. We first met Jim and April when we were in Moss Landing and have enjoyed our friendship since then. We headed to Cobb Mtn. and spent the night with Jim and April in their beautiful home then…..

April 6th…….. 3:00 a.m.

Time to leave Cobb Mtn for the airport…..

April 7th ……..

Spent the night in Panama City then after a couple hours of provisioning and a full pick-up bed of supplies we arrived in Panamarina. Effie was in pretty good shape except the darn refer was acting up again (which plagued us all the way to Ft. Lauderdale where it was finally replaced). After a couple of days of cleaning and minor repairs and maintenance duties it was time to set off for Portabello.

April needed a little lift to get stuff in the refer!

About 3 to 4 hours later we arrived in Portabello. We spent one night there and enjoyed exploring this unique little town.

Alan and his new friend….a small pet monkey in one of the Kuna Indian’s shop.

Jim and April enjoying a beer in Portabello.

Next stop…..Shelter Bay Marina. Old friend SV Fortuitous, Ralph and Cheryl, and SV Gloria Maris, Tom and Lillianna were there so of course there was a party….

...a walk through the old military fort to a beach by the old training base...

"a little friend along the way"

April enjoying the beach.

Of course there had to be some music on Effie.

After only two brief nights in Shelter Bay marina it was time to head north. First stop Albuquerque Reef.

Jim joined Alan in our tradition of “We cheated death beer!”

Effie anchored at Albuquerque Reef.

Jim making some of his delicious bread.

Alan and his conch shell.

SV Equinox, Betsy and Hank, were there and Betsy made fantastic conch fritters....

Time to head out ….. it took 1 hour to get out of the reef with Jim on the bow as look out……

3 hours later we arrived at Isla San Andreas….owned by the country of Columbia. We were boarded entering the harbor. They were very friendly and courteous, all our papers were in order so no problemo’s there.

Effie anchored in the bay....

Time for the paper work Cha Cha Chas….guess who joined us? SV Sunbow, Sharon and John, and SV Equinox, Betsy and Hank.

Of course after all the hard work of checking it we had to have lunch!

Jim and Alan enjoying ice cream and frappuccinos.

Next stop Vivarios Reef……along the way Alan caught dinner for the rest of the trip…just kidding…but it was a 5 ft. beautiful Dorado (Mahi Mahi).

Once we anchored it was time for siestas…..

We left Vivarios Reef at 4:00 a.m. for a 36 run to Isla Roatan, Honduras. On the second night we had winds up to 35 kts. Effie was surfing on 8 ft. waves going 10 kts. Yee Haa!

Fantasy Island Resort

By this time both computers had died so internet cafes were our only connection with home.

More of Roatan…

Roatan was named after these guys….yep that’s a rat!

Of course there were other cruisers which meant a party and Alan got to play some music at the Fantasy Island Hotel with Jeff from SV Fire Fly.

The crew had to have match Roatan T-shirts.

Next stop Belize and on the way Alan caught his first sail fish….what a treat that was. Of course they let him go….he was so beautiful!

First stop in Belize was Punta Gorda. Alan had to go ashore by himself to check-in, Jim and April stayed on the boat. It was very windy and we were afraid to leave the boat unattended. We only stay in Punta Gorda for a few hours then it was off to “No Name Point.”

First sunset in Belize at “No Name Point”

Along the way we had to change fuel filters 4 times due to tank cleaning solution we put in at Panamarina.

It was some of the shallowest water we’ve ever anchored in.

While in “No Name Point” we took a dinghy ride up the “Monkey River.” Along the way we stopped and went ashore and joined a local tour guide. We had an enjoyable 45 min. walk with the group enjoying the howler monkeys and local vegetation. By the time we arrived back at the river we were so turned around it took the tour guide to get us going back in the right direction.

Then we moved 15 miles north to Placencia where we stayed 3 or 4 days due to winds but enjoyed the area while we were there.

April doing a little shopping

Alan buying some local music.

Local laundry

Next leg was day hopping up the inside to San Pedro…

One of the beautiful anchorages along the way.

When approaching San Pedro you go through a small passage through the large reef.

Approaching the reef…

...anchoring inside the reef ...

It rained and blew for 3 days….

We were only able to get off the boat one time to check out of Belize and to head to the internet to let everyone know we were safe and on our way.

During one of the 40 kt. gusts, one of the dive boats flipped over.

All the wind wasn’t kind to Effie’s head sail either.

The weather broke and we were on our way to Isla Mujeres, Mexio. Along the way Alan caught a nice Barracuda and another dinner size Dorado.

Con't in Panama to Florida Part II