Pacific Post: Blog 1 -Next Stop French Polynesia!
It was a surprisingly relaxed morning as we prepared to leave from Mogo Mogo – this anchorage has been a favourite of ours while exploring the Pacific side of Panama. It’s quiet and secluded, and a world away from the madness of coronavirus that’s been dominating our news feed. With Panama on lockdown, there are less boats leaving to cross the Pacific this weekend; so we’re jolly glad to be in the good company of s/v Tourterelle. With the jack lines in place (safety lines which we can clip onto using a harness from our life jackets, to enable safe movement around the boat); the dinghy and paddle boards strapped down; the bottom of the boat free of all barnacles for optimum boat speed and a reasonable amount of passage food made in advance – we are ready to go. At 1330, we raised the anchor, next time it sees any use we’ll be in French Polynesia. Oh la la! The First 24 Hours… As we left, we knew it would take an hour or so for the wind to fill in, which gave us enough time to make phone calls to our parents and pick up last minute messages before we totally lost signal. The last email we had revealed the ports we would be passing en route at Ecuador and Galapagos were also on lockdown, and not receiving any yachts. We hadn’t planned to call into them, but it’s always good to know where the nearest landing spot is in case of emergency – or not as the case is now they are on lockdown. The coronavirus situation just seems to escalate and, for the travelling yachtsman, it’s an absolute nightmare. By late afternoon, the wind and seas grew, we got a push from the current and were soon speeding off at 8kts. Late into the evening, the swell decided to drop in to play, about the same time our as cabin developed a huge creek which sounded like a shotgun going off, so needless to say it was a bouncy, noisy night and not much sleep was had in b etween our watches. As the sun rose, it was Skipper’s first priority to track down the creek, which was instantly drowned in WD40, and yes, we stockpiled mountains of the stuff thankfully before leaving. So far, so good and we’re hoping for a better night to come. In other news, glad to report that we’re still in visual and VHF contact with s/v Tourterelle, which makes for great company and people we know to chat to. There’s also another boat called Lora who also seems to be keeping pace with us. Having done several offshore passages now, it’s always the first 24 hours that are the most difficult. We have to adjust to a shift pattern, the boat movement and basically, life at sea. In a few days, we should settle right into it. I’ll keep you posted! Total miles sailed in 24 hours: 178 Dates: Saturday 14 & Sunday 15 March Sent from Iridium Mail & Web.