06 – Panama Passage

Out of Bahia on the way to Panama

Well we made it out on the 11:30 high tide and are currently screaming along at 7.5 knots with a 12 knot beam wind and a positive current. This weather is forecast to last all the way into Panama, which is great. At this rate we’ll be there in another 3 days easily. Our first stop is near the Panama/Columbia border, where we’ll do a little tour of the Darien River jungle area.

I mentioned in my broadcast email this morning that there was a little political battle here. We’re not sure it’ll not just coincidence, but here are the circumstances – see if you come to the same conclusion.

First, some good friends of our were anchored in a bay in Northern Ecuador that’s a very dangerous area and were attacked onboard at night. Thankfully due to the quick thinking and actions of one couple the others who were boarded weren’t physically hurt, just a minor robbery occurred.

Second, the US Government jumps on the piracy bandwagon and issues an alert to warn people to avoid the coast of Ecuador. Unfortunately the pirates are in Somalia, not Ecuador. This was a robbery of convenience when two expensive boats were anchored in a bay where the people never see yachts and are very very poor.

Third, the Ecuadorean Government suddenly defines new rules for foreign vessels departing Ecuador, effective immediately, which happens to be 2 days after the US’s piracy alert. Unfortunately it’ll take a week or so to put all the pieces together in the area where we were anchored because it’s not a commercial port but the Navy is treating private boats like commercial vessels again.

So we got out because we already had our zarpe processed, the port captain was kind about it, and the owner of Puerto Amistad busted his hump to help put the pieces together for us as quickly as he could.

Now we’re screaming up the coast. We’ll pass the area where the attack occurred 20 miles offshore in about an hour. I’m positive there’ll be no problems for us.

That’s all for now.

Teresa

Yohelah is here

06 - Panama Passage

On board E-Mail malfunction

Rob and Teresa and Maya are doing well, sailing along from Ecuador to Panama. The on board E-mail is not working. We have been in contact via Ham Radio daily. If you have a short message to pass during the next 4 days, feel free to e-mail us at: WCR4689@sailmail.com and we will pass the message in the AM.

Jean & Bill s/v MitaKuuluu

06 - Panama Passage