January 14, 2013

It's 4:00 a.m. and I am up after waking at 2:30 and tossing and turning for too long. The wind is up and Peregrine is gently rocking on her lines. The dry season must truly be here because the winds are stiffening and we have not had any real rain since Gene and I have been back.

We haul today in the late afternoon.  Our prop is covered with growth and we will have to be moved by dinghy to the travel-lift.  I hope the wind will not cause a problem.  I was so focused on cleaning and organizing, I forgot to see if we could get a room.  I will try today. I have the port side pilot berth organized and nearly clean. Now that I know how I want the storage bins situated, I will remove them all to take out the lee-cloth, clean it, and put it back--done!

Gene needs to take out the rotting section of sole that the table is on and replace it with the piece he made. He spent days sanding and varnishing and it looks good, only it isn't the teak and holly stripe like the original--can't get that here. It will be a pain to re-attach the table I think.

I thought I would have plenty of space opening up on the quarter-berth in the aft cabin when I got rid of the inflatable kayak we bought from another cruiser, but I am now re-considering that. During our travels, I have often wanted to go ashore when we anchored for rest for a day or two. Gene didn't want to unwrap the dink, pump it up, deploy it and then lower the outboard engine from it's perch to attach it to the dink.  It really is a pain, but there have been some really nice places I would have liked to explore. I wanted a kayak so I could go if I wanted.  We bought a second-hand, heavy-duty inflatable here and it has been packed on the boat for about two and a half years; un-used. There really isn't anywhere to go here.  I have been of a mind to go off-shore and sail home asap, and not stop except for fuel until we got home and I decided I wouldn't need the kayak, but this week, as part of readying, we have talked about route.  Whether we go off shore or not, we will be in for an arse kicking, with wind and waves coming at us, rather than behind us. Gene had some good points about sticking close to shore and anchoring at night for rest and to wait out extra bad days. I just don't know. There are pros and cons to both plans.  I read one sailor's account of taking the old Clipper Route and it really didn't sound so bad. Maybe that is the way? I am worried about Peregrine's rigging though and it might be wise to stay close to land until we see if the new rigging is working out.  I need to ask Gene, again, which is now the old rigging. I keep thinking that if the inside shroud came down, maybe the rest of the rigging is suspect. Gene did replace both sides of the upper shrouds, and he thinks the rigging came down because of a particular problem at one connection, and is comfortable with things, but I need him to point out what he did so I can visulize better.

 After reading about the possible stops if we did day hop (or two or three day hop), I started thinking Gene's idea may be the way.  There are some stunning anchorages, and I can go ashore at many of them and do some birding. I might find some pretty neat birds along the way.  On the days where the stretch is too far for a day's sail, we will head away from the shore to be clear of obstructions and traffic at night, and during the day while we head back in, I can do some pelagic birding; looking for sea birds that live out at sea.  I got a very good book on them and hope that maybe I will be able to identify at least one!  The problem with birding on a sailboat, it that the boat is always moving up and down, and back and forth, and the sails are always blocking the view. It's hard to hold binoculars on a subject that is also moving. I have been really frustrated more than once and have been unable to id. Also, so many of the petrels look alike. So much alike, that I already know I might see them and not be able to id them. The book I got does show flight patterns and that should help and maybe I'll get a few floating next to the boat that are photographable. Anyway, I now think I should keep the kayak.  Gene says I need to try it out here because it is very flexy and he is not sure it will do the job because when he tried it out, he wasn't real comfortable. It was a nice way of saying that since we are both overweight, a hard kayak might be the best choice. The problem with a hard kayak is that it must be strapped to the lifelines and we are not big on having things on deck while underway.

If we do coastal hopping, I will have to change my provisioning plans to accommodate the extra time, but there are many anchorages that have small stores and restaurants. Either way, I will get as much as I can on this side, and finish while we are anchored off Panama City.  I can't do some of the provisioning until after the transit and only Gene and I are aboard.  For instance, six or seven dozen eggs in the galley would be a hinderance while trying to cook for a crew of six and our refrigerator, which is about the size of a veggie drawer on a live-ashore refrigerator will not hold food for transit crew and cruising provisions.  I need to write out menus and grocery lists for both senarios very soon.

Just when we thought we were getting things done, the toilet and the galley sink have started leaking.  The faucet for the foot pump at the sink is behind the sink basin and can't be gotten to unless you pull the sink, so we have another project.

I am starting to mentally let go of Panama and beginning to look forward to the adventure that is to come.  We are, after all, the Peregrinators!

Will send another update soon.
Love, Tranquility, Freedom and Harmony to You All

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