Posted by: vlbyers | November 13, 2012

Another marina

As I said in my last post, we didn’t sail off in to the sunset to park in marinas. So here we are in Shelter Bay marina. Why?
Well stuff happens. Our first attempt at leaving Bocas del Toro was thwarted by a squall. I had undone the anchor snubber, a thing with a two fingered iron grabber in the middle of a length of rope. The grabber attaches to the chain and the two ends of rope attach to cleats on either side of the bow,(that’s the pointy end of the boat), this suspends the anchor chain so all the pressure from the pull of the boat is on the snubber, not the windlass. Anyway, taking off the snubber is the last step before actually pulling up the anchor and getting outa dodge. We looked around us, the wind hadn’t piped up nor had the rain begun but the area we planned to go was quickly disappearing from view as this squall approached.
Our ‘drop dead’ time came and went and I took out leftovers from the night before, we’d be eating on the boat since we had no transportation now that the dinghy was stowed on deck in preparation for departure. Funny thing is just before this squall hit I was wondering how I would get this filthy boat clean? Spotless now!
Next day, we were able to leave earlier in the day since we didn’t have to do anything but raise the anchor. We were off to the San Blas Islands. We waved goodby to Cyprea, they will be in the San Blas in a few days. Our first stop would be the Zapitillas, 2 little islands just off Bocas about 16 miles. We thought that this would be a good opportunity for a little shake down prior to beginning the 200 mile trip. As we rounded Isla Bastimentos we had the Zapitillas in sight at 1000 am we decided to just continue on, everything was working well, we were even sailing in 8-12 knot winds.
As the day wore on the swell continued to increase and also had a bit of swell from a different direction, all conscribing to make Vicki one unhappy girl. I hadn’t taken any meds for sea sickness as our plan was just to go to the Zapitillas, but now that we were on our way, and I was already well on my way with an upset stomach, the medicine I usually take didn’t work well. I was not able to keep anything down, despite my best effort at hydration, the Gods were not in my favor. For most of the passage the only time Larry saw me was when I came out in the cockpit to feed the fish. I was able to spell him about 1:30 am for a sleep break. I felt good enough to unfurl the jib and turn off the engine so we could sail in this sweet 12 knot wind.
At 0600 I made a suggestion to go to Shelter bay for a night so I could recuperate, I just couldn’t bear the thought of another 24 hours of feeling this way. At 0700 a squall came from out of nowhere, I was below trying to keep my last sip of water down when I felt the boat suddenly heal. I jumped up to help Larry get the jib in, at this time the wind meter said 32. The rain was torrential and the seas had of course stirred up as well. Heading up into the wind was the only way we were able to get the jib in, once that was under control we righted our course to head for Shelter bay, we were only about 10 miles off. I think this was the longest 10 miles of my life, but once we got into the protected anchorage it was calm.
So we are tucked in nicely in our berth at the dock, shore power, showered. Had my morning cup of coffee a little late but I am hoping that will help with the headache. The winds were perfect for sailing most of the trip although we only logged 4.5 hours of actual sailing in our 24 hour trip. Checking the swell will be top on my priority for tomorrow, but I guess this just isn’t the Pacific, it is the Caribbean and that’s just how it is. We have 27 miles to Isla Linton, a nice anchorage on the way to the San Blas. From there it is another 45 miles.
Now to find out about the refrigeration.


  1. Don’t forget to stop@Portobello, not to be missed.

  2. Love reading your blog…stay in touch and think GINGER!!!!
    Wondering where you are today????

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