Saturday, April 12, 2014

When It Rains It Pours

The Bay of Portobello
It’s in middle of April and I’m still in Panama, which is a beautiful place to be, but I’m not used to stay in one place for a longer time.

Before coming here, I use to hear that Panama is one of the places where dreams come to an end! Which meant that people sailed from around the world with the plan of transiting through the Canal and sail the Pacific Ocean, but many would settle here for a longer period of time.  Sailors would simply not feel ready to cross the big Pacific Ocean. Many would return to their home counties and leave their boats behind in Panama.

I’m not a superstitious person, but I think there is a unique energy in this geographical location!   

It took me three months to break off Turtle Cay Marina, which became my home and it was a little difficult to leave behind. I have to give credit and thank Yogi at Turtle Cay Marina for the reimbursement of my cost of hiring the crane.
My Turtle Cay adopted family aboard for dinner
When Earthling was splashed in water, the engine would't start, even though it started the day before on land. I took care of the starting issue, reconditioned the starter with new solenoid and so forth. Right after that I realized that the backstay terminal was cracked! With the help of friends I got a new backstay, one size bigger than the original. 
Before leaving the marina, I was confident that most things were in good shape. The engine was serviced, new belts, impeller, oil, filters, etc. But when I left the marina, right outside the channel, smoke started coming out of the engine room. For one second, I thought about returning, but then I acknowledged that I just escaped one place, so I shut the engine off, furled out the Genoa and sailed away. I checked the engine during the passage and realized that the new belt was loose, so I tied it up, but the belt was slightly damaged. At the mouth of the bay in Portobello, I started the engine and slowly motored into the anchorage, before I found a good place to anchor, the belt broke, so I anchored under sail.  

I was excited to row a shore with the brand new oars that I had made and varnished. The oars were strong and would not brake as the last one did. I rowed ashore and came back to the boat with a friend. After an hour, we noticed one oar was gone!

Once a new belt was in place, we went out for trial sail. As we were entering the anchorage to Playa Blanca, I recognized there was very little water coming out of the exhaust, the engine started overheating! Once again, we had to anchor under sail. 

Now, the belt issue is straightened out. I order a new oar from the same Indian gentleman. But I still got water circulation issues. This morning I realized there is water in the oil! For some reason the water is blocked in the system. I really hope I can repair everything sooner than later and get the engine going so I can sail away to new destinations.   

Playa Blanca
Dinner Party
 On April 1st as everybody in the marina were celebrating a staff’s birthday, a boat got caught on fire. The celebration ended quickly with tragedy. The Catamaran was burning fast and there was nothing anybody could do. The fire distinguishers were not operating and the water pressure was too low to put out the fire. Everybody stood around and watched the French Catamaran burn till it sank. The owners were devastated! Luckily nobody got hurt!

Johannes's Birthday  
Sad Moment

Love from Panama