Febuary 27, 2014-Judy Returns from Florida
We are lost. Its 1:00AM and we're driving through the rough interiors of Panama City. Its dark, there are no other cars and nobody on the streets, hardly a lighted building. We got off the track somewhere coming back from the airport.
I'm not worried however; as long as we don't wind up at a dead end with a bunch of surely Panamanian youths I know I will find the hotel eventually but scenes from Bonfire of the Vanities swirl through my head.
Judy is navigating with Google maps and the android phone, but she is exhausted from the trip and from her time in Florida with Margie. She is incoherent, but she is trying to help.
"Turn right here," she says.
I am skeptical but I see a sign: Balboa Avenue. Now I am jubilant, from Balboa Avenue I can get to the hotel and I accelerate onto the elevated roadway. At 1:30 we reach Belle Vista and turn into the driveway of the hotel. The guard opens the gate and we're here. We have the penthouse tonight, what luxury, and we head up.
I love Panama City. The high rise buildings are stunning. The city is clean and modern. By day the streets are vibrant. But I didn't like getting lost at night.
The next day we have to go to the Canon warehouse to pick up our printer. We have a paper with directions, but the street names don't match up and besides, few of the streets have signs. Traffic is bad. We wind up in the Cinco de Mayo area. Here is a maze of narrow lanes, crowded with people, but the cars are moving; at least we can go somewhere. The freeways, on the other hand, are gridlocked.
Then Google packs it in. I don't know the problem but for the moment, it is useless. For the second time in 24 hours we're lost. The patina of Panama City is starting to wear thin.
We have a brochure with a map and a few streets on it. One I recognize from the directions: Ave. Frangipani. The warehouse is on Frangipani. But it's on the other side of the city. We set out again.
And of course we have another hour of cruising aimlessly before we see a landmark from the directions. Then everything clicks. By 2:00 we have our printer and we can head back to Colon happy to get on the highway north. Nothing left to deal with now but an empty gas tank, empty stomachs, and a baffling system of toll booths. But we're making progress. Judy is back, we've got our shopping done, and Wings is not too far away.
When we get to the boat maybe things can get back to normal.
for shots of Panama City
Fred & Judy, SV Wings, Panama
Labels: Panama, Panama City
Febuary 24, 2014-Panama Canal Trial Run
Colon: the Atlantic side of the Panama Canal. Boats here are going through the canal to the Pacific; half a dozen today and more arriving each a day to get into the queue. Most will head out into the Pacific Ocean to the Galapagos Islands and then across Australia. But first they need to get through the canal and for that they need crew to handle the lines in the locks. Line handlers. I was asked if I would go with Derek and Ann Marie on Sand Groper, a 46' catamaran.
OK, why not? Judy is in Florida; I am alone on the boat here in Colon. I could use the experience. We won't be taking Wings across the Pacific Ocean again but we will go through the canal before heading to Mexico. Besides, they will feed us. I agree.
I join Sand Groper and in the evening we set out for the Gatun Locks. It's interesting and exciting. Maybe a little challenging for Derek, our skipper; it's windy and the quarters are tight as a huge container ship glides by at close quarters to go in ahead of us. Along with two other yachts, to whom we raft tightly just outside, we enter the first locks. They are chambers of concrete with iron gates at both ends, long but not particularly wide. I am, however, impressed about how high the sides are. The locks must lift us 85 feet to the level of Gatun Lake before we can motor across the Continental Divide to the Pacific side of Panama and then be lowered again to sea level and the walls tower over us. The lock tenders high at the top of the walls throw monkey fists down then take our lines up to the bollards. They are silent, watching impassively as the lock floods with swirling water and we float higher. We are tossed around. The Panamanian advisor from the Canal Authority on our yacht reminds me to take in the slack on my line then secure it tightly as a swirl of water tries to throw us against the wall. I pull on the line then tie it off. I know my back will be sore after this night. I sit down on deck to be able to reach the cleat without bending over. I change the way I am tying it off the line so there is less chance of a jam. I am learning from this trip.
I am also thinking about how we will sleep six people on Wings when we come through, and what we will cook them; good meals are expected.
Then the gates open and we move into the next lock. There are six in total.
Twenty-two hours later, after a night anchored on Gatun Lake, we cleared the last lock gate and passed into the Pacific. Quite an experience.
for some photos.
Fred, aboard Sand Groper, Panama Canal
Labels: Panama, Panama Canal, Sand Groper
Febuary 12, 2014-One Day at the Beach and then...Panama City
Judy in the Water
We watched the weather and took our opportunities to work our way west from the Eastern San Blas.
We needed a window to get to Colon and then Panama City to get Judy on a plane. Her sister in Florida needed her.
Tuesday looked good; we'd leave the San Blas in the afternoon to get to Colon by Wednesday morning.
Time for one last day at the beach.
Our favorite location for private swimming was just around the corner from the Hot Tub anchorage (and that's as close as I'll get to telling you where it is) and we took the dingy over. We ran barefoot in the sand and swam in the deep, clear, cool water. It was marvelous there, and even though the light was not good for those stunning beach photos I wanted you can get the idea from these shots
. We loved it
Back on Wings we made ready for sea; the dingy was put away, the awnings struck, sails bend onto spars.
At 17:00 we raised the main and sailed off the anchor and made our way out between the reefs, then we set the jib and turned west.
By sunset we were on a good breeze and we cleared into the open ocean between Hollandes and the Lemons. Sailing was fine and the farther west we went the freer we found the wind. Wings flew.
Now a new problem arose: we were going too fast. Before midnight we had to get the jib off and that took us down to six and a half knots; slow enough maybe. At 0800 we arrived at Shelter Bay Marina in Colon.
A day or so in Colon, long enough to clear in and decide Colon was basically a slum, (the whole place, but we saw that the Panama Canal looked interesting; we'll see for ourselves soon enough), and long enough for us to make Judy's flight arrangements to Florida and for us to catch a bus to Panama City.
Now Panama City is something else. For one it is stunning. The high rise buildings, the freeways, shopping centers, and it is huge, modern clean and buzzing. The Pacific ocean looks serene after the tumultuous Caribbean, I guess that is what Balboa thought too, since he gave it the name "Pacific".
We had time to have some minor dramas, senior moments I'd have to say, which are better left un-described, but we finally got to the hotel, checked in and everything was good. Dinner in the old town at Cafe Rene with some Panamanian rum and a bottle of Malbac, and we were feeling no pain and it was surprising that we found our way home to the hotel, but we did.
Judy is now in Florida and I am back on the boat in Colon, doing minor boat projects and enjoying the heck out of Happy Hour at Shelter Bay Marina, and planning our Panama Canal Transit. We'll go into Gatun locks in March and head back to the Pacific Ocean, which we crossed heading west in 1998 (we're still heading west, 16 years later).
And that will be another new adventure.
for more photos.
Fred (and missing Judy), SV Wings, Colon, Panama
Labels: Café Rene, Colon, Panama, Panama City, San Blas, Shelter Bay Marina
January 29, 2014-San Blas Islands
wingssail image-fredrick roswold
Wings in San Blas
Picking the perfect anchorage for the night in the San Blas Islands isn’t easy, something about a surplus of choices.
Cocos Banderas Cays is beautiful and we had phone coverage there so there was Internet, but it had no protection; we rolled and pitched there and one night of that was enough.
Green Island was crowded, and besides, we’ve been there.
There are a thousand other anchorages, how can we choose?
The we saw one on the chart which looked good; an uninhabited island in the Eastern Naguarandup Cays called Esnasdup. It wasn’t mentioned in the guide books but it looked protected.
We decided to give it a try.
And now we are anchored at Esnasdup Island which is a magic place in the back of the San Blas, under the tall, mysterious, mist shrouded mountains of the Isthmus and tucked in behind a vast reef. It’s quiet here. We are totally alone, no village or houses ashore, no other boats, and no way the wind or waves can get to us. We have absolute peace and quiet for the first time in the San Blas. We can hear the birds. There are hawks and eagles and egrets but strangely, no pelicans.
However there is a crocodile here. When we reported our location on the net this morning several boats radioed back that they have seen a crocodile here, about 2 meters long, and, apparently, shy. It flees from people. Well, I hope so. We have not seen it.
Here we will stay for several days, and we’ll be looking for the croc. We’re not sure about how much swimming we’ll do.
Other than Esnasdup, how has our stay been in the San Blas?
Pretty good, we’d say. We spent a few days in the main town of Nargana getting provisions including fresh meat for the freezer, whatever veggies which were available, rum and wine, propane, and some spending money. We stayed a night tied to the dock in a Kuna village at Rio Azucar and there we filled our water tanks from their pipeline. Being basically inside a Kuna Village all night was interesting. We could see life up close in the houses near the wharf.
And we’ve been to Green Island and Cocos. We have a few more places to try, but like our general approach to cruising, we know we can’t get everywhere in the San Blas, and it’s alright.
We’re going to enjoy where we’re at, and move on when we feel like it.
Click here for more San Blas photos.
Fred & Judy, SV Wings, San Blas Islands, Panama
Labels: Panama, San Blas Islands
January 17, 2014-Kunayala
wingssail images-fredrick roswold
Judy in Panama
The Panamanian official stamped my papers with a flourish and handed them to me. “This is your Zarpe, it should get you through Kunayala” he said, which I thought was strange because it sounded like he was referring to a foreign country.
He was. Kunayala, the land of the Kuna Indians is autonomous from Panama. The Kunas maintain their own local government and customs and barely acknowledge the existence of Panama. They do not fly the Panamanian flag.
While there we did not fly ours either.
But they did honor my Zarpe. Other than charging us a fee every time we anchored in one of their towns, they didn’t bother us as we passed through their land.
That cruise however, has been interesting. We were fascinated by the Kunas. They are very traditional people living an existence which is more out of the 1800’s than 2014. Telephones are rare, banks are non-existent. We have not seen a single car, truck, or motorcycle.
The Kuna houses are made of sticks and thatched with palm fronds and have sand or dirt floors. But they are clean and there is little trash evident.
The Kunas paddle the waters in dugout canoes, outboards motors are also rare. They are forbidden to intermarry with outsiders and mostly do not permit photographs.
Tobacco and alcohol are not used. And they are small people, few over five feet tall. However they are beautiful people with high cheekbones, straight noses, and clear brown skin. The women wear bright red and blue dresses and scarves and colorful beadwork on their arms and legs. I’m going to try to get some photographs if I can without offending them.
And they are intelligent. The laughing eyes of the Kuna lady who sold me fresh baked bread, when she figured out what I was trying to say, told me that.
Then there is their choice of where to live. The Isthmus of Panama is mountainous; a hostile, and inhospitable place. It is and covered with dense, steaming, jungle. The valleys are swampy. Insects are fierce and diseases such as Malaria are common. There are snakes and alligators.
The Kunas don’t live there. They live on densely populated offshore islands which are cool and dry and free of the insects and other bad critters.
In fact, until you get close to the area of the Panama Canal, almost no-one lives on the Isthmus itself. It is roughly 100 miles up the coast from Colombia to the San Blas Islands, through Kunayala, and so far, along that distance, we have seen no sign of population ashore or in the mountains, just rows of jungle covered ridges and peaks disappearing into the haze. No roads are visible. It looks in penetrable. At night there are no lights there as far as you can see up the coast or down.
So this has been sort of a nature tour for us, away from the crowds. The sailing has been good, most of the anchorages peaceful and calm. We’ve enjoyed it. But we’ve been out a month and it’s time to be moving on.
Next we head to the San Blas Islands, where many cruising boats hang out and where we can buy cooking gas, supplies, and get our water tanks refilled.
And maybe we will put up our Panamanian flag.
Click here for more photos.
Fred & Judy, SV Wings, Kunayala
Labels: Kuna Indians, Panama
January 5, 2013-Sailing to the Darien
Beating out of the Gulf of Morrosquillo
The afternoon sea breeze filled as expected and at 13:00 Wings weighed anchor and slipped away to the south-west under plain sail, bound for the Sapzurro, in the Darien Province, on the Isthmus of Panama.
The wind, which they thought would clock around to the NW and lift them clear of land, held stubbornly to the SW, and, to add insult to injury, even backed a little and they had to beat out of the Gulf Morrosquillo to reach open water.
Nor did the wind clock during the afternoon or even as night fell but there was nothing to be done for it and they just hardened up and worked the vessel as close to the wind as they could as they sailed down the Colombian coast, sometimes skirting just off shore of the shallows and sometimes sailing inside of islands. The lights of the coast seemed close.
By morning however, the expected shift finally came and Wings was lifted. The sheets could be eased. The speeds went up. The sailing became easier.
And when, at mid-morning, the mountains of the Darien hove into view through the mist, their spirits were also lifted as they anticipated the landfall in a new place.
They anchored in Sapzurro at 13:00, 24 hours after setting sail.
for some photos.
Fred & Judy, SV Wings, Sapzurro, Colombia
Labels: Colombia, Darien, Gulfo Morrosquillo, Punta San Bernardo, Sapzurro
December 27, 2013-Leaving Cartagena
wingssail images-fredrick roswold
Ready to leave Club Nautico
Breaking Free of Marina Comforts
Life becomes comfortable when you are in port with the conveniences you have at the dock and the friends you invariably make and after a period of time in port you have developed some familiar routines and it becomes hard to leave. Days turn into weeks and weeks into months and months can become years as has happened to cruisers in every port we’ve been in; they never meant to stay there but all of a sudden it has been, well, as in the case of our friends Kenny and Jessie in Cartagena, six years.
It could happen to us, and certainly it will one day, but not this time.
So on Saturday we broke free of the inertia of port. We ran Blue Peter up, loaded the last of the provisions, collected the crew (just ourselves) , and cast off the lines. We pulled out of Cartagena and barely looked back.
Oh we’ll miss Cartagena, especially some friends like Omar and Geoff, and Kenny and Jessie and the others, and Cartagena has been good, but now it is time for a new adventures; there are new horizons calling to us and we are eager to go meet them.
We headed south.
Kenny told us about a patch of sand in 18 feet of water in a protected spot between two islands, Isla Grande and Isla Caribaru, called Isla Naval and that’s where we headed first. Coral reefs extend for miles around the Colombian islands known as the Rosariaos and it is rare to find a sheltered anchorage deep enough for a sailing yacht among the flats and but this place is one and we are glad to find it with its crystal clear water, which after Cartagena, was welcome. We stayed five days, swam a lot, saw some fish, and we cleaned the bottom and were astonished at the growth which happened in just one month in Cartagena since the antifouling paint was applied and visited the aquarium a few miles west, which was nice too. We enjoyed our first anchorage in the Rosarios. Thank you, Kenny.
Anchored in The Rosarios
But the wind blew hard every night at Isla Naval, it’s the season of the feared Christmas Winds, and we were ready to leave by Boxing Day so the morning after a nice Christmas dinner for just the two of us onboard Wings, we weighed and headed for the town of Baru.
Hectic Day to go to Baru
On Boxing Day (December 26) we had a few minor issues to deal with:
The boy that fixed our outboard
- We found we had a big propane leak which emptied one of our two tanks, we disassembled the propane plumbing and found a leak which was a cracked fitting for the pressure gauge, which we bypassed and hope that solves the problem.
- We broke the windlass raising anchor and we had to drive around with the anchor hanging down while we installed the spare, home-made, chain stripper.
- Racing to town to buy propane to replace what we lost the Mercury outboard motor stalled and we had to row back to Wings and take off carburetor and float chamber and free what looked like a stuck float valve and we were lucky not to lose the small parts which dropped into dingy bottom.
- Finally got to town and we had to buy 40lb propane tank since they don't refill propane here and that was the smallest they sell and besides being 4 times the amount we needed, it was heavy. But we got it out to the boat OK.
- We got lost in the bayous coming back from Baru but found our way shortly.
- Our dingy flooded and nearly sank. It's leaking water really badly, but we think it is the drain valve so we closed that and bailed like crazy.
- Back on Wings we tipped the big tank over and hung it from the boom and poured propane into our tank (using cannibalized parts from our system which had to be disassembled again) and we were very happy to get our tank filled.
- However, tipping the big tank over got dirt in valve and we could not shut off the flow of propane, so quite a bit of propane was vented to the atmosphere, lucky we had extra, and lucky there was no explosion. We're sorry about the air pollution, we hope it does not destroy the ozone layer.
- Finally we put everything back together and had a drink.
- (Oh, I forgot to mention, we broke one of our oars, Dang!)
Even after working for a couple of hours on the outboard on Thursday it still gave us problems on Friday when we left to go to town to return the propane tank. I thought for sure that the float was stuck again but we were short of time and we struggled with it instead of stopping to fix it and finally got to town to return our half filled, extra large, broken valve'd, propane tank so we could reclaim our deposit. While docking the motor finally gave out big time; I couldn't get it started to save my soul and we rowed to the dock. Two small boys were watching and I gave them a "its dead" slice across my neck. They looked on impassively.
Then we put the motor issues behind us for a while and went to town. We returned the propane tank and walked every street I think, many of them more than once. Got some nice photos. Baru is a very tranquil place. Most of our photo shots of the streets showed no people. There weren't many. But the ones we found were friendly and helpful. Some even spoke English.
The highlight of the day was buying two very cold beers at one small store, which was our lunch, since the restaurants were not open yet.
Getting back to the dingy a couple of hours later, as we came around the corner, I saw one of the boys fiddling with our outboard. Without giving it a thought I gave a whistle and waved him away. It's not surprising to find boys messing around with your dingy while you are gone but this was different. When we got to the boat the one boy said something to me about the fuel line, and pointed to it. I said, "This line?" and he nodded. "So What." I thought, but when I tried the motor it started right away. More amazing, it ran perfectly all the way back out to Wings.
So I guess that boy did something to our fuel line, what I have no idea, but it was a nice thing. Too bad I didn't give him credit or even thank him, but I didn't know he was just helping us out.
for more photos of the Rosarios.
for more photos of Baru.
Fred & Judy, SV Wings, Baru, Colombia
Labels: Aquarios, Baru, Cartagena, Colombia, Rosarios
December 20, 2013-Christmas in Colombia
I’ve been scanning old log book pages and saving them on the blog and while doing that I end up reading and reliving each one. This week I have been working on 1989, when Judy and I were still in Seattle sailing Wings and living aboard, and I enjoyed remembering those old days.
Then, as I saved the page I was reading, my screen saver popped back into view and it showed a beautiful shot of Judy from 2013, on Wings, laughing with some of our crew, and it was from a race here in Cartagena.
Then and Now
And it struck me that we are so lucky to have had this life. We started out doing something we loved more than 27 years ago and here we are, still at it, still enjoying it.
And my Judy, so young and beautiful back then, and so in love with life and with our life, here she is 24 years later, still racing on our Wings, still lovely and still in love with the life we live.
This makes me very emotional.
Now it is Christmas and we are in Colombia; another new country, another holiday season away from home, and it won’t be the last.
We, like the other cruisers, try to fill the void we feel from being away from family and friends at these times: we have pot-luck dinners on occasions like Christmas and Thanksgiving, we gather at some marina common area or on a beach in some bit of paradise somewhere, and we laugh and talk and heap our paper plates with food that never quite seems like the dishes we remember from family gatherings we had back home, and we make the best of it.
But honestly, we’d rather be with you all.
This week we went into Old Town with some friends we’ve met here, Geoff and Omar, from the yacht Un Mundo, and we had a nice dinner and drinks at one of our favorite spots in Cartagena: Plaza Trinidad, and we took the photos you can see in our wingssail-images pages, as well as the one we used in our card this year.
We really love our friends here, and we will miss Geoff and Omar when we leave. They are headed towards Cuba and then Miami and we are headed west through the Panama Canal so we will part company with them, maybe for good, as we have with so many cruisers we’ve met who became dear friends; that is the way of a sailor.
But at Christmas…it seems a little tougher.
Click here for more photos of Cartagena at Christmas time.
Click here for another photo of Fred & Judy back then.
Fred & Judy, SV Wings, Cartagena
Labels: Cartagena, Christmas, Colombia, Fred and Judy
December 8, 2013-Fort San Filipe
On a hill called San Lazaro, overlooking the city of Cartagena, the Spanish built a fort.
wingssail images-fredrick roswold
Fort San Filipe
That was in 1536. It was called the Castillo de San Lázaro back then.
It was designed to protect the city of Cartagena and the gold and silver of the New World which the Spanish had collected and hidden in Cartagena. Canons were mounted atop its walls and access was either up the exposed sides or though hidden tunnels which laced the rock under Castillo de San Lázaro.
Few surmounted it.
The Castillo de San Lázaro still stands.
Now it is called Castillo San Felipe de Barajas, or more commonly, the Fort of San Filipe. Named after Philip IV of Spain who financed it and once remarked that for all the money he put into it he should be able to see it from Barcelona. But it was successful. Cartagena and it's riches were defended by this fort against all comers for many years.
It's not hard to imagine the dread in the hearts of any opposing soldiers who had to face the ramparts of this fort.
Then there are the tunnels.
Narrow and twisting and uphill. At the top Spanish muskets awaited.
The soldiers and canons are gone but the walls and tunnels of Fort San Filipe remain and it has shimmered in the heat over the city of Cartagena for 450 years. It still tends to intimidate anyone who would breach its heights.
For months we have looked at Fort San Filipe from the taxis and streets of Cartagena. And one morning, when it was still relatively cool, we set out to conquer it.
Even at 7:30 in the morning it is hot in Cartagena. As we climbed up the ramps leading to the fortifications atop the walls we tried to imagine the soldiers and slaves who had to drag the huge stones it was built with up that hill. They say the stones were splashed with blood long before the first battle. I believe it.
And in the quiet morning, before anyone else reached the top, we looked out over the city and the bay.
It is a commanding view. We wandered around and pointed imaginary guns out between the parapets.
Then we ventured into the tunnels going downward from the top, not up from the bottom. Even with electric lighting they are scary. It would be easy to get lost in the maze. Once we stepped off the passageway in the darkness at the bottom of one passage into water. It was only up to our shoe-tops but it could have been over our heads. We'd already been thinking that going further and further into these tunnels wasn't the smartest idea. That was enough for us. We went back up and left the tunnels then and we thought about this fort and these tunnels which have stood here for 450 years and which have scared a lot of people during that time.
wingssail images-fredrick roswold
Jacque & Edith
And we thought the Spanish did a good job building this.
Click here for more photos of Fort San Filipe.
Click here to read about this fort.
Fred & Judy, SV Wings, Cartagena
Labels: Cartagena, Colombia, Fort San Filipe
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November 30, 2013-Racing in Cartagena (v.4)
wingssail images-judy jensen
Having a Good Time
(About version 4 of this story: Sorry for those of you who are followers, and keep getting notifications about a new posting, only to find the same posting each time. I swear, this is the last one. I just have been trying to get a good story, tight, interesting, which still describes how the day really went. Maybe this is it.)
Some days you can't seem to get out of your own way and other days you sail like you're on fire.
Yesterday we were on fire and there is nothing like a win to erase that string of defeats we had in Antigua. Yesterday we won.
But to do it we had to rely on our gut instincts because at the start we had nothing else to go on: no sailing instructions, no official clock, no flags, just a rough idea of the course and a bunch of chatter on the radio in Spanish.
Hannes asked me if I had a stop watch but I had no time for that, I was in a zone, living on my wits. I told him to forget it, I was just going to stay close to the line and watch the other boats. I'd use my judgment.
He shrugged and said "OK". At least he'd tried to get us to be serious
Then there came one more hail of chatter on the radio which ended in, "Five minutes, five minutes!". This time it seemed real and the fleet was starting to line up so I started a timed run away from the line.
At 3:30 I turned to go back.
It was a downwind start. We ran the line on starboard. Some boats were approaching on port and I yelled "Starboard". They didn't budge. I yelled again and they turned to take our stern. We had a clear shot. Hannes asked, “How long to go?” I reckoned five seconds and held up five fingers. He said, "Go, GO!" I turned down and we crossed the line first, with speed on. I looked around. We were in front.
I wondered if we were early, Kenny said, "Well if we were there were about four other boats that were early too." Nobody was going back.
I said to get the spinnaker up. It filled.
Nobody else had kites yet, we were ahead of them all, and then we were gone; a horizon job. But we still needed some luck. We needed to turn left more to get to the first mark but we were already way by the lee. I took a chance and called for a jibe and we talked it through as we went and surprisingly, it worked. Now we had a good angle to the mark. Kenny said to stay away from the next point, "Lots of shallow water there, you can go inside of those bouys, but not by much." I stayed high. Nobody behind was going there either and nobody was gaining except LOL, one of the new Jeanneau Sun Odysseys.
Fifteen minutes later we did another jibe and it was perfect. This crew was good.
But I was running on adrenalin, the crew needed direction and I was giving it. Stuff was coming fast, as fast as I could handle, just see it and get it done, and then see the next thing and get that done.
Hannes worked like a horse on the foredeck, Kenny kept up a stream of invaluable local knowledge, Sheila trimmed the kite and she had good eyes, she saw every mark before anyone else. Gert was strong and fast on the3 winches and he never stopped smiling. Judy, as usual, was a rock. She saw everything on the boat and kept it all together for us.
As we passed Santa Cruz Bank we spotted the bottom mark and it was coming up quickly. The jib needed to go up and I called for it. Hannes yanked on the halyard and Judy tailed while the rest of us trimmed in for a hard spinnaker reach. The pole went to the headstay and somebody sheeted in the kite and it pulled like a train. The Jeanneau didn’t gain any more.
On the takedown the kite got tangled in the jib sheet but Hannes yelled, "Sheet in man, sheet in, we'll keep it clear", and they did.
wingssail images-Fredrick roswold
The beat upwind in 14kts of wind and flat water, with the big genoa sheeted tight and flat as a board and carrying a bubble in the main, was glorious. In puffs I had to feather it, but we twisted off the jib and dropped the main traveler all the way down and Wings climbed to weather. We outpointed the Jeanneau and had speed on them. When I looked back they were farther to leeward and farther behind.
And that's the way it finished: first by enough to get the jib down and the beers out before the Jeanneau came in and they gave us a big cheer. We stuck around long enough to see the next two boats come into view then we headed back to Club Nautico. Even getting fouled on our neighbor's anchor during docking wasn't a problem; Kenny said, "I'm a fish", and he jumped in a cleared it. Good man.
That's the way we like it.
for more photos.
Fred & Judy, SV Wings, Cartagena
Labels: Cartagena, Colombia, racing