UPDATE: s/v OCEANS, Panama to French Polynesia, Part 1

Leaving  La Playita Marina in Panama City on 7.10, Tues at 1630hr (4:30pm) was just not going to happen!  Crew:  Rick & I &  our good friend Matthias from Germany.  After leaving the slip we  headed to the fuel dock, but, both of our props just would not work properly,  we were going sideways to the fuel dock.  Very tense!!! After Rick worked the props back & forth, they managed to start working.  Yippee, we are on our way to French Polynesia.  Heading out the narrow channel into the Pacific Ocean, both props again stopped working, now we were heading sideways onto the rocks with a very strong current.  Praying, praying & praying, LORD, WE NEED YOUR HELP, WE NEED YOUR HELP LORD!  Rick managed to maneuver us to the anchorage area.  We put the anchor down at 5:07pm.  Obviously, s/v Oceans and the crew were not leaving tonight.  GOD, says again, Not our time!!!  7.11, Weds, 0610hr, anchor up, everything was working again.  We are on our way.  We start our 3 hr watches, Rick, Myself & Matthias.   We start to see sperm whales, huge schools of dolphins; butterflies, frigate and albatross birds, sunrises, sunsets and flying fish, and all the wonders of the

Pacific.  The Southern Cross appears, Uranus, Pluto, Neptune, Jupiter, Saturn, Venus and Mars, so beautiful.

Day 3, was just not a good day!!!!  The ocean got rough, very choppy, quick waves, heavy rainstorm & wind, stuff inside the cabin started to fly around, we could not stand up without holding on to something.   We saw several areas that were delaminating in the main sail, then  rips showed up on the geneoa sail.  Now our 2 most often used sails can not be used to their full potential.   Our dinghy decides to try to commit suicide, a  stainless steel bolt holding it onto the davits, breaks in 1/2.  None of us got sleep, but, no one got hurt!!  Rick is concerned that we will run out of diesel.  We all need some serious sleep.  What to do???  Jump off in the Galapagos & get emergency repairs? French Polynesia is a very long way off, over 3,000 nautical miles away.  At this point, no research had been d

one for entrance into the Galapagos, which is highly restrictive for privately owned vessels.  We just weren’t going there; too expensive, been there done that and we wanted to get to Fiji to serve with Sea Mercy.

As we are making these decisions, days from the Galapagos, Al & Jill Wigginton, s/v Dragonfly, very experienced sailors, we had met in Fiji in 2015 sent us a text on our inreach asking how things were going.  After telling them our situation, they immediately went into high gear and offered options and information.  Not having the ability of doing any research since no internet out in the middle of the ocean, we were grateful to have their help and assistance.  Al & Jill got us in contact with an agent to prepare for emergency arrangement in the Galapagos.

Arrival Santa Cruz on 7.19- 8days from Panama with bad weather, broken sails and a tired determined crew.  Thank YOU, JESUS!

The repair facilities are basically non-existent.  A dinghy repair contractor and an upholstery repair contractor teamed up to assist us.  A referral that Al & Jill got by contacting the local hardware store.  Thank You, Al & Jill!!  Using pieces of old sails and glue to patch dinghies, our sails were put back together.  Our mainsail alone weights over 300lbs so it took 1/2 day to take down & 1 whole day to put back on.  The bay at Santa Cruz during our repairs was subject to heavy swells, this means on a calm day, we had 4-6ft seas right where we were anchored.  On rougher days, they were 8-10 ft.  The scenery was beautiful, the people were wonderful and the animals were crazy.  Galapagos wildlife is unlike any other place on this planet.  Animals have no fear of humans.  We were fortun

ate to see; blue footed boobies, giant tortoises, sharks of many kinds, seal lions, albatross & frigate birds.  Even a yellow warbler bird came inside the boat for a while & looked around & then flew out.  Before we departed, we took a vacation day and went to Isabella Island.  It was a rough ride over & back in a small ferry like boat, but is was beautiful and we got to get up close to sea lions, lava lizards and marine iguanas.

7.25 at 1900(7:00pm) Oceans anchor came up, conch horn was blown and we are off to Hiva Oa, Marquesas, French Polynesia.  Goodbye Galapagos Islands, hello 3,000 nautical miles……

The adventure continues………we the crew of s/v Oceans are excited, and thankful.  Thank YOU,JESUS!!

Departure Day: Panama to French Polynesia

Departure from Panama City to Hiva Oa, Marquesas, 4,000 nautical mile trip, of open ocean sailing, with no place to stop.  There are 3 of us on board, Rick & I and our good friend, Matthias, we will take 3 hr watches, for the approximately 21 day crossing.  (At least, that is the plan.)  We are so EXCITED!  Beyond EXCITED…………….. Yesterday, we completed our provisioning of food, since no place to just run to the grocery store for supplies. Food has been washed & stored.  Hopefully, preventing from loosing any of it during transit, due to rot or food gremlins.   Rick has checked us out today & obtained our ZARPE for French Polynesia.

GOD IS GREAT!  We are in good hands!  Godspeed to Everyone!

We can be tracked at:

https://share.garmin.com/sailingvesseloceans

Text Only:  310-905-5834, Please send no attachments & remove previous message or we won’t be able to download it.

 

JAMES 4:13-16  “Now listen, you who say, today of tomorrow we will go to this or that place…..Why you don’t even know what will happen tomorrow.  What is your life?  You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.  Instead, you ought to say, if it is the LORD’S will, we will live and do this or that.”

If it is THE LORD’S WILL, we will leave Panama today, 7/10/2018

GOD IS GREAT!  YES, GOD IS GREAT, ALL THE TIME!

Last Panama Canal Transit

July 5, is our transit date.  YIPPEE!!!!!!   We are so ready!! Departing Shelter Bay Marina 2 pm, with Matthias, Leo & 2 other line-handlers on board with us.  According to the Canal Officials, our advisor will arrive at 4pm, we will transit the Gatun Locks 3 of them on the Caribbean side of the canal & over-night in Gatun Lake.   Then complete the  Miraflores locks 3 of them on the Pacific side on Friday, July 6.

For those who would like to see us at the Miraflores Locks, can check out the Multimedia section of:  http://www.pancanal.com/eng/op/index.html which will be on Friday mid to late afternoon.    And of course, this is Panama & Everything is subject to change………..

We are grateful & excited to be on our way!  So looking forward to our crossing to the Marquesas.  Hopefully, depart by Sunday.

NEWS:::

Update 10am, July 5:  Rick called to confirm with Canal officials on time for today & they said that they have no advisors for today!   Well, there you have it…………….  Our new departure time is 4:45am on Friday morning,  now we should make it all the way through to the Pacific side by tomorrow late afternoon.  But, then again, it is Panama!!!

 

Planned Voyage

Here’s the plan!

The Coco Bandero Cays in San Blas Islands

We sail to lle a Vache, Haiti with our 4 pick-up truck loads of donations.

 

Then we press on to San Blas Islands and through the Panama Canal.

 

After that we set our compass for the South Pacific and Fiji.

Fiji, Fall of 2014

Republic of Fiji

Population – 2016-   898,760               Source-Wikipedia

Capital
and largest city
Suva[1]
18°10′S 178°27′E
Official languages[2]
Ethnic groups (2016[3])
Religion (2007[4])

Fiji is an archipelago of more than 330 islands, of which 110 are permanently inhabited, and more than 500 islets, amounting to a total land area of about 18,300 square kilometres (7,100 sq mi). The farthest island is Ono-i-Lau.

 

These islands are so spread out that it requires days of travel between some of them.  This makes the distant smaller islands, very remote and under served.

 

The two major islands, Viti Levu and Vanua Levu, account for 87% of the total population of 898,760. The capital, Suva on Viti Levu, serves as Fiji’s principal cruise port.[14] About three-quarters of Fijians live on Viti Levu’s coasts, either in Suva or in smaller urban centres like Nadi (tourism)[14] or Lautoka (sugar cane industry). Viti Levu’s interior is sparsely inhabited due to its terrain.[15]

1 Fijian Dollar (F$) =  100 cents U.S.