Saphir went up on land and we check in to the hotel in Shelterbay. It is very nice to sleep in a air conditioned room so we decided not to sleep on the boat when it is on land. The hotel was full so we book a room in Colon. Not a place where you feel safe walking around in and it is very poor and many broken houses
A bit shopping was also done with Lorraine and Annie. Trying to find a new pare of good walking sandals since I manage to forget mine on one of the island in SanBlas.Not easy to find they only have flip flops and sneakers. It was so nice to have two hours going shopping . Ended up with a Panama hat, basing suit and some groceries. Me and Edgar went shopping and got a ride back home to the boat from the shop. Now we should have enough of soft drinks,beer and wine until New Zealand we think…. We are good to go on the Panama Canal after inspection from the canal. On the skippers briefing we was inform how we will attach our boats to each other when we go in the locks and how we will attach us during the night on a big buoy. We are the middle boat in the nest.
I joined a guided tour with Sara of Sweden and parts from BlueSunshine to Gatun locks which is the first lock we are going trough in the Panama Canal. The museum is where the new lock is, not the old where we are going trough. It was very interesting and fascinating to see. The locks are huge 55m wide and 427 long and these are only for the enormous big ships. The pools are for reuse the water and safes around 50% that would have just gone out in the ocean. It is not only the locks that keeps control of the lake not flooding. There is a trap door that when it is open it provides with electricity.
The ARC organised a guided tour to one of the natives village Embera village in Charge national park. This was a fantastic trip. First an hour in the bus then 45 min in canoe until we reached the village. They live very close to how they always have lived. Although even they are getting effected/ influenced what happens in the rest of the world. They have a school that is provided from the government up to 6 grade and after that they go to school in the nearby city. Some stay and some comes back to live in the village. In this village there was 132 people living in 40 different houses. One of there income is to sell products that they make. We bought some baskets that are made out of bamboo. They use leaf, nuts ect to colour the bamboo. We had a lovely lunch served on bamboo leafs, and some dancing. We really enjoyed our day here in the jungle.
Tomorrow our crew comes to help us trough the canal.
Time to sail over to SanBlas. Looking forward seeing this paradise in about 40 hours. We got company buy these two lovebirds that probably have started build a nest. Hope they just started to build a nest.
Start shot came and we sail east and some of is slightly more south. After a couple of hours we came in to a really dirty water. This is from the river that comes out next to the city Barranguilla. From other boats we learn to be careful and keep good watch since there might come a three or anything else in the water that the river brings along.
Lovely sunsets and sunrise. Love them and continue pinching my arm to realise that we are hear and doing this fantastic adventure. We didn’t see many other boats with our eyes ther came a ship and also our friend boat Enalia suddenly cross just in front of us.
Almost at the finish line. Count down. We need to pass 078 30 000 W and at 02 58 23 we passed the finish line. It took us around 4 hours more before we where anchored in Holandais Cay close to our friends on Sara of Sweden. This looks fantastic and here we will stay for some days.
After a nice full night sleep we where ready to fix things in the boat . Edgar went to declare us in. That took some hours. I was happy he was up quite early and was almost the first otherwise he might have spent queuing until after lunch since many boats had arrived during night and also needed to declare in. We went to do some grocery shopping. The food store was much better equipped then Cape Verde. Bit more expensive but that we knew. Our crew finally found tickets to fly home without needing to have to many stops on the way. They leave on Sunday afternoon so before that we needed to get the mainsail down so the rigger could have a look and hopefully fix our fueler. Just needed to wait for the winds to calm down. It was not that easy as the sail is 66m2 and the battens on the boats are standing . That means the longest is 21m long and the shortest app 3m . The sail came down and tied around the boom.
Matti went to a hotel to get better sleep. Although it didn’t roll any more. He needed to stretch out and get some better sleep maybe also a little bigger bed. The cabins beds are not the biggest one although Magnus stayed on the boat with us. The three of us went for a walk and ended up almost in the city center. We didn’t want to walk back in the heat so we decided to take the bus back to the Marina. These minibuses fit 14 plus to in the front. Only cost 2.5 Caribbean dollar wich is 10 sv kr. They let you jump on and of where you want on the route.
Our last night together we went over to the hotel where Matti stayed at and had a lovely dinner. Before that all three of us had to take a swim in the ocean. The first one since we leaft Cape Verde. Very nice hotel would have loved to stay there but maybe next time😀
We wave by to our crew who went home to their wife’s. Five weeks away and three off them on the sea where there was limited contact. The wife’s was happy to get their husbands back home. I finished my knittings to my grandchildren so Matti took them home and I know that they will get them in time for Christmas. Let’s hope they fit them also. If you get caught in the rain you get really wet.. what to do then ? Bake Lussekatter of course. Glad I brought saffron with me. It is hard to find. In this heat you don’t have much energy and all things you plan to do takes so much longer time and you need to rest in between maybe take a dip in the pool in the Marina. Which was very popular amongst many of us but guess the kid’s most. I am so glad that we got help with cleaning the hull and all our stainless steel. Vinegar in the water is the trick to get rid of the salt and after that wash the hull with boat shampoo. The boat is shining again. For now… The riggers fixed the fueler and now it is working. With help from Even, Jörn and Johnny from the Norwegian boat Lise the sail is back in the mast. Thank you guys for the help. Me and Edgar couldn’t have done it without your help. Lise and Saphir is actually roommates. Hmm you think a boat can’t have roommates but they can. In wintertime they are at the same yatch service in Henån. And now we have been sailing from Las Palmas via Cape Verde and to Grenada. The world is not that big…
The next morning we had a guided bus tour around the iland toghether with Even,Jörn and Johnny. We went to Annadale waterfall where we could jump in tomtar water but to many people and the water look so and so. Next stop was at Grand Etang national park with a lake in crater. Grand Etang Lake is a 36 acre crater lake inside an ancient volcano, one of two crater lakes in Grenadine. The lake is full with fish but you are not aloud to fish there. The guys was not that impressed. More fun was it with the monkeys. I wanted meet them. While Johnny was taking photos of me he got surprised by the others monkey that jump on him.
Time for lunch at Belmonte and see the chocolate factory. It was a very interesting guided tour where we got to know from harvesting the cocoa bean, fermenting, sorting, drying and becoming chocolate. Most of these steps are by hand only machines are used to sort out the size of the beans and getting the chocolate out of the bean. When they are drying they walk on the beans to spread them around and to give love to them as our guide said. So of course I had to try that. By the way the chocolate is really good but very expensive. Will eat it on special occasion.
The tour has one more stop. The River Antoine estate. A rom distillery that also using old tradition. Interesting to look at the procedure but didn’t feel so much for trying or drinking this rom. It is also very strong 74 % and can only be bought in Grenada. Very popular rom amongst the inhabitants. The last picture is when they are bottling the rom by hand and doing the last filtering.
Almost all boat us arrived and it is time for price ceremony. Lots of prizes for many boats. Best prize in my opinion was to Infinity that was keeping Helga company after they got problem with their rodder and was on top of that getting in water. Time to say good bye or fare winds to lots of new sailing friends, some of them we will meet along our sailing or follow on different ways. We also look forward to get out of a Marina and trough an anchor in a bay wheee we can jump in to the sea from the boat.
The crew have arrived and the last preparation are getting done. Chain up, reversed and painted. New bag for the chain is sewed. Sun screen sewed. Food prepaired and more things. I have also have had time for some leasure. Going on a tour on the previous volcanos. It was very interesting.Dinner with our friends and costumes party.
Now we are ready to go!!!
A mix of picture from the last days
Sorry for not telling much about the pictures but wanted to put them in the blogg before we don’t have anymore wifi. So might fill in it later.
The harbour in Porto is located in Duero River less then 1 km from the Atlantic sea. This effected us very much during high and low water including the swells. It felt like we been out sailing and not laying calm in a harbour. Worst was on Monday to Tuesday when it was very windy and raining. All boats was bumping around. During the night we lost one fender and one was in the water that we saved. Sadly the boat got some scratches that Edgar have filled in as good as he could. It is not easy when it is bumping. The positivt about the harbour is the view, the location as in close to the Sea , the city and have a cute little village next to us with restaurants, food stores, cafe, bakery and a Portuguese traditional washing place
So what do you do when you are not sailing. Relaxing, like reading a book, looking at a film or sleeping…. Nope! sleep in sometimes yes ( if you ask our daughters they who’d say we are teenagers) and have longer breakfast. Otherwise it is like having a home that needs your attention like cleaning, washing, repairing, food shopping and also filling oil, or change it after a certain time,checking filters, fill up water, organising. And since I love to take lots of pictures there is some extra work sorting them out and then use some in the blog and when that is done time to write the text to the blog. This is not always easy doing it in an other language then your mother tongue and sewing of course etc. We still organise on things around to get them there best place. Wherever that is? At the moment the beds in the cabins are full and that is not good when we get guests onboard soon.
Staying 1-4 nights then you quite busy so having seven nights is very long for us but it didn’t felt that long since we got to spend time with Sofia and Fredrik from Zelda. One day we walked in to Porto took the gondola up to the bridge and walked over to old town and walked back home to our boats. Totally 12km or 20 000 steps.
Together with Life@Sea, Currier Sur,Zelda, Balder, Esther of Sweden and Windysailing we walked to Churchill, witch is a port winery . There we a had a privet guiding and tasting.
I realised that we have missed the most beautiful Mc Donald’s ever so we had to go to Porto again. Edgar was quick to say yes when I told him that I wanted to go to Mc Donald’s. ( not my favourite place to eat at) And luckily just around the corner is Sao Bento train station that used to be a convent for nuns. The entrance is decorated with hand painted tiles. It is sad that there are some mistakes putting them up and that makes it even more charming. So glad we got to see it. Specially since we actually passed by it two days before and totally missed it.
In between we have had sundowners, lunch, small chats on the pier etc with other boat-friends Friday morning 16 sep we leave Porto and also say fare winds to Zelda that will sail to Madeira . We will meet them agin in LasPalmas
All in all Porto is a lovely place but the harbour needs to work on getting better wavebreaker.
Plan changed. We leave Muxia in the morning and sail in a convoy down to Ria de Muros. The fog was very intense when we woke up and kept like that for almost the hole day. Our New sailing friends Zelda, Life@Sea, Morning Glory and Currier Sud are there in the front somewhere. You have to be very close to see each other.
Almost at the Ria the sky clears up and we see a Guardian civila boat meeting us. Suddenly it turns and comes up next to us. A bit scary first, thinking have we done something wrong. Gladly they only wanted our papers and ask where we came from and where we were going. The last thing the wonder was why we are going in a convoy and they agreed it was a good thing due to the Orcas. The papers came back in a fishing net( the Swedish language have a specific name for it.. fiskehåv ) and we could continue . Getting in to the Ria we decided to go to Muros harbour and the rest went further in the to the Ria to swing anchor in a bay.
We spent a few days here . A very cute village and calm. Did some walk around, food shopping as always. Lots off fishing boats where laid outside off us.
After two nights it is time to go more south. This time again we go in a convoy to Ribeira. Still feels more safe going near the coast. We keep only 2-3 NM from land and that is where all the fishing gears are so we are looking out for them all the time. Don’t want them in the propeller. On top of that we have the fog that comes and goes and it makes it harder to spot them. This time it is great to have Peter and Anna on Sea@Life in front telling us where they are.
When we get closer to Ria de Arousa we have to go round the island since not all of us had received the license to sail near National parks Islands. There are a few of these Islands and we heard that they are very lovely so we wanted to make sure we could go there. Entering the Ria de Arousa we saw some dolphins that I manage to get with the big camera. Next to Ribiera harbour there is a beach where we all anchored. After a while lots of dolphins came and played around the small sailing boats. Think one of the boys was extra happy. In the evening we had Anna&Peter,Sofia &Fredrik,Isabell&Chris and Christophe on our boat for a sundowner. It was very nice to sit down and talk to all of them and to get to know them a bit.
A tour in to town to do some grocery shopping ended up with new sandals as well . Didn’t buy these when I saw them in Mallorca so now was the time and I was not the only one buying sandals. After lunch it was time to leave and when we took up the anchor the chain was filled with “green salad” so it took a little wile to clean the worst to get it up. Right and enough wind made us all happy that we finally could sail. Passing by lots of fish and shellfish farms some of them very close to the shore. Which a bit destroys the view and makes it harder to anchor . Instead of anchoring we decided to go in to Porto Villagarcia. We ended up having a nice evening over at Christophes boat Currier Sur.
In the morning we left to go to Illa Ons, a small island just outside the Ria, while the rest stayed to go to Santiago de Compostela. It was just a few hours out to the Island. Before we could anchor we had to apply to make sure that it would not be to many boats and person that would be on the Island as this is a National park. When the anchor is in the dinghy goes in to the water and we get in to land and to the beach. So nice to have sand between my toes and take a dip in the water when I felt for it. It could have been warmer but okay . Think it showed 16,5… but is was very clear and nice. What I didn’t expect on the beach was total nakedness of some people. Of corse it is up to anyone to choose to wear or not wear swimwear’s. Not that I am that prude but I wouldn’t choose to go skinny-dip in public. On the beach we met the couple from the Swedish boat Viking goddess Anna and Clyde. Believe we will see more of them along the coast. And yes we did.
Next day we enjoy the beach for an hour before we had to go back to the boat due to the strong current. We hadn’t put on the engine so it was heavy to row back to the boat. The wind was getting stronger and also the waves so we decided to go to Vigo and explore the city and do a tour to Santiago de Compostela. The way in Ria de Vigo was very nice and sunny. We spotted lots of sailing boats that had a competition.Just when we had gotten in to the Ria we hear on the VHF that there are Orcas attacking a boat bit north of Illa Ons. Later we get the good news that the crew and the boat is okay and this time no damage on the boat. It had only been in the water for three weeks after been attacked by orcas and needed to be repaired. First time they hit the rudder so hard that it bent and the couldn’t steer the boat. We met them later in Porto.
Luckily Edgar had called up the harbour in Vigo and got us the last place. Maybe not the best one just inside the pier and next to the gas station that was closed. Sadly we had a lot of clucking when we were sleeping or trying to… But happy we didn’t need to lay on anchor in the hard wind and rain that was predicted the next days. Since the weather was still nice I decided to do some washing and after the third machine the rain came so we hade to hang dry in the boat. I had walk around the city and we decided to go to Santiago the next day if the weather was going to be okay. In the morning it was pouring down. I ended up staying insided relaxing and did some knitting and sewing. Nice to have restaurants around the corner when the inspiration goes down. We had some really nice seafood here and pizza. I am in heaven. Edgar is also okay if he gets some meat in between.
There will be a good weather window in two days to go down to Porto, so we leave Vigo to go further out on the Ria. On our way out we see MorningGlory and Balder on the other side of the Ria going to Vigo. They are easy spotted due to there turquoise colour. And not far after them we see Life@sea and Zelda. All of them sailing. Lucky them.
We arrive to Baiona and ask if they have place for us. The first harbour was full but we got one on the other one. According to the office manager the harbour was full and the poor guy who gave us the place was in trouble but we could stay. Once again these harbour towns don’t look much from the seaside but when you step in a block it is totally charming and cosy.
The next day the bay fills up with more sailing boat’s getting ready to sail south the next day. Best was that some off these boats where our sailing friends . In the evening we all went out for dinner in Baiona.
At 8.00 on Thursday 8 Sep we leave Baiona with our sailing friends and a lot of other boats as well. It is a very magical morning. Lots of photos are taken and just outside the wave-pier there is a lots of small fishing boats. Depending on our speeds we divide us in different groups. We take the lead and guide Currier Sue and Life@Sea true all the fishing gears that we pass. It is a lot off them so some slalom technic is required. Happy to see some dolphins also. The waves are high and long and in between our friends boats mor or less disappears
We reach Porto and we wave to our friends that will go to an other harbour. Lovely bridge and view when we entering Duero river and the harbour. An hour later Life@Sea came into the harbour since they got denied due to there length even if it was okay when they booked it. Here we will stay a few days or more. All depends on the wind,waves and rest of the weather