Search This Blog

Monday, March 12, 2012

Stranded in Paradise

After two weeks at the Bocas are the developments:

Our friends, the Culbecks, have arrived, and although there are now 10 people on board Balance, it's awesome to have the extra help with boat maintenance and kid management.

The Sail Doctor gave us the sad prognosis that our wild black jib has to be put down. Although somewhat rowdy and unruly, he flew true and stout and carried us safely across many an ocean passage. It's sad to see the day that a sail comes to the end of its flying career. May he rest in peace in the sail locker.

We were lucky enough to find a used jib here in Bocas. She's an older genoa but still has lots of life. She's a lovely shade of white, makes a pleasing little nicker when luffing, is slightly larger than our last but gentle and friendly. Great with kids. We're lucky to have her.

The local diesel doctor has been working on our port engine for the better part of a week and with the critical components sent by the Miami Grandparents, he was successful in getting it running!! Yeah! So yesterday we pulled off the dock to stretch our sea legs for the first time since arriving two weeks ago. It was exhilarating! The kids were ecstatic to be "under way", jumping up and down on the bow with the waves and "catching air" like in an elevator. We tacked our way out of the Bocas cut, then turned around and, with the wind on our stern, jibed our way back towards the dock. About halfway back we lost power on the starboard engine. Bummer. So for the second time in the same number of weeks, we limped back to the Bocas Marina on one engine. We're hoping it's something simple, and that we'll be able to fix it easily.

Our weather window for heading north (initially to La Isla de San Andres and then on to Honduras, Guatemala, and the Yucatan) is looking like late this weekend. This is perfect as it will give us ample time for additional "shakedown-breakdown" day sails around the excellent cruising grounds surrounding Bocas.

Courtney and I took the kids to La Finca de los Monos Botanical Garden. It was an adventure. The perfect opportunity to get off the boat and check out the local flora and fauna. Highlights were the wax ginger flowers and the howler monkeys that we got to see up close. Fantastic!!

Being stuck in Bocas del Toro has it's perks. Namely, the surf, which is some of the best in all of Central America. Our surfers have been enjoying it. 

Here are some pics for your viewing enjoyment.

 The whole scurvy crew waking up slowly whilst listening to the Bocas net. 

 Give this mama another pina colada! 

 Make it two. Soli slipped on a rock and sliced her leg on a crustacean. Ouch. 

 The kids have been having a blast fishing with little hand lines off the dock. This is one of Emerson's catches. This fellow made it back to the bay after his photo shoot.

Bocas has several well established surf breaks with consistent waves for all levels. Happy surfers when they're able to tear themselves away from boat work. 

 Wax Ginger at the botanical gardens. Exquisite. 

 The CUTEST baby pineapple ever. Seen hear next to Soli's little hand.

A Mama Howler and her Baby. I love how she's keeping her eye on me. And I love my camera. This was difficult lighting and I didn't have my telephoto lens. In the original shot you can't see the baby at all. But when I cropped, this fabulousness appeared. 
 Out for our first sail. "Why did I just lose power on starboard?"

 "I content myself with a humble (floating) cottage and a simple kitchen garden." This is my favorite quote.  And you can imagine I was over the moon to find aloe and an orchid at the botanical gardens. Then right here in Bocas I was lucky enough to find herb seedlings: basil, mint, oregano, thyme, rosemary, and peppermint. Ahhh. Happiness. 

More happiness. Soli was so excited to be "sailing down da waves". 

Thanks for checking in, 
Heather and the Stranded Crew of Balance


Rhonda Hall said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rhonda Hall said...

What a wonderful trip filled with adventure and bonding. I'm thinking it is a good thing we didn't send Syd though, I'm not so sure your boat would have made the pick up. So wonderful to have such a handy crew. Looking forward to more stories and pictures. Say Hi from all of us to all of you.

Love - Rhonda and Family -

Anonymous said...

Heather I just read your posts from the last month...What an incredible adventure you are having. I look forward to hearing more.
Travel safe.

Heza said...

What an awesome adventure! Love the pics!

Heza said...

What an awesome adventure! Love the pics!