The Five Senses
Friends

No Worries. Be Happy

Two in one post. First, written on the 21st at 1300 or so: Greetings from 134 miles from the goal. The end is in sight and the waves and seas have finally died down to 8 - 10 feet, and 20-30 knots, respectively. From that you can infer that last night was another night of 99s. We hand steered from 2000 (8:00 PM) until morning. When I forced myself out of the sea bunk around 7:00 I convinced EW to try Casey. Things had calmed enough and he's been operating beautifully, though it took a bit of work and configuring of the settings. While that was going on, we pro

Last night we had gusts to 40 (and a few over) swells from one direction and waves from a slightly different direction. If I could figure out how to get my core more involved steering the boat would be a full body workout. As it is, my hands, arms, hips, legs and feet all work together to drive the boat and keep me upright (mostly).

Here's a secret: I realized that I was enjoying myself. There we were, the only foolish pleasure boat to be sailing in this section of the Caribbean Sea, hand steering through the night, with stars, a sliver of a moon, and big waves which frequently dumped bucket loads of water into the cockpit and onto me. EW was off, sleeping down below, and I was singing every song I could think of and grinning like an idiot. La Luna is the perfect boat for this: well-shaped, heavy, and responsive. I was exhausted and sore, but happy.

I'll be happier still when we get there. This morning we were finally able to pick up the cruisers' net on the SSB. I could hear Net Control only faintly but did hear him request that any boats under way "check in now." That would be La Luna. I checked in and gave him our position. Afterward, I heard another boat call Net Control, asking to speak with me. "We have a message from Kookaburra for La Luna." Yippee. We confirmed that we'd arrive sometime tomorrow, that we'd go directly to check in if it was early in the day (not likely, we've slowed) and go to the nearby island of Chichime if we were too late to make navigate around the reefs safely. We know that Kookaburra is waiting for us, that they will be monitoring the VHF, and we are all anticipating our arrival.

It's good to have friends at sea.

In the meantime, I'm going to try to finish the Panamanian flag while EW sleeps.

Written June 22 at 0125: At that point, Casey crapped out and I hand steered for two hours instead of waking EW. The flag is not done. We had a few other minor issues, and things that turned out not to be issues, resulting in not getting as much sleep as we should have during the day. EW sent me down for four hours at 1900 Panama time, and he's off for his four hours now.

I woke up to a new reality. We have 12 to 15 knots of wind seas of 2-4 feet, no water splashing on deck and no slapping and banging of waves on the hull. It's a mostly clear night with a million stars and we are heading for land. I keep confusing the horizon with shore, but we are 80 miles out still and I am not seeing shore in the distance. At 0300, I'll probably go down for half the remaining darkness, and have EW do the same when I get up, then we'll get ready for the Guna Yala and our cruising friends. After all, I promised Jaime that we'd be huggable clean when we saw her.

As of 0130 on June 22, we were located at 10 40.883 North and 78 45.872 West. Expect to arrive in the region by noon or shortly after and anchor in Chichime tonight.

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