April 30 2016
Well last season is barley over and I’m already excitingly planning next season. Despite having taken 4 seasons to sail from Vancouver to Panama, covering over 7000 miles, and visiting 8 different countries, we felt like we were rushing through paradise. So it’s time to slow down and just relax and smell the proverbial coconut palms.
Maiatla is presently bedded down in the marina at Fort Sherman ( Shelter Bay) on the Atlantic side of the Panama Canal. It’s a beautiful full service marina with a pool, bar and cruisers lounge and for the most part, reasonable in price. From here we are in gunkholing distance of some of the best islands and reefs that the western Caribbean has to offer. Belize, Rotan and Columbia are in easy reach and of course the Pristine San Blas Islands are just a day away. Maiatla has been underway for 4 years and at times driven hard, and the heat and humidity has taken its toll on the old girl. It is time to give her some TLC and that’s what we plan to do.
So we are just going to hang out, work on the boat and drift about the islands and dive and snorkel our brains out for the next two seasons. We won’t be voyaging, traveling long distances over oceans but we will be cruising, going nowhere in particular hurry, as the trades wind allow.
Come December the Maiatla and her crew will be sailing over 900 miles from Chiapas Mexico down to the enchanted Galapagos Islands where we will spend 3-5 weeks cavorting with Penguins, marine iguanas and diving with Giant Manta Rays and Hammerhead sharks.
From the Galapagos we will set sail for the Panama Canal. 700 miles to the east along the equator where we will cross the Isthmus of Panama to the Caribbean and then head south to the San Blas Island, the land of the dugout canoes and Kuna Indians. For a month we will explore the isolated islands where we will again dive our brains out on the magnificent coral reefs.
Come March it will be time to return to Northern Panama and Boca Del Toro where the Red Frog Marina was carved out of the jungle. For another month we will sail out of the marina exploring the coast, diving and perhaps renting a car for some inland tours of the Mayan Ruins in Honduras. We have cruising friends already in the area and we hope to hook up and get reacquainted. Sometime in April we will bed down the boat at the Red Frog for another summer and we will head home to Nanaimo to see family and regretfully… return to work for a bit. Well that’s it in a nut shell. Can’t wait to get started.
There may be some crewing opportunities for a few bodies from Mexico to the Galapagos or through the Canal. If this interests anyone please visit the “Crewing Opportunities” section of this blog for more information.