“Jordan! Stop walking on the keyafafh afffkla”

Our Slog (Ships Log) with a Satelite View

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Boca Chica Panama

Posted on Tuesday Mar 25, 2008

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We made it to Panama. We certainly have been taking the slow boat here, but we're here. Now we are getting geared up for the crossing to Ecuador. I've got to get these stupid kidneys checked out via X-Ray to make sure I'm up for the passage and we're going to get our new anchor chain and I'm also going to bus down to Panama City with my life-raft to get it serviced before we go.

Boca Chica is more Chica than Boca -- it's a small sort of place. There's not much here at all, it's going to be a challenge just to get some diesel! Fortunately we are only an hour from David, the 2nd biggest town in Panama.

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Last Stop in Costa Rica

The day we were departing Golfito a familiar voice was hailing Sarana over the radio. It was Ryan on Sonrisa! We didn't expect to see him until Ecuador, so even though we checked out of the country, we stayed a day to hang with him. And out of a strange coincidence two other boats with surfers showed up in the bay. The beer and rum flowed and there might have been a flare or two involved that night. But we all agreed to head south to a surf spot in Costa Rica before all of us head our sperate ways.

That's how we ended up in Pavones catching some waves. This will be our very last stop in Costa Rica and it appears that some of our other friends are mystified we are still trying to work our way through Costa Rica. We just keep finding cool places to stop, isn't that the point?

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Photos from Costa Rica!

Posted on Thursday Mar 13, 2008

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This post contains a GPS location. Click here to see it on the map.

Once we blasted our way out of the Papagayo winds in Northern Costa Rica and tied up at the Costa Rica Yacht Club, we were able to recharge. Feeling a bit spent and depressed (a new kidney stone didn't help) and with a long list of broken things, we really needed a break. The Yacht Club was great, Sherrell flew back to Seattle to help her mom through a tough surgery (which turned out well). I stayed at the Yacht Club and got busy on the boat.

Most of the boats hit bottom on low tide (like our neighbor in the photo) but we were fortunate to stay upright so I was comfortable reparing the genoa, main sail, sail cover, autopilot, towed water generator, cleaning the dirty fuel tank, painting and repairing the raw water pump, and a crap load of other stuff.

Anyway our buddies on Desidarata showed up and we made plans for Sherrell's return to rent a car and split the time. Finally something fun! So when I picked Sherrell and her 170 lbs of boat parts up from the airport in a car, it was quite a treat. We used the car to go to Arenal, the only active volcano in Central America.

We hiked trails, swam in a hot river and in general spent two days not working or worrying about papagayos. It was a break we really needed. We saw lots of animals like this Coati:

After touring we used the car and had some more medical tests done (I passed that stupid kidney stone the day before Sherrell came back). Not exactly fun, but someone's gotta help those doctors pay for their club memberships.

We eventually got of out Puntarenas and the Yacht Club with a working sailboat and started to explore the unknown areas of Golfo de Nicoya. This included a hike up to some waterfalls. There were three falls in a row with swimming pools in between. The brave (or crazy) jump from the second falls where this photo was taken and into the pool below!
There's also a rope swing which was more my speed and lots of fun trails to climb. We even saw howler monkeys romping around in the trees there. We've done a lot of touring and exploring new bays and exploring parts that many boats don't visit. Now we are winding up our Costa Rica trip down here in Golfito in the southern end of the country and in about a week we'll be chillin in Panama where we have a new anchor chain to pickup in a town called David.

Not much has changed on board. Jordan is still biting the hand that feeds her and trying to kill as many things as she can get her paws on.

Golfo Dulce

Posted on Saturday Mar 8, 2008

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Our pactor modem went bonko. Instead of getting email over our HF radio, we just get an un-ending string of E4 pouring out of our radio modem. I found out that pulling out the backup battery and restarting the box seemed to get it talking again, however it crashes when we get down to the business of trying to send/receive email. So we're still working on it and we've been unable to update our perpetual slog due to technical difficulties.

Right now we are in beautiful Golfo Dulce in a town called Gulfito. There's a really cool place to hang out called Land and Sea which is IDEAL for cruisers like us. I can't say enough good things about the place. On the walls we see our friends who have passed through here have left their marks with artistic drawings on the walls.

We're going to spend some time fixing more broken stuff on the boat (hopefully our pactor modem will be one of them) and getting ready to go to Panama in about a week.

Costa Rica has been great and we're excited about seeing Panama.

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Posted on Wednesday Feb 20, 2008

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We're still hanging out in Gulfo de Nicoyo. The charts and guidebooks have so many errors its taking a long time to sort things out for ourselves. We've been doing a lot of surveying and exploring, some of it is a bit nerve racking as we discover uncharted shoals.

Some people we met had their dinghy disappear in the middle of the night, most likely the work of some local sticky fingers. We went around talking to people about it and letting them know there's a reward for finding it. I hope something turns up because it's hard to get around without a "car" and it's even harder getting a new one. It's a real bummer but we're hopeful it will turn up.

Also we finally did some inland tours and saw the only active volcano in Central America, Arenal. We got some video of the rocks flying out of the top and down the mountain. At night we drove out into the jungle with a pizza and some beer and found a spot to watch the red hot lava ooze out and red rocks tumble down. And we found this hot springs under a bridge where the Ticos were swimming. We sat under a waterfall and let the hot water pour over us. I can't tell you how nice it was to take a break from working on the boat or dealing with medical crap and enjoy our trip to the volcano. When we have internet access again I'll try to post some photos.

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Exploring again

Posted on Tuesday Feb 19, 2008

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We managed to find room for 160 pounds of parts Sherrell brought down with her. I spent two days rebuilding our raw water pump which finally seems to be working normally. So now all our sails are working and so is the engine. We've been exploring the Nicoyo Gulf and charting some of the passages. We'll probably spend another 5 days or so in the gulf before heading further south.

The weather here is really strange for this time of year. Last night we had a thunderstorm and rain almost all night long. This is still supposed to be the dry season!

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Goodbye stone! Hello Sherrell!

Posted on Saturday Feb 2, 2008

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What a relief! Free (again)! I’m saving the surprise that my kidney stone is gone for tomorrow when I pick Sherrell up at the airport (she never reads the Slog, so shhhh…).  A winter storm is predicted for the day when Sherrell leaves, so I hope she escapes the snow especially since I’m going to pick her up in a rental car – what a splurge.

I still can’t believe the stone is gone, it happened this morning.  I think this is a record for 5mm stone passing so fast. I can’t complain, but I’ve also been unable to pin-point the root cause despite a bunch of tests. Apparently there are a few things they can’t test for down here, so I’ve gotta keep looking for a lab that can do more tests.

Onward ho!

Drawing of Gulf of Papagayo

Posted on Sunday Jan 27, 2008

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When we were struggling to cross the Gulf of Papagayo I dearly wished I could have photographed or video taped the experience. Our hands were full however, but the scene can still be played out in my mind so I decided to try to exercise it out of my head and onto paper. I'm not an artist so apologies for the quality, but you get the picture so to speak.

New Videos

Posted on Thursday Jan 24, 2008

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Want to kill some time and waste office resources?  Now you can do both by watching our poorly constructed and even poorly edited movies from Mexico and a wedding between people you probably don't know.  How is this possible for free?  Where could you find such a great treasure?  Right here on our site.   http://www.sailsarana.com/video_gallery.htm


Isn't it amazing how technology can help you waste time like never before?

The BIG day

Posted on Friday Jan 18, 2008

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Sherrell's mom is under the knife right now. Fortunately they are using laparoscopy so she should recover quicker than from open surgery. This is her very first operation ever, unless you count tonsils. You can imagine she's sweating it. I've got my fingers crossed all goes well and she recovers quickly.

As for me, I'm going to have more tests done. The doctor says my diet is "perfecto" and that nothing could really be improved. We discussed my theory about vitamin b (it comes from bacteria in dirt, but everything is so clean these days you can only get it from eating animals who have eaten dirt). I took B supplements in Mexico and for 3 years didn't have a problem. Also I'm getting tested for a problem that occurs with the para-thyroid that can produce stones. Unfortunately one of these tests requires me to travel for 2 hours on a bus carrying a large jug of my own piss iced in a cooler. Doesn't that destroy your idea of sailing in paradise?

I mentioned that low tide in the estuary is an event. Many sailboats are leaning way over in the mud, some of them still tied to docks. I haven't had a chance to get a good picture yet, so I borrowed this image from Leonidies. The current when the tides switches is pretty impressive, running at 3-4 knots or so. I'm going to do some more testing on our water towed generator here.

Also, Patches (our inflatable we rescued from the trash years ago) is now sporting 9 more new patches -- living up to its namesake! Only one of them is important, the others were just to help stop water from seeping in and making little puddles inside the dinghy. Hopefully they all hold so I can have my "car" back tomorrow.