Photos of Panama to Mexico to Hawaii Feb/Mar 2014

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Jim and Laura sailed as crew aboard SY Misty Blue starting in Shelter Bay Marina on the Caribbean side of Panama, through the Canal, up the coast to Mexico then across to Hawaii - a total of 6 weeks.

 To view larger photo, try double-clicking on the photo. For blog text relating to these photos, see four posts in April 2014 by clicking the "Blog Link" on the left side of this page then look for the calendar on the right of that page.

Ian and Yoli welcome us aboard at Shelter Bay Marina on the Caribbean (or North) side of the Panama Canal

Misty Blue outfitted with eight tires and four heavy duty lines for the Canal Transit

The Panama Canal advisor for the first leg of the transit through the Canal-Here he is giving advice.

The Panama Canal concrete walls before being floated to the top and on to the next lock. Above are canal workers that toss down a lead line in order to haul up the large lines that keep us centered in the locks. Daunting at times for a small boat.

Canal at night A very LARGE ship follows us in the lock for the transit. We all hoped his brakes worked.

Transit at night The first part of the transit was during the night. We followed a large ship and realized how small we were.

Second Day Pacific Side – The three boats had to quickly raft together against the wall and be set before a big tanker pulled in behind us pushing 1000’s of gallons of water our way. A lot of "pucker" factor here.

There is a group of beautiful islands within 50 miles of the Pacific Coast of Panama called the Los Perlas for the many pearls that were collected from their waters. We’re not sure how many are still being harvested. The islands have a few resorts and some very large vacation homes.

We were lucky enough to see whales while we were practicing man-overboard drills in the calm waters around the Perlas Islands.

We’ve seen this cruise ship The World in many different places; Cartagena and San Blas in the Caribbean and now Perlas Islands in the Pacific. The various size cabins are not just for rent for a short cruise but are for sale as good-sized condos. The ship sails around the world every year staying in many different ports and anchorages.

Yoli and Laura take advantage of calmer waters to prepare a meal. Ian insisted on doing most of the cooking which we appreciated not just because it was more difficult when the water was rougher but also because he made some tasty gourmet meals.

REPAIRS Ian kept busy and was on top of anything that needed repair. Here he reattaches a zipper in the window that would keep the water out of the cockpit if the weather got rainy or the waves got rougher.

Around Nicaragua we started seeing lots of turtles. They may have been there further on the trip but we’re as visible because of more waves then. One area had a lot of jellyfish and they must have been focused on eating because we could get right next to them before they would dive or swim away.

The Green Flash-Six weeks of sunrises and sunsets, we did capture one green flash. Really, it's green, honest.

Bounty of the Sea-Although we only had light tackle, Laura and Ian pulled in a few fish to add variety to our meals. A few good lures were lost to larger fish and once during a sail change (oops) but we weren’t able to fish when we sailed over 5 knots or in deep swells as the lures would fly off the tops of the waves.

A rusty fishing fleet in Puerto Madero. Some boats look like they wouldn’t stay afloat if the bilge pump lost power. We waited for two hours for a boat like these to finish fueling before we could get to the fuel dock and thus we almost had to leave in the dark.

Entering the channel for Puerto Madero to go to Chiapas Marina. This is the nice new cruise ship dock.

Meeting with the Marina staff and Ian discussing weather. The decision was to leave the next day – bummer, such a nice marina.

MEXICO! Celebrating our only stop before we head west to Hawaii.

Just another beautiful sunset on a passive Pacific Ocean.

After the final meeting with the officials in town, we were directed to a bus stop in order to get to the local WalMart. It next stopped at the hospital where it quickly filled up. Some of the riders practiced their English as we were leaving with “Have a nice day” and “Goodbyes” otherwise they tried not to look at us. They probably wished they could say, “You stink and you dress funny.”