Posted by: williekp | March 4, 2012

On the starting line for a big adventure!

Sorry for the gap in updates. All the farewells are spoken, the going away party thrown and cleared up. Thanks everyone for coming and thanks for all the individual messages of support from those who offered them. You know who you are and they are very welcome. It is very interesting because going away on a trip like this seems to bring relationships into focus and people have been very supportive and genuine in their well wishing for me and their offers of support for Sarah.

My journey to Panama went mostly according to plan. It took over two hours to clear immigration in Miami. I was met by our other “crew” at the airport in Panama which was kind and de- stressed finding the boat etc. He negotiated what looked like half price with the taxi, which fell apart at the marina when the driver refused the agreed fare and threatened the police etc if we didn’t pay what he demanded. There must be a taxi driver gene that is ubiquitous around the world causing tourists to be ripped off and pissed off.

The owners and my crewmate are all great and the vibe is good. That can always change of course, but right now I am totally comfortable with all the people with whom I will share this adventure. That is a big hurdle. Time has been spent so far provisioning the boat with trips to the “local” supermarket 15 miles away. We fitted the foresail yesterday which has been in storage for a year. It is a sign of the owners preparedness , that when we discovered some scratches on the sail that potentially could become rips, we could choose which of the two sewing machines we have on the boat that was best and repair the sail on the pontoon prior to hoisting it. The picture below says it all.

My job today has been a bit of IT support setting up software on a laptop that will enable us to pick up e-mail and weather reports when on the longer passages. The laptops have not been used for about a year so there are a lot of software updates and glitches to straighten out. Fortunately that was successful.

If everything goes according to plan, then we transit the canal on Tuesday 6th March and spend about one more week in Panama finishing off the boat preparations and provisionin,before a shake down cruise to the Las Perlas islands which will be our jumping off point for the Galapagos. I will try to post again before we leave Panama.


  1. Hi Billy . Nice to hear from you . Dad told me you rang tonight . Its all so far so good with you then ,Rang Sarah last night to say hello .Hope you all get off on schedule ok . Good Luck . Marie x

  2. Hello to Willie and all the crew. I wish you well as you begin your adventure. I’ve got a pile of ironing to do… not quite as exciting!
    Whatever happens… have fun!

    Happy sailing.
    Love Di

  3. Have you caught anything yet Willie?

    • Only gout! Will be fishing properly in a few days.

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