Posted by: williekp | March 18, 2012

What a great first 24 hours with one exception

Well, we finally set sail from Panama around 10.30. We motored out using the channel that the huge ships use. It was low tide so there was not much traffic. Once we cleared the channel we found about 15 knots of wind on the beam and set all three sails. The electric winches will take a little getting used to but they make the process of raising and lowering the sails incredibly easy. No need for Hosey knots or any of that malarkey. The boat sailed beautifully making 7 or sometimes 8 knots with virtually no heeling. We trolled lures looking for tuna or wahoo but no success. We dropped anchor as planed at Isla Contadora around 5 pm and settled down to a St Patrick’s day dinner of Willie’s chicken curry. According to the guide book we are anchored by chance off the only nudist beach in all of Panama. It’s name translates to ‘Swedish Woman’s beach. I haven’t seen her yet . The one fly in the ointment was the news that Ireland had gone down heavily to England at the rugby in Twickenham. So Mike, Richard, Trevor, Kev, Phil A, Chris, John B et al enjoy your day in the sun and I am glad I wasn’t there to watch it. There is still a bit of light pollution here because this island is populated, however the sky was spectacular and bodes well for later in the trip.

We went to bed around 8.30 and got up just after it got light around 6 am. While we were having breakfast and trying to decide what we wanted to do today we noticed fish busting the surface close to the boat. Frantic race to untie and launch the dinghy so that Florian and I could take my spinning rod and have a go. First couple of attempts failed. We got too close with the outboard and put them down. Next attempt put us amongst them but no takes. I knew that they were tuna so off with the wire leader and straight to 35 lb mono. Next time we got in range we had a tug but no hook up. Very frustrating. Next time wham , a nice 3.5 kg Bonito. Shortly after another, so back to the boat to fillet them and hand over to Myra who had her recipe books at the ready. The trip has a long time to run but what a fantastic start. More later.



  1. Loving the blogs Willie and you look great!
    Trev says you owe him a fiver, no cheques! He also says the Irish scrum was as bad as your squash.

  2. Read your message out to Dad who says you had better luck than when you and he went fishing then!!
    I will read him out all your posts.
    Hey, you look happy and you are looking slimmer by the day!! Whoop whoop!! xx Lynda

  3. Very jealous, Willy, but surely Largs hasn’t lost its shine?? Looking forward to the first wahoo picture once you get further out.
    Al would be proud.

    • Hi Sturge, having a good time and learning a lot. Looking forward to exploring Galapagos and doing some diving. Keep the comments flowing. W

  4. Our Billy,

    Glad to hear you caught some fish without hooking yourself (Rio Flush, circa 1964-ish?).

    Saw Dad quite a bit last week – Marie, George & Mae too. Dad is going for his second visit to Mullan Mews. Will let you know what’s happening.


    • Thanks Andy. Dad has dug his heels in but is getting better attention at home through social services.

  5. Good to see you’ve christened the rod. Must be great to have your own ghillie putting you on the fish 🙂

    And the rod survived too……things are definitely on the up.



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