Reflections on a year in the Caribbean

From our first landfall in St Lucia on January 6th 2012 to our Panama Canal transit on January 26th 2013 we have had an incredibly varied sailing experience in the Caribbean Sea. Our twelve month tour of this area took us to 15 different countries in...

Red tide at Taboga

Ahhhhh, Taboga. Only 7 little miles from the hustle and bustle of Panama City but it might as well be another world. We like it here immensely, in fact, it wins our prize for the place we’ve liked most in all of Panama. Why? Well, for starters...

The Panama Canal

So we talked about it, planned it and worried about it for so long that the actual Canal transit seemed like an absolute doddle (does this remind anyone of all our talk of the Bay of Biscay?). We had decided to use a canal agent as our month in the...

Adamastor Admeasured

Yes – we’re finally doing it. The path between the seas beckons, we have our transit date for the Panama canal. We returned from the San Blas islands to Portobelo and were greeted by a mountain of admin back in the UK that had accumulated from a...

Ernesto and the dark month

Those of you who have been jealous of all our fine Caribbean sunshine will feel vindicated by this post. It is rainy season in Panama and we expected a lot of downpours during the time we spent here. However, what we didn’t know is that the locals...

Lies, more lies and statistics

Our arrival into Bocas del Toro Panama is a bit of a milestone. It means we’ve been on the sea for 8 months (at the time of writing it was June 11th) and are almost done with the Caribbean. It’s a natural time of reflection as getting to Panama...

‘Tis the season to get moving

It’s May 27th and we’re still in Isla Mujeres, Mexico (see, when I said a few posts back that we needed a break I really meant it!). Trouble is, the earliest that hurricane season has been known to start is May 29th. What with the dragging...

Thunderbolts, lightning, very very frightening

It is 3:30am and we are both awake. There are storms coming in from Florida and there have been warnings of them all week as a cold front stretches from Miami all the way to North East Honduras. There is talk of 40knot winds, high seas, heavy rain,...

Any pets, guns or jetskis?…

…Is the first thing I am asked when we arrive in Tortola, in the British Virgin Islands. The question is asked in a dead pan, humourless voice, by an official at a tiny ferry dock. I am too tired to really register what is being said, so my...

Many hands make light work

Sint Maarten / St Martin is dual owned Dutch and French even though it’s only a tiny island. It’s an absolute boating mecca as the Caribbean’s two biggest chandlery stores are based here so it’s the best place to stock up on any spare parts...

A hop, skip and a jump

I thought that it was important to write something about our passage-making these days. Moving up the islands in the East Caribbean has been quite a varied experience. First of all because each island itself is a distinct, individual country of...

Land of rainbows

Approaching Dominica we understood instantly why we were given a warning about tricky anchoring there. It looks like something prehistoric. The island is so mountainous and steep-to that the coastal waters are mostly too deep to drop the hook...

The French Caribbean

Martinique, our playground for the last week or so was a strange beast. Imagine everything that you have pictured in your mind about a tropical Caribbean island; then add the rastas, resplendent with their dreadlocks and spliffs; include the...

Not your average milk run

The crossing of the Atlantic ocean from East to West is known among sailors everywhere as the ‘milk run’ primarily because it is supposedly straightforward and simple if approached at the right time of year. The instructions for sailing from the...

Underway

This is just a quickie post to say that we will leave Gibraltar tomorrow, heading for Ceuta and Smir in Morocco for a couple of days and then on to the Canaries. We should be in the Canaries around the 12th of December. We might have time for another...

James and the Art of Adamastor Maintenance

We had always planned that our time in Gibraltar would be a time of prepping the boat for the big Atlantic crossing. Much though we would love to fill our days tripping merrily up to the rock to commune with the monkeys we have some serious work to...