Panama to Galapagos 2015

By Art on (with 3 comments)


Distance (nm)
Average (kts)

After our Panama Canal Transit, we anchored off Panama City for a few days to do some last minute provisioning for fresh fruits and vegetables. We’d also been waiting for a good place to update our fishing gear and luckily found everything we needed to allow us to catch fish all the way across the Pacific.

After a few days, we moved over to the Pearl Islands to relax for a while before beginning our big passage onto the Galapagos Islands. Tracy and I visited one of the Pearl Islands, San Jose, back in 2007 when we flew our airplane around Central America. We spent a number of nights on this island at the Hacienda del Mar. Naturally, we wanted to revisit it and see if it was a nice as we remembered. It is! A very lovely place, far off the beaten track with wonderful hosts. We’ve stayed a few nights anchored off the resort and enjoyed touring the island with ATV's but tomorrow we’ll be starting the passage to San Cristobal, Galapagos. Our plans are to spend quite a bit of time there before moving out into the Pacific.

Passage Position

Log Entries

by Art, Isla San Cristobal, Galápagos

We arrived on the Equator at sunset last night and enjoyed some celebration before continuing onward toward the Galápagos. We still stil have very little wind but smooth seas which makes the motoring pleasant. Finally at about 01:00 local time we set anchor in the bay of Baquerizo Morneo on Isla San Cristobal. Off to sleep for now and we'll clear into port tomorrow morning (not too many hours from now!).

by Tracy

I walked up to the bowsprit and looked down, the water is deep blue, crystal clear, and six thousand feet deep, I took a breath and jumped. My body pierced the surface, the Pacific Ocean feels good, any fear I had was washed away, dissipated on the surface, replaced with an overwhelming sense of invigoration. I wanted to keep going, to keep diving down, down as far as the mountain tops beneath me. Surfacing I looked around, there was Giamma on the Hooka, and Andrea in his snorkel gear, my sudden appearance causing them to pause briefly from their last minute hull cleaning before we reach the Galápagos.

We are currently fifty miles from the Equator, bobbing around on a glassy flat sea, under a blinding sun, with the engine off and Jack Johnson playing on the sound system. Carmen jumps in, then Art, and for a few minutes it feels like we're at anchor somewhere instead of somewhere in the Pacific hundreds of miles from where we once were. Tonight we are planning a party, it's the Equator, so we must have a party. Carmen is making Pasta con Vongole, we have the Bellvista bubbly chilling, and perhaps some rum as well, we are ready, we are feeling good!

by Art

Just like yesterday as we are still motoring along however today we do have some winds to help us a bit so the genoa is out and our SOG is about 10 kts now. We are estimating arrival in San Cristobal, Galápagos sometime Friday morning. Aside from being able to sleep more easily (no heel angle to deal with in bed!) we can use the main computer so Tracy is busy editing our video from our travels from Antigua to the Panama Canal. It should be a really interesting video as we captured timelapse sequences of our canal transit using GoPros as well as all our nice footage from our time in Bonaire, Columbia and the San Blas Islands. Andrea took his turn at fishing and within 10 minutes of the line being out, caught a 20 kg sailfish. When Carmen saw it she insisted we let it go as we had just finished up the last large sailfish and found we greatly prefer the taste of a marlin or mahi-mahi instead. It was a magnificent fish though!

by Art

Not much to report, just motoring along in flat seas with no wind whatsoever. The sea temperature has gone from 23.5c back in Isla Pearls to 29.9c here. A huge difference however I think we'll soon see the influence of the Peruvian Current that should bring some colder water temperatures back. We need to stop mid-ocean before we get to the Galapagos and do one last cleaning of the hull as they will send a diver down to inspect as soon as we arrive. If there is any growth, we have to move 45nm off Galápagos to clean it again.

by Tracy

Galápagos bound. Our fore sail hangs like wet laundry, it was an optimistic move putting it out but at least we appear to be sailing perhaps to the many passing freighters...on second thought, probably not. We departed the Pearls this morning about 9:30, seas have been near glassy-flat all day but this is typical I'm told. The highlight was certainly the many whales we sighted just an hour or so after pulling up anchor, some very close to the boat.

Certainly a thrill for everyone, but in all honesty, only slightly higher up the scale than what came next: Carmen's pizza fata en casa- molto buona!!!! Tonight for dinner we will be having catch of the day as Art landed an impressive Mahi Mahi using one of the new and improved rod & reel rigs we picked up in Panama City. So even without wind we are managing to entertain ourselves- ciao a tutti! We are feeling good!!

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Comments so far

  • comment from Suzanne Suzanne on March 27, 2015

    Wow! What experiences. The Galapagos Is will be fantastic. I would love to dive into that deep blue water. Safe sailing and careful of those big lizards.

  • comment from Alberto&Patrizia Alberto&Patrizia on March 26, 2015

    Hi , we are anxious to see the video timelapse of the passage of the panama Canal.. Ciao a tutti buona navigazione per San Cristobal.

  • comment from Jp Jp on March 24, 2015

    Way to go... I don't know anyone who has been to the Galapagos first with their own aeroplane, next their own sailboat... Well done. Say hello to the blue footed bobbies!