So I’ve got a fixed mouth and a fixed knee, compliments of one of our owners and one of our sponsors (nice to know doctors!). Other than body repairs, my brief time home was spent visiting my mom and sister, catching up with friends, and working with Jody on all those little things that keep The Best Odyssey operational. A littany of parts needed to be ordered, shopping for needed supplies, planning for future trips, and research for our 09′ season across Micronesia. This last bit entails hours and hours of hunkering down with guides, google earth, internet searches, airline schedules, pilot charts (which give averages of wind and current for specific times of the year). And while it is a bit grueling, it’s also fun imagining and fantasizing the places to come. We now have the first half of 09′ roughly sketched out across Micronesia: Kiribati, the Marshall islands, and much of the Carolines from Kosrae to Palau and dozens of islands in between.
The All-Pro invitational in Panama is also shaping up. Red Bull has joined on as a sponsor, three cinematographers and four different magazines are all coming down to cover the event. Who will actually be there is still a bit up in the air- nailing a pro down for their travel plans is harder than both the aforementioned surgeries combined!
But now to the business at hand. I flew back to Bonaire one day short of a month after I left, and 24 hours later Nico and I got underway for Cartagena, Colombia. The hope was to get to a place that had a facility to haul Discovery for some badly needed antifouling bottom paint, new zincs and a few other needed maintenance issues before we head into the South Pacific next year. That hope is still to be realized as we’re finding places big enough to haul Discovery in very short supply. The sail however was perfect. Strong Easterly tradewinds have been blowing for weeks and they continued for our three night trip (500 miles). It’s a little tiring running a boat with just two people as you get very little sleep, but for a passage ranked as one of the top 5 worst in the world (mammoth short seas and very strong winds are the order of the day), we had it easy. Winds from 20 to 30 knots blew consistently and barely moved in direction the entire trip. Discovery felt alive and happy to be underway again, gently skipping along downwind at impressive speeds for the duration. Other than flying fish smacking into the boat and flailing onto the decks at night, we had little else from the animal world for company. We did have a lot of traffic though. This route is plied by a seemingly never ending supply of cargo and tanker ships, plying the waters between South American ports and the Panama Canal. Coffee, plenty of coffee. Getting taken out by a tanker is not my idea of fun.
Our next trip starts Dec 6 in the San Blas, on the north central coast of Panama. We’ve got 10 days to try to coerce the local yard to haul us out, then get back in the water and sail onward. From Cartagena it’s under 300 miles, so we’ve time- but only just. So while we’re not coercing Nico and I will enjoy another foreign port, and a country neither of us has visited. Jody will join us in Panama (she prefers to skip the passages), so the next update will at least have some pictures!