Position Reports

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Latitude Longitude Date / Time (UTC) Depth (m) Speed (kts) Course (°T) Comment
8° 35.691' N 79° 36.106' W 05 Feb 2018 13:25 10.0 None None Motored another 15 miles to Isle Otoque. This will be my jumping off point for rounding Punta Mala (Bad Point) which is notorious for rough seas and high winds. I will wait here for what looks like a Wednesday morning departure with hopes of hitting Punta Mala at slack high tide at 21:30 Wednesday night. Except for some Panamanian fishing boats I am the only other boat here. This is a quiet, big calm bay with good holding and protection from the north winds. A nice quiet spot to get ready for this 170 mile hop.
8° 47.996' N 79° 33.108' W 03 Feb 2018 12:54 7.7 None None I was still a bit on edge wondering if I would have the same issues with the engine today as I did yesterday. But after bleeding the fuel system and blowing out the vent lines all seemed fine. I pulled the hook and headed out. I motored the whole way (only 7 miles) with no issues at all - Dropped the hook in Tobago just before 1pm. The anchorage is a bit rolly and there were party boats playing loud music and boats zipping by making an already rolly anchorage worse. But as the evening fell all those boats cleared out and the sound of the surf can be heard on the island which is better than Guns & Roses blaring. All is well.
8° 54.397' N 79° 31.554' W 02 Feb 2018 12:45 6.0 None None The plan was to leave Balboa Yacht Club and head for Taboga Island about 10 miles away. I dropped the mooring and headed out - about 2 miles down in the middle of one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world with a tanker on my stern Solstice's engine died. She wouldn't restart - I suspected the problem but there was nothing I could do at the moment. Fortunately I had a 15-20 knot breeze blowing and was able to get the jib rolled out and control of the boat again. I sailed Solstice out of the way and then I found through the help of some cruisers on the radio that there was an anchorage at the end of the peninsula that I could sail into. I had to tack back and forth a few times but I was able to get Solstice into the bay enough to drop the hook under sail. A tender to a super yacht came over and then helped me bring Solstice in closer. After the initial stress and panic eased I got busy - it's too long a story to write here but basically the engine had an air lock from the result of back-pressure created from a clogged air vent line. I was able to get her started and blew out the vent lines which had fuel in them the next morning. All is okay but it turned out to be quite the stressful day of losing one's engine and being forced to sail to get out of the Panama Canal Pacific entrance. It's always an adventure.
8° 56.18' N 79° 33.33' W 25 Jan 2018 16:20 7.7 None None Our 2 day transit that was supposed to begin late this evening where we would go through Gatun Lock on the Atlantic side, spend the night at a mooring in Gatun Lake and then finish our transit the morning the day of the 26th was suddenly changed at 10 pm the night of the 24th when the marina manager came down the dock and informed us that instead of leaving the next day at 5pm we needed to be ready at 3am and leave the marina by 4am and meet our canal advisor who would ride with us and we'd transit the entire canal in one day. What at first was a huge pain in the ass turned out to be one of the most magical days of this entire adventure. I had a great crew aboard - My brother Andy and his cousin-in-law Joe and then Jack and Zdenka from Kite and Jim and Emma from Blue Sky. We had an amazing day going through all the locks being the center boat with two boats side-tied through each lock with Solstice. The opening of the last gate and Solstice heading out into the Pacific was a moment I will treasure and never forget. And it was so awesome to share it with people I love and care about deeply. It was an amazing day as all helped in bringing me and Solstice back into our home Ocean. There are so many words that come to mind but the best one that described the day was magic. Solstice is back in the Pacific.
9° 22.039' N 79° 57.027' W 16 Jan 2018 15:40 None None None Arrived at the fuel dock in Shelter Bay Marina after over 6 hours of motoring in a confused sloppy and rolly sea. We topped up with fuel and Solstice finally entered into her slip at 15:40. I'll spend a few days here getting ready to head through for Solstice's transit through the Panama Canal. Scheduled transit day - Jan. 25th. Solstice will be in the Pacific on the 26th and back into her home Ocean... mine too. YAHOO!!!

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Vessel Particulars

Name: Solstice

Length: 14.0

Draft: 2.0