Sailing Part 2 - Blogging is hard!

I’ve now realized playing catchup is near impossible when doing travel blogging. Unlike the Happiness Diaries which are able to be done well after the fact if needed, day to day activities, highs and lows, thoughts etc all seem to disappear if you don’t put pen to paper (of fingers to keyboard) relatively soon after. In this sense, I’ll be brief in my summary of the sailing trip so that I can concentrate on being up to date with my current travels.

  • Starting was a lesson in Frustration: with the good graces of United, continually being told the bag was on the next flight and to ‘please have patience sir’, we spent 5 days waiting in Colon Panama before calling it a loss and leaving. While we were waiting we decided to hike to some ruins (poor decision as 20km is a long walk! If it hadn’t been for a luckyi ride back from the ruins, we would have been traversing the jungle at night). We had an… interesting first provisioning at the local shopping center including a bus ride from hell where the driver decided to have a lunch stop at a chicken place for half an hour with a busload of people waiting.
  • Colon to Portobelo
    • Geoff was feeling… less than 100% and set up shop in the aft.
    • We made it up a very tough hike today... 15 minutes up a hill for an amazing view of Portobelo and its plethora of sunken ships. As you can see Geoff was very proud of the walk as he "trains" for a half ironman. (He's actually going to kill it when he starts training instead of drinking beer and getting sunburnt)
  • First impression of sailing the mighty 2nd Chance II – Its as smooth a sail as I could ever have dreamed of
  • Portobelo to San Andres was our first overnight sail
    • We had our first real experience with offshore sailing to get to San Andres... about 30 hours overnight from Portobelo. During the evening we also had our first big squall... what a sight to behold! I lack the literary talent to accurately describe it, however the best comparison I can think of is the rain and wind in the scene for Pirates of the Carribean when they're pounding through a storm and Gibbs asks "what had you in such fine spirits captain?" And Jack replies "were catching up".
  • Jesse showing us what’s what moped’ing around the island
  • Hard to believe the dichotomy in San Andres, the main tourist part is so unbelievably up kept with expensive duty free stores and beautiful walkways, outside the city it becomes almost ghetto-esque, so many areas look like at one time they housed beautiful beach bars and comfortable lounging… and now sit decrepit and abandoned.
  • Cheap AMAZING rum
  • Slid anchor – quite the morning wake up!
  • Providencia
    • Geoff and his coffee lol. Thankfully his need to follow and ad posted in town lead us to having conch, which while rubbery was worth trying… once
    • Beautiful snorkeling.
    • Amazing view from the point.
    • Fun ride around the island in a side by side… with all 5 of us AND coal! Outside of the area which is marine accessible there is a plethora of waterfront dive, and relaxation resorts that look like a great place to escape the world for a while.
    • 3rd biggest barrier reef in the world, I would LOVE to come back to go diving.
    • Overall a quaint little island that I would suggest visiting!
  • Escaping the Pirates of the Caribbean (er, pirates of Nicaragua)
    • “2nd Chance II brought us 438 nautical miles through two and a half nights, a pile of squalls, and a nighttime blackout zigzag through potential pirates, rocks, and reefs off the coast of Nicaragua. There have been a handful of pirate attacks off the coast in the last couple years and so we sailed it at night completely blacked out... We didn't expect to find 50+ boats fishing with light booms between midnight and 6:00am 100 or more miles off the coast. Between the darkness, the stories of boats being chased and boarded, the high winds and massive waves (on a 60 foot boat we couldn't see over the next while in the trough) and the exhaustion (we hit this tough section on our second night) it made for an extremely tense and exhausting night... despite the fact in all likelihood we were simply dodging people doing an honest days work.

      Once we finally rounded the point safely and started calmly sailing downwind and unwinding (read: frequent napping) it made for a great time to talk and think about where the line is between legitimate concern and illegitimate fear. All of us felt very real fear at certain points of the evening, or in some cases all night, and after the fact all thought it may have been excessive and lead to poor decision making at times. Does anyone know tips and tricks for managing fear? While traveling the world I assume this won't be my only encounter and I would love some skills to manage it and not let it impact decision making.”
  • Honduras
    • Two years ago my dad (on the right) was just finishing 30 rounds of chemo and a bone marrow transplant. Now he's captaining friends and family through the carribean 4 months a year on his appropriately named 2nd Chance II, and leading people half his age on hikes, snorkles and dives. While he's in remission, the timeline of free and clear living is always up in the air so he makes sure to be doing what he loves as much as possible (which mostly seems to be tinkering with the million things that need fixing on the boat lol). It's a great lesson in making sure to be taking the time to enjoy life all the time!
  • Belize
    • There used to be quite the house here! Someone had put all sorts of effort into building a house, manicuring palm trees for coconuts, growing real grass (a rarity down here!), building a breakwater and a dock... and now it's all in shambles. Roof gone, John Deer in pieces in the back yard, interior of the house stripped, dock destroyed. But, the pelicans and hermit crabs love it, and sure is a beautiful spot for sunsets!
    • Travel is incredible. Meeting amazing people, seeing spectacular places, sampling delightful food and drinks, experiencing entirely different cultures... brings such a high! My dad overheard me say this and said "You want high? Have I got a job for you!" then promptly sent me up the mast.