Sailing east to west, no sight of land

Written by David Townsend

1, April 2007

Possition08°33’645N 078°59’487W

Pacific Ocean

Hi dear friends, thank you for following my journey. Here is this week’s update.

Pacific Ocean

Sailing east to west, no sight of land.
Trade winds steady, sea of calm.
Turquoise bright, wave tops of white.
Dolphins jumping, sound of distant whales.
Sailing into the sunset, like the beginning of time.

Life Onboard:
After weeks of waiting, we are finally in the Pacific however, before setting sail we spent a few days looking around Panama City.

The city has a varied and rich history, you can best see this by visiting the ‘Museo del Canal Interoceàinico. The museum is located on the southern side of the ‘Plaza de la Independencia’ or central plaza. This was once the headquarters of the French company that first worked on the canal and was turned in to the museum in 1997.

Panama city was founded on the site of an Indian fishing village by the Spanish governor ‘Pedro Arias de Àvila’ in 1519, not long after the explorer ‘Vasco Nuuez de Balboa’ first looked upon the Pacific and claimed it and everything it touched as the property of Spain.

The Spanish settlement known as ‘Panama’ quickly became an important centre of government and church authority. It was from Panama, too that the gold and other plunder from the Pacific Spanish colonies were taken along the Camino Real, or Kings Highway and the Sendero Las Cruces (Las Crucces Trail) across the isthmus to the Caribbean.

This treasure made Panama the target of many attacks over the years. In 1671 the welsh buccaneer Sir Henry Morgan and 1200 of his men ransacked the city. A terrible fire ensued – no one knows for certain whether it was set by the pirates or be fleeing landowners – leaving only stone ruins, now known as Panama Viejo, or old Panama.

Three years after Morgan’s assault the city was re-established 8km to the Southwest

Next came the shopping, I have enough food to last until I reach New Zealand OR for nine months depending on which comes first. Hopefully New Zealand as that means I will be out of the Pacific for the hurricane season.

After helping out ‘Heretic’ with there boat problems we departed the anchorage and set sail upon the Pacific, our destination would be a little Island within the Archipelago De Las Perlas called Isla Contadora. We departed the anchorage at 22:00hrs (GMT) (17:00hrs L) as the evening breeze developed, the thinking was this would carry us clear of all the ships at anchor on the Pacific side of the Canal. After that we would drift along on the current until early morning when I hoped the wind would once again develop.

The Islands are Famous for its pearls, one in particular warn by many Spanish queens, our dear queen and then owned by Elizabeth Taylor.

This morning we lifted anchor after spending the night off a deserted Island called Isla Mogo Mogo on route for the Isla Del Rey.

The Boat:
The only problem was a blocked filter in the water maker system; this was cleaned and tested ok. The repairs to the bimini damaged during the seas in the Colombian Basin will be carried once we anchored later today.

Fair winds and calm seas.