Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Preparing Irie for Her Pacific Journey

From the moment Mark and I decided to leave the Caribbean, transit the Panama Canal, and head into the South Pacific last October, we have been busy with preparations and planning. From ordering things online (Mark went to the USA for ten days), onshore shopping – and all the frustration that comes with that here in Panama – getting rid of unnecessary and heavy items on board to doing boat projects, fixing things, thoroughly cleaning and organizing cupboards and cabinets; it all takes a lot of time and energy.

After arriving in Panama City, on the Pacific side of the country a couple of weeks ago, the work started in earnest! Here are marine stores, supermarkets, hardware stores, malls and specialty shops a bus or a taxi ride away. It all takes a tremendous amount of time and determination, but we think we are almost ready. While Mark was in the United States, taking care of his sick sister and picking up the massive amount of needed boat parts, I provisioned Irie – one shopping trip, cab full and dinghy ride at a time - organized and cleaned everything and stocked the boat to the gills (including the bilges). She is as full as she has ever been and now we are a bit worried about her weight. Hopefully she can still sail fast!

The coming days we hope to finalize the shopping and searching for useful items to have aboard. We’ll do laundry – one last time in a real machine – and check out of the country, buy diesel, gasoline and water. And, maybe we should have a look at the charts as well! :-) The realization we are finally leaving Panama and starting a new adventure is slowly setting in. The meeting about the Galapagos islands we had yesterday with other cruisers helps and talking to friends with similar plans is finally getting us excited! This weekend, we hope to sail to the Las Perlas islands, where we hope to spend a few relaxing weeks and set off to the Galapagos islands.

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