Tuesday, September 23, 2014

We've left Panama City

We haven't gone far, we're about 40 miles south.  We are anchored off Isla Contradora in the Pearles Islands waiting for a weather window.  It looks like we might make the big break Thursday.

Kenny called the evening we arrived here to check on how things were working.  Thanks Kenny for your concern.

Dare I say it...we're leaving.

We have a date picked out....sometime soon, maybe Sunday. 

We will leave the Yacht Club and re-anchor in Los Brisas on the east side of the Causeway.  Total distance: two or three miles.  We need to clean Grace's bottom of scum that has formed from the almost daily diesel slicks and remove barnacles that have attached themselves during the last several months.  I suppose I could dive on the bottom here, but this water is so retched there is no way I'm gonna do it.

So, around to the other side, clean the bottom a shove off.  Finally. 

I have to admit to being nervous about this.  I don't have much confidence in the repairs we have been making on Grace.  I'm pretty sure the engine is ok, but need to run it for a while.  Same with all the other things we have worked on: water maker, SSB radio, autopilot, refrigerator, batteries, autopilot etc. We will be underway for some 40 days getting to the Marquesas' and I wonder what is going to break next.
And then there is the radio.  We have an ICOM 802 marine shortwave radio that we will use to communicate with other boats that will be leaving about the same time as us.  We will also use it to pull down weather reports. 

When I was going to school I had the bad habit of trying to cram a semester's worth of knowledge into my head the last couple of days before the finals.  I never liked studying much and would put it off as long as possible.  I remember chastising myself for being so immature and making promises that next semester would be different.  Never happened.  I forgot the pain of those few days, and regressed to my usual mode of just hanging out.

Well, the radio is a return to those old days.  I don't like it, don't understand it.  All the buttons and dials have a purpose and even though I have passed the ham test, I don't know much beyond how to turn it on, and that I must push the "push to talk" button on the mike.  So I have been in the cram mode learning how to get our weather.  And the fellows who have set up the system, call Winlink" have made it a non trivial exercise.  I think I have it figured out and have been testing the email service.  I still have to figure out what weather reports we want to receive over the radio while underway.