It’s just we sorta forget to write blog post sometimes…..a lot.

We are currently in Panama City. Big town, lots to do. Lots to spend money on….holy crap are we spending money. Mostly stocking up on food and boat parts. Once we leave here and head out into the Pacific Islands everything gets very expensive. So we are stocking up now.

Before we got here to Panama City, we spent a month in western Panama. All very remote islands. Incredibly clear water. Unbelivable beaches. Unfortunately, 2 of our 3 cameras have broken and we are down to our big SLR, which we do not like to take on the more adventurous trips.

We do have some pictures to share though.

Tawn testing out our new dinghy/emergency liferaft. :)
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One nice thing is the telephoto lens we got for the camera. That is a howler monkey. The white spots?………his balls! Hell yeah!
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This one is a white faced Capuchin monkey. Unfortunately, you cannot see his balls.
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A bird
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Classic picture of the boat at anchor.
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Oh look! How very cool. A bunch of Bananas stung up and swinging in the cockpit.
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We traded some local Panamaian a couple D cell batteries, 1/2 a gallon of gas and a little bit of fishing line for that bunch of bananas, a basket of oranges and limes and 4 coconuts. Wanna know what is not cool about bananas. They all go ripe at the same time. What the hell are you supposed to do with a shit load of ripe bananas?

The remote islands of western Panama were awesome but as much as we would have liked to spend more time exploring them. We needed to get to Panama City so we could get some boat projects done before we took off for the Galapagos and the South Pacific Islands.

Mother nature however had different plans for us. The first day we attempted to round the point, we were having a great sail. Sailing in company with our friends on Papillion. About 30 mile from the point, the wind cranked up on the nose and we ran into a little current running a knot or two against us. Then the wind cranked up a little more. We were getting no where, so we turned on the motor and tried motor sailing. We were running lower on fuel than we thought and since we were healed so far over, we ended up sucking air into the fuel lines. So, Tawn kept sailing while I went below to bleed the fuel lines.

After that bit of fun we continued on and things mellowed out a bit. Started making good progress again…..until we weren’t. Punta Mala (Bad Point) is just that. It can be quite mellow. That day it was not.

We were getting 25-30 knots of wind on the nose with an adverse current of 2-3 knots pushing us away from where we wanted to go. We were getting a VMG of less than 1 knot. And big steep waves hitting us every 4-5 seconds. It sucked ass. So in order to save some very unnecessary wear and tear on the boat and rigging we fell off and headed 15 miles back to an anchorage called Bahia Benao.

So glad we did. We ended up staying there for a week. Surfing, hiking, getting stitches. We had a blast.

When the weather finally decided to cooperate we took off. By then there were 5 boats in the anchorage waiting to go. We all took off at the same time. Not gonna give you a blow by blow description of the crossing, but we did make it around the second time.

And in case you are wondering what it looks like. Here is the a picture from about 3 miles away.
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We spent a quick couple days in the Las Perlas Islands and have been here in Panama City since getting ready to sail out to the Galapagos.

Panama City skyline.
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In the case you are reading this and our confused as you thought we already fixed our engine mounts and had already been to Tikal…you are correct! This is a lost post I just found. I am currently working on updating the blog and will have some more posts with photos up soon.

Stand by for progress!

CB is seriously deep in the bilge replacing engine mounts, and I am catching up on blog posts…so here we go with our trip to Tikal. Since it was soooooo cool and we had many amazing photos from here I will dedicate a whole post to this place. Although many have seen these exact same photos from other friends/family that have traveled to Tikal, we will continue to be those people showing off our not so interesting photos of our vacation :-)

A short history is that Tikal was mentioned in many Spanish conquistadors journals, but no one ever knew what they were describing. It was not until the mid 1800’s that explorers located what we now know as Tikal and started studying the areas. Due to the remoteness of the area, not much happened in Tikal other than very lengthy and strenuous expeditions to the region to begin understanding and unearthing the ruins. Not until the mid 1900’s did Tikal start becoming what we see today. This was largely due to the airstrip being built that allowed easy access to the area. For more info. on Tikal go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tikal. This park is now a national park and also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

This was our first time seeing monkeys and exotic jungle birds….so pardon all the sort-of out of focus pictures of trees with blurry animals in them. But in a nutshell, this is Tikal. It was a very mind blowing experience.

We got to the park late in the day due to the 5 chicken bus mode of transport. But this turned out to be good. This way we bought a pass that was good for the evening and also the next day. There are 3 or 4 lodges in the park that offer package deals for room, food and tour. We chose to take the early sunrise tour that leaves the hotel at 4 am. This tour hikes out to the temple of the serpent head, or Temple #4.

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The north Acropolis and Great area featuring the famous Temple #1 on the left and temple #2 on the right.

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Temple # 1 again…lots of photos of this temple

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You can no longer climb temple #1, but the opposite side has a wooden stair case built around temple #2 with a viewing platform. This is a rare thing to have this photo with no people in it. Usually you can’t even see the grass. Benefits to travelling during rainy season.

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The great area was reconstructed by archeologists to give a feel of how the upper class Mayans lived.

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Monos! I think this is a howler monkey. They may be little…but the noise they make sounds like a 600# gorilla.

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These ruins are where the middle class lived…the po’ folk lived on the outskirts in huts that are long gone.

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More middle class housing.

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This dude had a big ol’ box of Fruit Loops in his talons right before I snapped this shot.

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I give you the Jackelope of Tikal…some sort of chicken rooster thing with a little vulture mixed in?

The next morning we woke up at 0 dark thirty and headed out into the park with a guide. The idea is that as the jungle wakes up you sit on the top of Temple #4 and watch the sun rise over the canopy….sometimes…during rainy season it is foggy and no sun appears…but it was still cool as hell!

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5 am view of Temple #4 that we would soon be climbing. If this looks familiar it is because it was the backdrop in The Empire Strikes Back when the Millenium Falcon flew over the moons of Endor.

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We bought this cool little carving from a kid in Belize. We decided to bring it to the temple with us to get some good Mayan vibes in it before putting it in the boat.

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This temple just pops straight up out of the jungle while hiking. It is currently being stabilized after earthquake damage, they hope to have it open again soon.

There were so many pictures to choose from. I literally took hundreds. I hope these give you all just a taste of how amazing this place was. If you ever get a chance to go to Tikal, don’t miss it.

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The obligatory Temple selfie….

I have a new nemesis.

I used to have a lot of them. Alarm clocks, hangovers, well meaning but annoying managers (Sorry, to any ex-managers reading this), the Ballard bridge…..the list goes on.

My current nemesis is a small crab. No bigger than a Chicken McNugget (the round one) only not as thick. Actually, I don’t know if it is one single, insanely tenacious crab or a series of crabs that are networked together and have some sort of crab jihad against me and my knot meter.

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::Definition::
Knot Meter: Small, ridiculously delicate paddle wheel that spins as water rushes past it as the boat moves though the water. The RPMs of the paddle wheel are then transferred to a chart plotter to let us know how fast we are moving through the water. Crabs or no crabs, they never really work very well or for very long. Which explains why they are so expensive.
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The fact that it is not working is not really a big deal, since we also get our speed from the GPS. But the GPS gives us speed over the ground, which is usually different than our speed through the water. In other words, it doesn’t really fuckin matter. But it’s there, and I want it to work. And it would work if not for these pesky freedom hating crabs.

The problem is the small hole that the knot meter is mounted in is almost exactly the same size and shape as a thin Chicken McNugget (the round one). Which unfortunately is also the same size as this goddamn crab(s).

At each anchorage, one of us will dive overboard and swim under the boat to free up the knot meter. Each time a little crab will scurry out of the Nugget hole (scaring the shit out me). I try to smash it, but it is to fast. It will then disappear. I never see it again. Each time I think, “HA, that got it”, and go about the rest of my day. And each time we haul up the anchor to go to the next place the knot meter is not working because the crab has crawled back in the hole and jammed up the knot meter.

I do get a little pleasure imagining the little bastard pinned down in the little Nugget hole by one of the paddle wheels. But it’s fleeting….

Maybe i’m over thinking this. Maybe these little crabs are just stupid and have no idea about me or anything outside their little world. They may just see the Nugget hole and think, “Hole. I fit. Eat stuff”

Anyway, we are in Panama. Should be in Panama City in about a week. Will have some internet then and will post some pictures. Hopefully one of a dead crab…and maybe one of some Chicken McNuggets. I’m sorta craving them now.