It was an emotional few days leaving Alberta after we drove out from BC, to say goodbye to family. But we finally made it to Panama. Lucky for us, Kris decided at the VERY LAST MINUTE to come with us, and it was really a blessing. We had so much to sort out, bring with us, and figure out, that the extra strong arms and emotional support was really nice to have. Thanks Kris!
We adventured by plane back to Panama, and with each we carried the maximum allowed amount of luggage. I’m sure we looked like quite an ordeal with our son, Kris joining us for the Christmas break and Mizzen in tow with more luggage than we could carry.
Mizzen was a real champ on the plane. She came in the coach with us, as she was designated as an “emotional support dog” and she sat under the seat most of the time, not making a peep. On one flight, the steward had forgotten she was even there when we exited the plane.
We took about a week to settle into the new digs, and then took a look at the weather picture. Uggghhhh.
Because Kris was only with us for a few more weeks, we really wanted to get him over to the San Blas, so, we sailed out of Shelter Bay into the 25 knots and 3 meter seas toward Portobelo, where we stayed for a few days. Portobello is a funky little town and the closest point to San Blas that you can get any services like shops and hardware stores.
Kris had been there when he cruised as a child, so it was nice for him to return and see the place again. The World Heritage site of Fort Lorenzo was still as he remembered it.
After Francis Drake died of dysentery in 1596 at sea, he was said to be buried in a lead coffin near Portobelo Bay. From the 16th to the 18th centuries, Portobelo was an important silver-exporting port in and one of the ports on the route of the Spanish treasure fleets. The Spanish built defensive fortifications throughout the town and bay.
Onto San Blas at the next possible break in the weather. December is known for the “Christmas winds” in this area at this time of year; Strong Easterly winds that will keep most sailors at anchor. Most. We went to San Blas. And the wind blew…. And blew…. And it rained, And blew… and the day Kris left San Blas, three weeks later, the wind quit and the sun shone. Sorry Kiddo. But we enjoyed the time together very much, getting used to Mischief with an extra pair of hands. Very much appreciated.
Kris and Mizzen were virtually inseparable they time he was with us. Except when we went swimming… Miz was not a fan of the water.
Finally in Feburary, we got word that our crate was to arrive in Panama so we headed back to Shelter Bay.
It was a 4x4x41/2 foot crate, strategically packed to use every available space to its best advantage. Tools, galley equipment, clothing, parts, whatever we “thought” we “needed”. Did I mention that Mischief was a 42 foot boat? I guess we thought it was bigger- but that comes later….
We received our crate, about 6 weeks later. About 4 weeks later than expected, after it had its own journey across Canada, and back, into the US ( or not) and finally to Panama. It’s a story in itself. Unfortunately, we were quite disappointed upon its damaged arrival. Remember I said “strategically packed” Well that’s NOT how it arrived.
It came damaged, rummaged thru, unpacked, things broken and items missing. We were very disappointed. But hey! That’s what Insurance is for, right? WRONG! Read the fine print if you ever insure things for transport. Again, another story. We did manage to get a small claim thru, but it wont replace what was damaged or “lost” . Move on. … we did. And we managed to get the rest of the items in the crate into Mischief…. Sort of.
To make a long story short,…. We loved Mischief, and she was a fantastic sailing boat. However, we found that she just a tad small for us, and with the issues with Kelly’s back, climbing in and over the combing and around the boat was difficult. We decided to put her up for sale and look for something a bit larger- perhaps back to a Catamaran. Being a desirable blue water cruising boat, Mischief sold quickly to a Brazilian couple with very little sailing experience.
They bought her sight unseen, but on a friends recommendation who had seen her.
We taught them what we could in a short amount of time and let the sail off into the sunset. And we would meet them in San Blas a few weeks later.