Jamaica-Panama – July 2013

Jamaica, Tuesday evening, July 2nd, 2013 


 These 5 days of navigation promise worthy of a fun fair: with a sea, let’s say … very rough , 30 knots crosswind with crossswell! It’d been 10 days that we were waiting for a “good” weather window to make this crossing considered to be difficult and dangerous, but with all the tropical waves that have been following one another, this is what we found best. Leaving Jamaica in the tail of a depression we will try to pass between two tropical storms and get to Panama before the next storm.

Just out of the bay of Port Antonio we are knocked about in all directions , waves 4 to 5 meters in the snitch, such as the wind. Ten hours like that, before we can take a route further West, direct to Panama .
I then get a message on the satellite phone from my nephew : ” Alexander has successfully passed his exams ! ” . This is a drop of strong emotion that broke the vase, I cry , I laugh with excitement, I jumped for joy. Oh Thanks Alexander for this gift, this intense moment of great happiness , I am SO proud of you !
This emotion is to accompany me during these five days of crossing that does not promise to be very pleasant.

2nd day crossing.
I have bruises and aches everywhere for banging myself at every big wave, storm-tossed like a plum tree. Fortunately the swell is not as short as we feared, the wind is good and allows us to sail flat out to Panama. If it continues like this our bet will be held and we will arrive before the next tropical storm that is already on the southern Caribbean islands..  

Video Camille cruising to Panama
3rd day

We pass between the cracks . We narrowly escape the huge storms that surround us and strengthen the sea and the wind, but we are spared each time. In these moments I am glad that we have a fast and solid boat. Planet Ocean splits the sea at full speed as a racing horse. But I must confess at these same times, when tiredness overtakes me, I wonder why we did not choose to do our world tour by bicycle or just by foot? Although don’t take me wrong, I have never regretted leaving and would not trade my place for a nice couch by a cozy fireside… Hmmm although… after this other big wave right in the face …. I ‘m soaked , salted to the bones … I’m going to try to make me a nice cup of tea (without scalding myself ).

P1010409P1010417How about the children would you say? Well, for them life goes on. School workshops in the morning (they even asked to do knitting or embroidery !) , good meals , naps lulled by the waves for Camille and  reading for Noé, then afternoon games: Lego, UNO etc. or miraculous fishing sessions and stories read by parents or by Noé. They find their rhythm quickly , although Noé complains occasionally waves shove a little too much when he wants to do his coloring or collages. In the evening we all admire the mighty spectacle of the sea and thunderstorms before going to bed or take a night shift.

4th day:  In the morning Panama is in sight!

We are approaching the island of Porvenir in the Kuna Yala (San Blas ) . We’re almost there , but the sky is threatening, a huge storm is brewing in the distance. I do not know if we’re going to escape this time …. I scarcely had time to write this last sentence that the storm was beating down on us! Suddenly a violent wind rises, heavy rain fell on us! It is night in broad daylight , we see nothing except when the lightning strike and electrify the raging sea . We are only at 3 miles from the shore, we must be extra careful because there are many reefs around here. Therefore we decided to make an about-turn until the storm passes . So close to destination we are already on the way back !

Afternoon : Phew finally arrived ! A good nap, a good meal and fatigue is almost forgotten. All in all we had great weather during the crossing ! 😉

The scenery is staggering, we really feel at the end of the world or in documentary from National Geographic. Very soon we meet the first Kuna Indians . I can feel that we aren’t going to leave so soon.

This is magnificent!

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