We now know that due to issues with furling gear we are going to be too late to transit the Panama Canal for a Pacific crossing in Feb/Mar 2014. The alternative is to slowly make our way through the ABC Islands, Columbia, San Blas, Panama and down to Ecuador. From there we would cross to Galapagos early in 2015.
But we are thinking the unthinkable; not to transit at Panama.
We remained totally committed to a circumnavigation until arriving in the Caribbean. We can’t quite put our finger on it but we are not so enthused at the idea any more and stepping through Panama requires commitment. The decision process to perhaps return to Europe this summer is a hard one, agonising in fact, and there are no parameters to wrap around the decision making process. Searching for logic does not reveal any answers.
We have not been overly inspired by the Caribbean and the thought of doing many more months here does not thrill us. The long nights and security issues which restrict freedom, and will do even more so in some locations, don’t sit well with us. We are not adjusting very well to the slower pace of life and after seven months of living aboard we are starting to want for more. More energy, more speed, more choice, culture, variety in daily living. We also feel that we haven’t finished back home, haven’t reach the stage whereby we want to take ‘3 years’ out which is already extending to 4 and we can easily see a 5 year journey ahead if we go west.
So we are talking about sailing the Eastern Seabord of the USA or heading to the Mediterranean as opposed to Panama. And the hurdle we have set ourselves for Panama is simply that unless we are totally committed to the remaining 39,000 miles on the other side over 2 years then we are not going through. So one option we have is to defer the circumnavigation. That is attractive because we would like to make a number of adjustments to our boat particularly regarding energy generation & utilisation, outboard motor lift and probably folding davits. We discussed the addition of an arch but at $7000 USD for the structure alone before re-siting all the gubbins we think we would rather make it ourselves back home. We were well prepared for the Atlantic and we are fairly well provisioned for the Pacific yet not so good when it comes to living at anchor in the tropics.
We look at our blog photos and think how fantastic we would find them if we were sitting at home in the UK. But often a great set of photos will be interspersed with hanging around, liming in local parlance.
As far as Las Palmas we had an amazing time. It was busy, exciting, and we worked hard when not taking in the sights, sounds and tastes of different towns and cities. Now we are frustrated. So the discussion on next steps continues….