I Put These Pants on for Nothing – The Other Side of Sailing Life

I Put These Pants on for Nothing – The Other Side of Sailing Life

There are two sides to cruising life.  One side, the dreamy side, is all rainbows, fair winds and seahorses. The other side is the prep, planning and work that goes into making the dream (and the next destination) possible.  One doesn’t exist without the other.

Now that we’ve transited the Panama Canal and we’re sitting in the Pacific Ocean, we have a long list of “to do’s” before we can go sailing off into the South Pacific sunset.

So, without further ado…click the play button and join us for some “typical” cruiser days.

And so, this is the other side of cruising life.  The seemingly simple errands and tasks that somehow eat up days that can quickly turn into weeks.  Luckily, we’ve got an extra fire burning under our backsides…a schedule!

I know we always say schedules are the enemy but, in this case, it’s our absolute positive motivation. Because spoiler alert, we have some very special guests joining us next week.  So stay tuned!

Please and Thank You

If you’ve been following along now for a while now you may have noticed us mention our Say Thanks page.  It’s a page dedicated to all the different ways you can help keep these videos and posts flowing.  If you enjoy our videos, find them helpful, entertaining or useful then please click over and check it out.  You’ll notice most ways don’t cost you a penny but make a big difference to us.  And for that, we thank you!

Tidbits from this episode

Mast work is seriously no fun in rocky waters…but it’s good heavy weather training.  If I ever have to go up the mast while at sea in an emergency, I’ll know to expect a wild ride.

Tides on the Pacific side of Panama are 18-20 feet, choose your dinghy placement carefully.  It’s crazy (and scary) to watch it all change so quickly.

crazy tides and dinghy docks in Panama City

crazy tides and dinghy docks in Panama City

crazy tides and dinghy docks in Panama City

Las Brisas anchorage does have a beautiful view of the city.  We lucked out with a few calm days and the huge bay is perfect for paddle boarding. But with dramatic tides come dramatic currents. I suggest paddling at slack tide.

stand up paddle boarding panama city

General, unsolicited life advice:  Ice cream makes everything better.

ice cream makes everything better

When In doubt, follow the cats lead.

cat nap in the captains chair

Sailing Report

To see our full map with interactive pins, click here:

panama city sailing map

  • Dates: 12/5 – 12/19/2017
  • Cell & WiFi:  Because we’re so close to the city, we had great cell reception all around.


The Island of Taboga has an adorable little town but the anchorage isn’t well protected and there is a lot of boat traffic. There are a few mooring balls but no docking options. We were allowed to drop each other off at the ferry dock but couldn’t tie the dinghy up, which made it challenging to explore the island.  There were plenty of pangas moored nearby, but they rarely moved.

taboga island anchorage panama

taboga island anchorage panama

There are two main anchorages that we found near Panama City.  Both are marked on Active Captain.

La Playita – A good place to drop the hook depending on what you need.  The weekly dinghy dock fee isn’t too bad if you plan on using the dock for the entire week.  Plus, if you plan on going into the city at night, it is the only safe place to leave the dinghy.  The boat traffic here can get hectic.  The marina has fishing boats coming in and out, plus there is a ferry that picks up and drops off throughout the day.  The worst wake comes from the pilot boats going to and from the panama canal.  In other words, be prepared for lots of wake action.  During our stay it was generally calm at night and not horribly unpleasant during the day…just a little annoying.

la playita anchorage panama city

Las Brisas de Amador – This seems to be the cruiser hang out.  We met lots of awesome peeps coming and going here.  The free public dock has lots of traffic. There’s sharp metal edges (i.e. tear a dinghy up), a bridge that crushes unsuspecting dinghy’s at high tide and you’re competing with the full-time liveaboards who think they own the dock.  It’s only safe to leave your dinghy during daylight hours and the local cruisers said the dinghy and engine must be locked to prevent theft.  We were told people who left their dinghy at night had parts or the whole boat stolen. We never had any issues but sometimes struggled to find a safe spot to tie up to on busy days.

Generally speaking we preferred the boat wake induced la Playita anchorage…at least during our stay.  The winds on Las Brisas side would often pick up from the north to northeast and create an unpleasant anchorage, and an extremely bouncy dinghy dock.

las brisas anchorage panama city

las brisas anchorage panama city

Sailing Specific Gear

Cameras Used to Capture This Video

Full Review Of All Our Camera Gear:


Hello there! I honestly don’t know what to say, so I am going to tell you a bunch of random facts instead. I'm a fish eating vegetarian who hates spiders and loves snakes. I almost never took vacations growing up. I wanted to be Pippi Longstocking (still do). I misspell about every other word I write and still struggle with grammar. I love splurging on a good high tea (which is really hard to find these days). And whatever you do, don’t tell me I can’t do something, because then I'll HAVE to do it!

Comments (25)

  • Love watching your adventures! Your videos just get better and better. We are trying to get there ourselves, saving all our pennies 🙂 Much love from Australia.

  • C M Longily

    I have had a Blast keepin’ up with ya’ll.
    You have made an old mans life a lot more fun.

  • Chuck (Charles) Bake

    I’m sort of reaching out here due to lack of technical skills. I want to keep track of you bad enough to try this.

  • Marsha

    I was laughing out loud watching Nikki swinging around on that “thingy”, I don’t know the nautical term. You certainly need a lot of patience for some of your excursions & Nikki always looks at the bright side. Great video!

  • Carla Binnix

    Great video! Always look forward to what adventures you will have next! Thanks for sharing. Where did you get your striped sunglasses and heart shaped ones also?

    • Beny

      I just started watching you guys, and as shallow as it is, I second the question about the sunglasses! Especially the striped ones 😍

  • Sarah

    Loved this video! Can’t wait to meet your new crew (who I believe is hinted at in this video??).

    And I’m so excited to hear about y’all going to the French Polynesian!

  • Nancy Fernandez

    Nikki likes ice cream I guess lol licking the bowl.

  • Ev

    The time has come for me visit you all for a couple of days…lmk where you’ll be in May, when you know.

    Miss you guys!

  • Roger B

    I appreciate your ‘can do attitude’ despite the challenges thrown at you. Thank you for sticking with it and all your great videos.

  • Bill Hamilton

    So, where did the crud in the bottom of the filter come from and if it is there there is more lurking in the internals of whatever motor it came from. You might consider a high detergent oil to get rid of the rest of whatever that was… I once completely cleaned my aircraft engine (It was dismantled at the time) I though it was spic and span clean. After 9 hours of running the motor after reassembly I discovered what an excellent oil can do for you. Shell aero engine oil.
    I’ve used it in my car on many occasions. I highly recommend it. And yes this information does come from an expert.

  • Jason Novak

    Hello Jason and Nikki! Have you all ever heard of Steemit? It’s a social media platform built on a blockchain. It may be another way you both can make some money for your content. I don’t know why I didn’t think about you all sooner. It is still in the beginning stages but has been working pretty well for people. I think your high quality content would make you a killing on this platform. It’s kind of like Reddit in the sense that people up-vote your blog posts and you are paid in the Steem cryptocurrency. You can then trade this currency for Bitcoin or Ethereum, which are very widely accepted and tradable, and then trade these coins for your local currency or hold on to them. I know this may seem daunting at first if your are just getting into the cryptocurrency space but this stuff is very real and it’s a lot easier than one might think. I truly think this would help you both so much on your journeys. There are already other travel vloggers using the platform to their advantage and the user base is growing rapidly. If you are interested, take some time to check it out. I am commenting here on your most recent blog in hopes that this information gets to you quickly. I love what you all do and wish you the very best in your travels. Here’s a link the the Steemit FAQ page. It has some good information to help you wrap your head around it and all. Keep on keepin’ on!

    May you be safe, may you be healthy, may you be happy, may you know freedom, find peace, and walk through the world with ease.

  • Alan Solomon

    That was an awesome video. Thanks

    That is some choppy water when the wind picks up. It didn’t look really windy other than the water. You were taking some twists and turns 15 or 20 feet up. for the genoa furler? That bird was way cool. I think Singa thought she was Super Cat and she would sprout wings at a moments notice. Singa is a she, right? Oh, that was some crazy dinghy parking. Something to consider for the future. Thanks again. Awesome.

    • Curious Minion

      Singa is a he, Cleo is a she.

  • Phil Schneider

    Always great videos! I’m enjoying your ride!

  • We shed a couple of tears as we walked up that dock, too. ? Miss ya. ?

  • Jeff

    This happened when I was viewing it in a email but when I went to youtube and watched it there was no problems so I best guess it was on my end. Thanks for the quick reply

  • Jack Schneiberg

    I’ve jumped around a bit in following your travels. I think the first video I watched a week or so ago was the one transiting the Panama Canal. That made me curious – so I backtracked to about where it appeared you made the transition from the RV to the boat. I’ve also watched a very few of the RV videos. Right now I’m still catching up on the sailing adventures and have a way to go to get current – but because I joined up this popped up today and I watched it just to see what is currently going on. Alright – Great video – now I have to go back to where I left off. Entertaining, Educational and fun to watch.

  • Jeff

    Video problems starting about 7:10 in the video.

    • Curious Minion

      No one else has reported trouble – something on your end maybe?


    Great video showing a snippet of life of a liveaboard couple doing the daily duties. I smiled when you went to the clinic to get shots and found it closed, again. Been there, done that, made sure to ask the right question to avoid a third time.

  • James Dillon

    Great video Folks! Jason, your natural GLEE is both entertaining and infectious! Drone footage continues to be awesome. Nikki looks great on the solo paddle board footage. Stay safe and enjoy your tremendous adventure. Greeting s from Canada! REGARDS Jamie

  • Wow, some of your best photographic work. LOVE the drone shots of the anchorage, and the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue of Nikki paddling past Panama.
    I was also quite pleased that Singha didn’t end up dining on egret.
    Lastly: I’m amazed at your seemingly boundless energy. I’ve run my own businesses, and I have a deep appreciation of the work and time needed to make them prosper. You two have all of that, PLUS keeping us all entertained and informed, PLUS keeping your boat functional and safe. My hat is off to you, you’re an inspiration.

  • Marianna And Bob

    Really enjoy your videos. We’re planning to live aboard also. Hopefully in 2 years.

    Safe travels…

    Marianna and Bob


Post a Comment