Mission Panamania: Sailor Showers and Land Ho

Mission Panamania: Sailor Showers and Land Ho

Strange things happen out in the middle of the ocean. Our brains are overloaded with fresh air, our senses are on full alert and we have absolutely nowhere else to go.

There’s no internet to distract us and no Facebook or Instagram to piddle away the hours on. We’re left with no alternative but to be fully present. Live in the moment, aware and completely enthralled by every event of the day…and I do mean every little event.

We were warned that sailing voyages and cruising around the world changes a person.  I never knew what that really meant and I still don’t think I fully understand…but I’m starting to get an idea.

Every form of exploration leaves its mark on us.  Traveling North America by RV for seven years gave us a great appreciation for our home country and our neighbors to the north and south.  We learned oodles about the towns we visited, the small businesses we patronized and the incredible beauty around each bend in the road.  We gained a deeper appreciation for nature and the desire to preserve, protect and share its beauty.  Our home on wheels challenged us in many ways.  It made us aware of the resources we used and how best to conserve them.  We learned so much about ourselves and how much more we value experiences over possessions. All those land based adventures have no doubt changed us.

So, I expect the ocean will continue the education and broaden the landscape of discoveries.  We’ve learned boat loads already and we’ve only just begun!  The completion of this voyage feels like the beginning of something big.  I don’t know what it is yet, but I really like this feeling of anticipation.

This was a short stint at sea compared to what we will face while sailing in the South Pacific and beyond.  But even this small voyage was packed with big milestones.

sky porn sailing at sea
nikki wynn Sailing across the Caribbean sea

Longest Passage Sailed

  • We left Miami, Florida at 7:20pm on July 14, 2017.  We arrived to Bocas Del Torro, Panama at 7am on August 1, 2017.
  • 18 days total to complete the voyage with 5 nights spent at anchor. Anchorages – West Bay, New Providence (1 night) / Staniel Cay (1 night) / Georgetown (2 nights) / Great Inagua (1 night)
  • Total Nautical Miles Sailed – 1,610
  • Max Boat Speed – 16.1 knots (thanks to that crazy storm)
  • Average Boat Speed – 5.5 knots
  • Average Miles Per Day – 124
  • Most Miles Sailed In 24 Hours – 168
sailing to panama route

To see our full map with interactive pins, click here: gonewiththewynns.com/map

Customs and Checking Into Panama

Requirements, procedures and fees can change at anytime.  So, while we are sharing our costs and check-in process, yours could be drastically different.

  • Total Costs  – $116 for customs, immigration and agriculture (these visas allow us to be in Panama for 6 months).  $185 for our cruising permit (this allows the boat to be in Panama for one year).
  • Noonsite is well known for being great information and links for cruisers. I completely agree, here is the link to the page on cruising Panama – noonsite.com/Countries/Panama
  • Information and Requirements on Traveling With Petsaphis.usda.gov/aphis/pet-travel

A few tips from our Panama check-in

  • As Jason mentioned in the video, make sure you print 4 copies of everything.  Even if the agents said “I don’t need that paper, a few minutes later they’d ask me to print it anyway.”
  • Bring lots of cash in small bills because they don’t always carry change.
  • None of them had pens so they ended up walking out with all my pens (which was fine, and in the future I’ll get some Curiosity pens made to serve as swag. Apparently, they really, really like swag.).
  • Don’t be in a rush as they are on island time and will arrive whenever they arrive.
  • Oh, and make sure you have chilled soda and juice on board.  It’s not something we typically carry because we don’t drink it.  They all requested it and they seemed disappointed when all we could provide was water, tea or coffee.  They would not drink beer while working, but they happily took a can for the road when they left.

One thing we thought was interesting is the marina owners (and manager) said “you think that’s expensive…try having them come out to the anchorage.”  They were implying that the fees are greater for anchored vessels, which I don’t doubt as this area of Panama is all about tourism, and when officials see you not supporting the local businesses they might be inclined to charge more.  We can’t say for sure, but have no reason to doubt them.  They do have a lot of cruisers coming in and out.

Cell & WiFi

There is no cell coverage out in the middle of the ocean.  We use our Iridium Go with Predict Wind for weather and communications.  This is how we are able to download the latest weather reports, send emails and call family to let them know we are doing well: bit.ly/PredictWindIridium

Gear Used In This Video

    • All of our fave gear (i know we have a lot of new gear to add, I promise it’s coming soon) –  gonewiththewynns.com/store 
    • Quatix 5 Watches: Garmin Wearables  These are the new blue watches we’ve been wearing.  We will share the full scoop on them soon because they are hands down our new fave piece of gear.
    • Chartplotter: Garmin 7612xsv Multi-touch  More on this soon too, we’re still learning and figuring it all out.
    • iPad Mount at Helm: http://amzn.to/2fT84PG  Using iPad Pro: http://amzn.to/2d9Oopf   With These Sailing Apps:
    • Curiosity’s Underwater Lights, excellent for navigating anchorages with reefs at night: MIU15 in Ice Blue (Use discount code WYNNS for 7.5% off)
    • Entertainment at Sea, Kindle and Prime Unlimited Reading: http://amzn.to/2mpGQ9K
    • Fishing gear section coming soon!
    • Nikki’s Ukulele – I purchased this ukulele well over 8 years ago.  It’s a Mitchell that at the time was $150.  I have since carried the thing around never making it past the first couple of pages in my “learn how to play ukulele” book. I get busy and the ukulele sits in the corner collecting dust. So, I decided I have to either dedicate the time to teaching myself or let it go.  I really, really want to learn…so here goes the final attempt.  Wish me luck.

Cameras Used to Capture This Video

Dale and Justin

These guys are Patreon’s and won a place on this voyage from our recent Crew Call.  Want to see more from them?  You can find Dale and Justin here:

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