Finally, an easy leg of "only" 190 miles.
Flat oceans, sunny skies and 28 knots the whole way (.46 gallons per mile).
We arrived in Bocas just after five and the customs office was closed.
We were told to anchor out and wait, but of course, the anchor went 2 feet and we looked into the locker to see the rope and rode horribly tangled up, so we held our position with the motors in light winds.
DC and the great staff at the Red Frog marina and resort pulled off a miracle and got the customs and immigration people to get on a panga and meet us at our "anchorage".
Two hours and a bunch of $$ later we had a panga lead us into the marina, as it was pitch black.
The marina is an IGY marina and very nice. There is a floating galleon style boat that is the restaurant and made some pretty decent food and strong drinks.
The trip from the boat to the villa is a 10 minute golf cart ride through the jungle
Our villa is very, very nice and in the middle of a 1,700 acre jungle on the beach.
As soon as we get through customs (panga ride to Bocas Town) we are going to start exploring.
Right now we are in the middle of the first rain we have seen in weeks. It is a heavy, tropical downpour, but should pass soon. The Henriques really needed a good downpour and she finally got it.
The first photo is of the waterfront. There are lots of bars and hotels built over the water and there are pangas tied up everywhere.
The second photo is the crew, Jenn, Erik, Erin, and Nils.
The third photo is Jenn and I getting completely soaked in a panga. Once it stopped raining we were dry in 15 minutes.
It is pretty clear that Panama is heavily influenced by the US. Their currency is USD and everywhere you go, US products dominate the stores, as evidenced by a bottle of the worst hooch ever made, Night Train.
We knocked off the biggest run of trip, 430 miles.
The forecast was decent but the seas were not.
The first 18 hours or so were 4-6' wind waves that were incredibly tight.
We had to go 6 knots and water was coming over the hard top the entire time.
The worst part was the night. We could not see the waves or the horizon once the moon went down.
The boat took the seas like a champ. This is the best sea boat I have ever been in.
Late in the night the ocean sat down and by noon we were running 22 knots.
We got to San Andres right at last light. So much for never coming into an unknown port in the dark.
The approach was incredibly well lighted, but once we got to the "marina" there were unlighted boats anchored out everywhere. I could not see them and literally had to be talked through by our customs agent who was on the dock.
As you can see in the photos below, the boats were incredibly tight with less than 100 yards of clearance.
I cannot say enough good things about our customs agent, Renee. He guided us through, got us a slip, and took care of everything.
We were beat, but how often do you get to San Andres, so we walked into town and grabbed dinner and drinks. Everyone we met was extremely friendly and helpful.
Yesterday was a 250 mile run from Puerto Aventuras to Roatan.
We left at first light and ran 28 knots in nice seas, it got a little bumpy 80 miles out we had to slow down, but we were back up to 28 knots when we came into Roatan.
Things are a little different here. I hailed the marina for 10 minutes with no response.
I finally called the guy and he said the radio was off.
I asked for his lat and lon and he had no idea.
He asked me if I could see a small jet flying over and I said yes, so he told me that the marina was just under the plane. We found it, and of course, it was not charted but the dockmaster swore there was plenty water and he was right.
We met DirtyE (drunk and shoeless) when he pulled up to the slip on a water taxi.
The local customs guy, Beatman, was great. He showed up and took care of everything and even set up a diesel deliver the next day at $3.10 a gallon.
We are staying at Infinity Bay Resort, which is gorgeous.
Roatan is just how you want the islands to be. Blue water, everyone is friendly and speaks english, and there are 100's of Gilligan's Island style bars 50 feet from the water.
Tomorrow is our biggest run of the trip so far. 650 miles in 3 days with an overnighter and a fuel stop.
Today was an easy day for me and Jenn to figure out the boat.
After a frantic call to Frank, they previous owner, I figured out how the fancy electronic transmissions worked and we were on our way.
We left Cancun for a 50 mile run to Puerto Aventuras to get a head start on the big leg to Roatan, Honduras.
On the way in we saw a "jetty" 600 yards from the marina entrance. The "jetty" was showing up as a boat on the AIS, which confused the hell out of us.
It turns out the "jetty" was the crazy boat below. According to the people on the dock we talked to, it is a $320 million dollar yacht owned by a russian billionaire. How then ended up in the middle of nowhere, anchored out, is a mystery.
Puerto Aventuras turned out to be a pretty cool, touristy place.
The entire town is centered around a bunch of porpoise pens where you can swim with the porpoises.
Unfortunately the customs people do not work Sundays or early Monday's so we can't push off from here until Tuesday AM.
The entrance is "one boat" tight, so it should be a real treat leaving before dawn on tuesday.
Hi to Sandy, the person who originally built and outfitted this boat. The twin 100 gallon saddle tanks are worth their weight in gold for the long legs. We also learned (thanks Captain Wayne) that 100 gallons is pretty close to 372 liters.
I can't wait to get to Roatan for Captain DirtyE to take over half time so I can go back to reading books on the bridge deck and quit worrying about fuel burn and customs.
I finally met up with the delivery crew and started learning about my boat.
She is incredibly well thought out, well constructed, and easy to operate.
One thing that is new to me is AC. It is very hot in South FL and MX. AC is not a luxury, it is a necessity.
Even with the AC blasting 24/7, it gets a little warm on the bridge deck.
After an uneventful run from Fort Lauderdale to Key West, we made the big jump from Key West to Cancun.
It was a long 36 hour run, especially around 2 AM when it was pretty tough staying awake waiting for the next guy to get up and take his shift. We ran two man shifts, which meant real short sleep breaks.
We were close enough to Cuba that we could see the low hills on the coast, but the photos did not turn out too good in the low light and low clouds.
There were no small boats around Cuba, but we ran across quite a few cruise ships. The way they are lit up at night it is hard to miss.
I am having to adjust a bit to running in shallow water. 20 feet is considered deep around here and the water is so clear that you can see the bottom. It is sometimes hard to trust your plotter when you can see bottom and it looks like it is 3 feet deep.
We are headed to Puerto Aventuras for a short run and then a long run to Roatan to meet DirtyE and the rest of the crew.
The photos and updates should pick up a bit, as we will be doing less running and have more time to shoot some photos.
I’m in Cancun, waiting for Mike and the captains to arrive from Miami. The drinks are weak and the food is far from gourmet at this resort, but the sun is bright and the marina's nearby, so I’ll just tough it out in my hammock ;)
Here’s some photos from Mike & the captains along the florida coast.
(Click on the images for the full-sized photo)
Here are some of the boats in the marine nearby. Even though Shake N Bake is big, these yachts dwarf us.
And a few from me in Cancun.
Two days ago, March 5th, the Henriques' marina in New Jersey, where the new Shake N Bake is currently docked, got almost a foot of snow, but the forecast is improving.
With luck, the delivery crew will push off March 10th and I will jump aboard in Fort Lauderdale on the 14th.
I can’t wait for the journey to begin.
We wanted the ultimate tuna boat, and a Henriques 42’ express is pretty close to the ultimate tuna boat.
If you want to buy a Henriques, you have to go to New Jersey, so we bought our plane tickets and headed to New Jersey.
We met with Manny Costa, the guy who runs Henriques, at the Henriques plant. Even though we were not buying a new boat, Manny gave us a tour of the factory and showed us every step of the manufacturing process.
Manny then took us to the Henriques boatyard and showed us pretty much every boat in their line, even though he knew we only wanted a 42’.
Manny loves his boats and is proud of them.
After seeing the 42’ Express, there was no question this was the boat for us.
A deal was struck and then the waiting began, as the weather has been lousy in New Jersey.
The new Shake N Bake is currently sitting in the Henriques boatyard in Bayville New Jersey being outfitted for her 6,000 mile run home.
In early March we will have the boat delivered to Florida where we will take her over for the 5,000 mile run home.
Our plan is to run to Cancun and then to Belize and Honduras before taking her through the Panama Canal.
After we get through the canal, we will be headed to Quepos, Costa Rica for the IGFA Offshore World Championship.
From Quepos we will be heading to Los Suenos and then onto Cabo San Lucas where she will be until we run her home in June and July.
We will try and update our blog with interesting photos from places we have been.