We are having what I think of as one of the quintessential cruising experiences right now. The frustrating kind, that is.
We had hoped to jump north to the island of Providencia at the end of February. Providencia is basically due east of Nicaragua but is part of Colombia (you might also remember that all of Panama was once part of Colombia). After arriving in Providencia, we were going to hunker down as a front came through and then wait for the trades to resume, which would give us (ideally) a fantastic sail west to the Bay Islands of Honduras.
But then, just as we were narrowing in on our weather window north, Danny got a headache reminiscent of the cluster headaches he got back in Seattle. (If I were more sophisticated about my blogging, I would add a hyperlink to "cluster headaches," but instead I will recommend you search it on the Mayo Clinic site.) Basically, they are very intense migraines that cluster together. For Danny, who has had them twice before now, they cluster over a period of about 6 weeks and then go away for a couple of years. To give you a sense of how painful they can be, they are nicknamed "suicide headaches." They are also nicknamed the "Executive Headache" because business executives often get them. (Maybe I should find out whether Danny's moonlighting as a CEO.....)
Danny is lucky to have two ways to treat his headaches: meds and breathing pure oxygen. Unfortunately, we didn't have enough oxygen or meds on board to handle a full bout of headaches when they started. So instead of leaving for Providencia at the end of February, we got a SIM card for our phone and started doing the leg work to get a tank of medical grade oxygen and/or meds. Although there are lots of expats here, many who are elderly, getting meds and medical grade oxygen takes a little time. So rather than making a passage to Providencia, we are (and will be) in Bocas a while longer.
We are fully aware that this delay is what we have come to call a "gold plated non-problem." I mean, we are in a full-blown vacation destination. But it is nonetheless super frustrating to have this delay when we were otherwise ready to move. That's particularly the case because this next jump is one where it can be tricky to get a good weather window. So basically we now have no real idea when we can leave. Our weather forecaster says that there might be a window the week of March 11th. He's usually pretty good about those long range forecasts, but we still don't know when we'll actually leave.
To make it a bit more challenging we have been without wind or sun for a very long time. Our power comes from wind and sun, so we are having a really hard time keeping the batteries charged. So right now we are in Red Frog Marina on Bastiamentos Island, charging batteries and enjoying all of the luxuries of a marina -- garbage, long showers, unlimited fresh water (i.e., we don't have to make water), walking on land without a dinghy ride, and laundry machines. You'd be surprised how thrilling those luxuries are.
The Crew of Blue Kai