Posted by: August Sandberg | 19/02/2014

Panama – San Andres – Grand Cayman

9Værbitt is back!

Finally, we have time and internet to update the blog! It’s been a busy couple of weeks, loaded with exitement.

Værbitt was in an amazingly fine state where we found her in Shelter Bay Marina in Panama. We arrived around midnight, and were forced to break into our own boat as the closed office had our key. But it was a most happy reunion. Everything was right where we left it, the batteries were full, and no damage were to be seen. After we had confirmed all this, we craned her into the water, and the engine started eagerly with a loud triumphant roar, matched only by that of the captain.

DCIM100GOPROVærbitt on the move

The skilled and eager crew set about the last chores aboard, and after a few busy days of provisioning, soldering, route planning and testing, we set of for the Colombian island of San Andres. We had to beat up into the wind in a choppy sea, but the fresh crew handled it very well. And the boat did an amazing job, as always. We arrived San Andres at sunrise, and anchored in the shallow bay outside the tiny town.

DCIM100GOPROJens at the helm, idlers sleeping in the sun

This is where the problems started. Our dinghy, the ol’ “Værbitt Interceptor” was in a sorry state even on it’s last trip, and 8 months of sunbathing on Værbitt’s deck in Panama had not improved it’s posture. But duct tape, epoxy, all sorts of glue and determined pumping soon made it somewhat usable.

8Rust and fuel flew in all directions as we pulled the starter line

The old outboard engine was another matter. All screws and valves had rusted badly, and though pliers and oil solved most of the issues, the aluminum screws securing the engine to the Værbitt’s taffrail broke clean off. After having secured it to the Interceptor with ropes, prayers and a hammer, we discovered a nasty fuel leak. We changed the entire fuel delivery system, and set of for the shore. Then the fuel tank fell off, and floated away. It’s securing screws were rusted through, and the engine cover were off, as we had to control the rusted throttle with a wrench. Jens, always alert, instantly jumped into the water and swam us back to Værbitt, where we called a water taxi.

DCIM100GOPROA nice local fisherman gave us a ride after we gave up the Interceptor

San Andres was a pleasant little island, and wanting to see it all in style, we rented a golf cart. We drove around the entire island in 4 hours, seeing beautiful beaches, wildlife, a great blowhole, and the cave where Henry Morgan buried his pirate treasure. A most welcome expedition after lots of of hard work.

DCIM100GOPROCruising in style, on land and sea alike

After a few days we set sail once more, this time for the Cayman Islands 400 miles to the north. A leg that called for keen navigation, as we had to cross the treacherous Nicaraguan Banks. Shallows, reefs and currents were plentiful, but we made it safely across without a scratch. The most troublesome issue we had to deal with, was a handful of wet wipes that was flushed down our toilet. The entire system clogged, and we were obliged to dismantle the entire plumbing to locate and dig out the wipes. A most complicated and disgusting affair, made all the worse by the boat’s motion and pressing errands.

7Lars opening the waste water tank. Note the toothpaste in his mustache

Right now, were chilling in Barcadere Marina on Grand Cayman. An interesting, tax free little island with 50 000 inhabitants and some 600 banks. There are hens, beaches and stingrays everywhere, and a laid back atmosphere. We’ll stay here for a few more days, and then set sail for Cancun, Mexico, where we’re looking forward to seeing some new crew members, and dreading the departure of our beloved Lars.

DCIM100GOPROShopping has never been more fun

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Responses

  1. Spanande, god seilas vidare til dykk alle


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