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Broken-down-boat party

We transited the Panama Canal in March planning to cross the Pacific this year, however, medical problems caused a year delay in our plans so we have been in La Playita anchorage (free anchorage on the Pacific side of the Canal good for getting work done, provisioning and Thursday pizza night with $1 beers!) and the Las Perlas Islands.

We watched with envy as dozens of boats set off for the Pacific crossing as we worked on our boat. However, some boats returned and others never left because of mechanical problems!

My wife decided to celebrate us getting everything working on our boat (she had just spent 4 hours in the anchor locker rewiring all 23 electrical connections on the bow-thruster. Four mechanics had tried to fix it costing us $100's and only succeeded in getting one side to work) by throwing a broken-down-boat party...

Ten boats attended for beer and fajitas and they had some significant problems: two had significant leaks in the hull due to delamination, two had been hit by lightening and the rest had various mechanical problems such as a broken alternator bracket and a blown head gasket.

Slowly everyone got things fixed and recently 6 more boats were ready to cross to Tahiti or down to Ecuador but withing a few days two had returned with problems. Sadly five days days ago the anchorage had a big lightening strike, one boat took a direct hit that blew the antennas and instruments off the mast-head and fried all the instruments, radios and even the alternator, three other boats took a side-strike from the main strike and lost radios and things.

The reason for this post is to emphasize for those that dream of cruising that for every for every sailing class you take you need to take a boat-fixing-class!

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