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Rio Cacique

Helen and I started the day with a swim around the rocks at low water. The visibility was terrible so this didn’t last long and if there were battalions of lobsters all waiting there, I certainly could not see them. At times, I couldn’t even see the end of my spear gun.

We decided to sail south with a couple of options in mind. We passed by a reef which is listed as a good dive site. The water did not appear much clearer so we push on to the anchorage at the mouth of the Rio Cacique. Along the way the genset coughed twice. I’d cleared water (without seeing much) from the filters recently so chances are the filters were dirty.

Arriving at the anchorage we saw three other boats – a crowd by recent standards. One of them turned out to be Curious. Their dinghy wasn’t aboard so chances were they were exploring the river. We had lunch and a read before setting off up the river ourselves. The rivers on this side respond to the tides so we had a gentle current pushing us upstream. It didn’t take too long before we ran into Steve and Trish with their three new crew coming down stream. We stopped engines and rafter up for a quick chat. We invited them over in the evening only to learn that this was their only stop in Las Perlas before heading out later in the afternoon to the Galapagos islands. John noticed one of their crew had a similar camera to his Nikon camera (the one he took the time lapse movie of our canal transit) for which he doesn’t have a battery charger. Turned out they were compatible and she had a charger aboard Curious. She agreed to charge up John’s batteries so we about turned and headed back to Dignity to get things together leaving the river trip until today. Just before leaving I’d downloaded a seven day GRIB file (wind data) covering Panama, Costa Rica out to the Galapagos. I put this on a memory stick in case it was useful to Steve.

When they arrived (they were slower coming back due to more in the dinghy) we handed over John camera batteries and the memory stick as it turned out Steve could use the data. I then set about changing the fuel filters with John’s help and then, while in the mood, cleaned all the barnacles off the speed log which has been showing zero speed through the water for a few days.

Steve came back just before they departed with the batteries and the stick. They’re heading west two months before us but he’s keen on making the Pacific Puddle Jump party in Tahiti as are we so hopefully we’ll meet up there.

Only other event was yet another local boat coming by. This one had four guys in it smelling of alcohol and toking on a fat herbal joint asking for gasoline. They got none from me and after asking for a few other things I gave them a cup of water. They left at high speed – no apparent concern for fuel consumption.

So we’re staying here another day to do fully do the river trip. It was worth the wait to get John’s batteries charged and we’re in no hurry. While I like my plans (as they force us to look at our options and learn what we need to learn) they are always subject to change. Against the plan I made up for Panama / Costa Rica We are already two or three days ahead of schedule due to skipping areas we didn’t want to stop at and not using a spare day. Where we’ll use this I don’t know.

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