Panama Yacht Club, Collon, Panama, 09.20.8N/079.54.1W, day 509
Biking total: 43 days, 1877 km, 13’400 altimeters.
Climbing total: 187 days, 3060 km, 106’700 altimeters.
Sailing total: 279 days, 8023 nm
On the crossing of the Carribean Sea we celebrated the 500th day of the expedition. One year ago we were preparing to climb Mont Blanc, the highest mountain in Europe.
The british virgin islands (BVI) expected us with a wonderful sunset. Mike and Dawn of White Princess we met in Gomera invited us for shooting an underwater film to also show this world to the children. The equipment was sponsored by Aquaventure (aquaventurebvi.com). The kids having no ideas about the coral world will for a long time thankfully remember these wonderful underwater pictures. Mike being a professional diver instructor helped Sabine pass the advanced Padi Open Water Diver.
Enriched with lots of impressions we started the crossing of the Caribbean Sea. The first days the winds allowed Dario to relax in the hammock. The closer we approached Panama the more the waves swang us up and down or to and fro. Because we were three persons we could subdivide the shifts in agreable portions allowing enough sleep for everybody. For 1000 nautical miles (1852 km) we needed 155 hours.
Being so fast we decided to make a stop on the San Blas Islands. This archipelago of 360 islands is probably one of the last paradise on earth and is mostly unpopulated. We were happy to feel stable ground under our feet and were surprised to meet a culture from centuries ago. They live on produces of the sea, know to skilfully handle little sail canoes and sew colourful tissues. Most of the people live in plain houses made of palm leaves.
Although the school was closed on Saturday we could introduce the organisation TOPtoTOP. With the help of a generator we showed pictures and explained the impact of global warming to their islands. All children were very attentive and made wonderful drawings. Unfortunately they could paint only with one colour, because we had not enough coloured pencils.
If you have coloured pencils you don’t need anymore please send them to : ToptoTop, Gruenaustrasse 1, CH- 7320 Sargans, Switzerland. The children will thankfully acknowledge your gesture.
At the moment we are in Collon waiting for transit through the Panama Channel to the Pacific. On the way from the San Blas Islands a big wave hit Pachamama and Dario was flying through the air and crashed with the rail. Result: Second insury for him on the expedition, but he is already fine again.