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View images of each leg of our 2002 journey by clicking on the heading, or photo, for the associated chapter below! All the photos contained herein where taken by the crew during our adventures! Enjoy! Or view our 2003, 2004 and 2005 adventures.
 
 
 

Passage from USVI to San Blas, Panama - August 9 - 14

We had a fast passage to the San Blas Islands of Panama, only five days. We had a few days with not enough wind or rest, with too much wind, 25-35 knots with gusts to 40 knots, and large seas 15-18 feet. But it was a good passage and we averaged over 200 miles a day.

 
 
 

San Blas Islands, Panama August 14 - October 1

Notes from August 22. "Today is such a spectacular day! We are anchored in the eastern Holandes island group. I just counted eight little islands surrounding us, with more off in the distance. Read more?

 
 
 

Kuna Indian Culture

The Kunas live in villages, scattered throughout the islands. The streets are narrow sand paths. The homes are made of bamboo with thatch roofs. The floors are dirt and the furniture is mostly hammocks. Read more?

 
 
 

Hobble Family Vacation - August 26 to September 1

Our good friends, the Hobbles, were able to spend almost a week with us in the beautiful San Blas Islands, August 26 to September 1. Frank Hobble and his son Eric have helped us make many of our passages. Frank's wife, Paula, joined us, as well as their second son, Jake, and Eric's friend, Katie. We had excellent weather, lots of good food, and plenty of fun.

 
 
 

The Panama Canal - Transit on October 5

Our voyage took us from the Caribbean side of Panama, starting at Colon, to the Pacific side near Balboa. It took several days to make all the necessary arrangements, including acquiring a dozen tires to use as extra fenders. Read more?

 
 
 

Las Perlas Islands, Panama - October 17 - 22

These islands lie in the Gulf of Panama, about 40 miles south of Panama City. We were happy to leave the city lights behind - we were anchored right off of Panama City, which has its share of skyscrapers and smog. Read more?

 
 
 

Isla de Coiba National Park - October 23 - 29

We were really looking forward to our visit here, but the rain kept us from enjoying the snorkeling and diving. However, we visited the ranger station ashore and had a great time, receiving a guided tour around the area, and making friends with Howard, Willy, and Mali-Mali.

 
 
 

Captain and Crew

Jim and Vicki are both US Coast Guard 100 Ton Licensed Captains. Jim was born in 1939 in Van Nuys, California and shortly thereafter received his first boat, a 5' rowboat. Since then he has owned a total of 27 vessels of varying sizes, configurations, rigs, drafts, etc. In other words, boats have been a major part of his life.Vicki, on the other hand, was a landlubber most of her life. Born in 1945 in the Midwest (US), she only came to love island/ocean life when, on vacation in St. Thomas, USVI in 1976, she met Jim. She eventually left city life (New York City) and a fast-paced career (computer systems analyst) behind.
Years have passed and Jim and Vicki have melded with sea life. No cars, no cell phones, no cable TV. Only vast waters to cross, remote anchorages to explore, approaching nature and her remote hideaways with the most sensible and well-equipped vessel for the adventure, Firebird!
A long search for the perfect first mate finally ended when Jim met Dylan through a friend in Fort Lauderdale. Dylan hails from Umtamvuna, South Africa and has a past which includes studies in Landscaping and Horticulture as well as a 3 year post as a Lifeguard Contract Manager, Paramedic and Sea rescue Helicopter Crewman.

 
 
 

Dolphins and Sunsets

We have seen dolphins everywhere we have been, with the exception of inside the Canal! They always come in groups and enjoy riding along side of our bow, sometimes staying as long as 15 minutes. We have a GM 871 burning diesel to propel us through the water, and they blithely shoot along with us with no apparent effort!
Sunsets are always a treat, but we were really spoiled in the San Blas Islands. Six weeks with a great sunset every night!

 
 
 

Sailing

Firebird is well-known among the classic yacht aficionados, though many details of her history are missing. She was built in 1968 by the world-renowned Palmer Johnson Shipyard in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin. At the time she was launched, she was the largest aluminum sailboat in the world. Read more?

 
 
 

The Osa Peninsula - Costa Rica - November 4

The four of us went with a guide and a driver in a pickup truck set up with seats in the back. We drove south into an area called the 'transition zone', and then we walked along a path through the jungle. Read more?

 
 

The Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica

After some lengthy periods of rain in the Golfo Dulce we finally made the move towards relocating into the Golfo Nicoya. As Vicki had returned to the States for a very brief visit to see her Father, Jim and Dylan made the move in many short hops. Stopping at Puerto Jimenez, Isla Cano, Manual Antonio Park and finally in Herradura Bay. Read More?

 

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