Voyage of the Star Flyer

We left Puerto Caldera on 24 March, and arrived at Balboa on 30 March.

25. March. Quepos.
During the morning Captain Jurgen Muller- Cyran introduced his team. He was in command of the Star Flyer 12 years ago when we sailed on her in Phuket. He has a great sense of humour, and we really like to hear his “Captain’s Story Times”, when he talks to a group of us on the sun-deck, about the great sailing ships of the past and many other fascinating subjects.

Various excursions went on shore and in the evening we sailed for Drake’s Bay: I.e. Sir Francis Drake!

26 March. Drake’s Bay. Drake seems to have left little trace, when he passed through, in 1579. Not much happened since. Went on a motorboat tour to see whales; no sightings of whales, but lots of dolphins, and wonderful coastal scenery (the Osa Peninsula). Also got a good photo of a crocodile slithering down the bank of a river, and also the canoeists we saw just afterwards! That was when the trip boat went into a river, which was hardly visible from the sea. That might just have accommodated a small ship, if Drake watered his ship here.

27 March. Golfito. Where we moored today is not very exciting, though the bay is lovely, and we took a taxi ride to a terrific photo-opportunity above the bay. The banana industry died here in 1985, due to disease and strikes. It has not recovered, though palm oil seems to be the way forward, as it is in Quepos.

28 March. Isla Gamez. This is the loveliest anchorage on this trip. As we shall see, it was our last stop. Keen types disembarked for beach football. How British! In fact we think it was the Russians playing the USA. War did not break out, so a diplomatic success. We learnt the nationalities of the 159 passengers, in the last ship’s newspaper; 39 from Russia and ex- Soviet bloc, 95 from USA, and 14 from Commonwealth (Canada and GB).

30 March. Panama. We have sailed 527 nautical miles since Puerto Caldera. We have been at sea since Thursday (28 March), without sight of land for part of the time.

We left Isla Gamez, having to sail 264 nautical miles to Panama. The plan was we would stop at Isla Iguana on 29 March, which is a sanctuary for frigate birds. We passed it by, because the wind rose to about Force 6, making landing impossible. With this great breeze, we had a marvellous run close- hauled, under jibs, fore and mainsail, all the way down the Panamanian coast, and out to sea. We then turned north to arrive on 30 March at Balboa, which is the port of spectacular Panama City. A wonderful finish to our voyage.




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