About The Trip

About The Trip

I'm joining my friends Tony & Margaret, owners of the graceful sailboat "Joalea" to be be part of the crew for the next sailing adventure:  Crossing the Pacific Ocean from Panama starting in April, 2015

I was lucky enough to sail the Caribbean Sea with them for many years, visiting all the beautiful islands from Spanish, US, British Virgin islands to the Lesser Antilles. (Which are a long arc of small islands in the Caribbean Sea extending in a north-south direction from the Virgin Islands to Trinidad and then in an east-west direction from Margarita to Aruba off the northern coast of Venezuela).

"Joalea" just crossed the Panama Canal in late February, 2015 from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean. Now awaiting her crew to sail further to the French Polynesian Islands,  "The Jewel of World"

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Personal Info

Travel Blog

  • CASTING OFF April 7, 2015
    Current time 1100 We are doing some last minute errands before we leave the marina we’re in the good mood everyone is relaxed and the boat is commissioned for the long voyage, filled up with food, fruit, and not the forget the other essentials for the boys, since the girls have been giving us a hard time for the wine, beer and my vodka supply for the tonic. Which apparently takes lots of room away from more food…
    Our ETD is 1200 from LaPlayitta Marina to motor over to Flamenco Marina’s gas station  to fill up our 3 empty fuel  tank which takes about 250 gallon. Our appointment was at 1400.
    By the time we get there we were told to wait outside of the Marine for 30 minutes which turned out to be almost 2 hour. We were not to happy about, but at least we had a fantastic view of Panama City.
    In my opinion Panama City looks spectacular from the bay, but when you’re in town you quickly realize that the city planning has a long way to go.
    Finally we fuelled up the boat, fenders and lines are in place. Course, waypoints are set and we’re underway. Last peak of the City with a group picture from the cockpit and good bye.
    We sailed into the dark with a constant NWN 25Kn with 8.5kn-9.5kn speed our heading…..
    The sky filled up with stars, and white capes on the horizon, but the sea still look friendly on the first night.

    Considered a modern engineering wonder, the construction of the Panama Canal entailed the development of cutting edge technologies that still marvel after almost 100 Years. One of them is the system used fill or empty the locks throughout the force of gravity. The waterway uses a system of three locks complexes, each one with two lanes, which operate as water elevators that raise ships from sea level to the level of Gatun lake 26 maters above sea level. After crossing the Continental Divide, ships are lowered back to sea level, on the opposite side of the Ishmus. When arriving from the Pacific, Vessels enter Miraflores Locks. The vessels are lifted approximately 16 meters. Than, vessels transit throughout the small Miraflores Lake to reach Pedro Miguel Locks where, in an additional step they are raised up to 26 meters above sea level. An the Atlantic side, all this operation takes place in the three steps of Gatun Looks. Covering an area of 425 square kilometres, Gatun Lake was up the 1940s the largest man-made lake. Culebra Cut is the narrowest stretch in the Canal and it’s 12.7 km represent the fifth part of the waterway’s total length. This section was carved the rock and shale of Isthums’s Continental Divide. Up to 63 pyramids similar to that Egypt could have been erected with the material that was excavated during its construction There are a total of 84 miter gates and 8 vehicular bridges gates in the Panama Canal. The original mechanic system to open and close the gates are designed by electromechanical engineer Edward Schilhauer back in 1904. Basically was a set of gears operated by a 40 HP electrical motor. As part of the locks modernization program, in 1988 the Panama Canal began its replacement with a hydraulic system. The conversation was completed in 2007 On October 10, 1913 US President Woodrow Wilson blew up the Gamboa dike. The signal was sent by telegraph from Washington, D.C.. The waters of Gatun Lake flooded Culebra Cut and from that day on, they were one. Ahoy

  • PANAMA CITY April 3, 2015


    Our journey down to Panama was successful, yet slightly stressful. On arrival in to Los Angeles, while waiting to board our next flight to San Salvador, (followed by our last flight to Panama), the issues began. Both our names were called over the PA system to speak with the agents. A requirement to fly in to Panama is to have proof of exit from the country. Luckily I had a return ticket from Papeete, but Jessica did not. The only way they would let us board the flight was if Jessica bought a ticket. And so, a quick purchase was made and the agents accepted our tickets. Thank goodness for technology and IPhones. The next leg of our journey continued with Avianca Airlines. We received meals and alcoholic beverages on both of our remaining flights, along with a great selection of movies. Air Canada on the other hand, provided us with nothing. No movies, no smiles no food! Upon our arrival in Panama City, Panama, we were surprised with greater drama when Jessica’s bag did not appear. We waited, and waited, and waited hoping it would show up. When we finally gave up and looked for help, no one was to be found. There wasn’t one representative from Avainca and we waited over 1.5 hours before finding someone that could help. And so, we left the airport with our hired taxi driver Edwin to take us to La Playita Marina. Today, on Good Friday, after waiting for two days and spending countless hours on the phone with both airlines Jessica’s bag arrived! Certainly cause for celebration, with so many important goods packed for our journey. Now we can focus on the trip ahead and the provisioning of Joalea, which will begin tomorrow.

  • THE JOURNEY BEGINS April 1, 2015

    Tearful good bye from my loved ones, I will miss you girls. Big thank you for my wife Catherine for supporting me on my new adventure. Jessica Calado and I are waiting at the gate for our flight down to Panama. Jessica can not wait to see her mom and Tony on the boat. Ahoy!

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The Sailboat "Joalea"

JoaleaJOALEA is a 2010 Hylas Raised Salon. The highly regarded Hylas 54 designed by German Frers is one of the premier semi-custom quality performance cruising yachts in the world.  
Joalea (2) 003

JOALEA is a 2010 Hylas Raised Salon.

The highly regarded Hylas 54 designed by German Frers is one of the premier semi-custom quality performance cruising yachts in the world.

Hull #59 was the last of the Hylas 54’s built offering a luxurious 3-stateroom interior arrangement featuring contemporary style varnished teak woodwork with custom details, large navigation center and galley, full width master suite aft, two guest cabins forward and spacious salon amidships. The raised main salon provides a bright, airy living area
with settee to port and straight settee to starboard. DSC_0122 DSC_0119 DSC_0097 DSC_0077 DSC_0074 DSC_0696 The exterior very strong Hylas 54′ fiberglass hull is reinforced with Twaron (similar to Kevlar used in bullet proof vests). On deck there is a comfortable cockpit, wide side decks and a raised salon trunk cabin with large fixed windows and multiple deck hatches and stainless opening ports. The transom has wide built-in steps and swim platform with hot and cold shower and drop down swim ladder. Her long list of builder options includes: Fischer Panda 8KW generator and three zone Cruise Air reverse cycle air conditioning, Selden Electrofurl mainmast, Antal electric primary winches and Side power bow thruster. JOALEA is registered in Vancouver, B.C. Canada. How did JOALEA’s name come about with a Portuguese good luck rooster? We were sitting around the dining room table with family members July 1st Canada day and were trying to come up with a good name for our brand new purchase that would be meaningful to the two of us. There were many ideas given of which some names we wouldn’t dare mention. Then we had a very special thought both of our parents had passed away at the same time and are resting in the same special place and we believe they were instrumental in us coming together. Tony’s father’s name JOAO and Margaret’s mother’s name LEONA, thus JOALEA came about.

As the Legend of the Barcelos Cockerel goes…

A pilgrim was leaving Barcelos on his way to Santiago de Compostela when he was accused of stealing silver from the landowner. For his alleged crime, he was sentenced to death by hanging.

He prayed to Our Lady and St James, the patron Saint for Protection, that justice be done. As a final effort to save himself, the prisoner pleaded for a meeting with the judge. The judge was about to tuck into his roast cockerel, when the pilgrim said to the judge that as proof of his innocence, the cockerel would stand up on the plate and crow three times. The judge ignored the pilgrim’s claim and pushed aside his meal. But, as the pilgrim was hanged, the cockerel jumped up and crowed. Realizing his mistake, the judge rushed to the gallows and found that the pilgrim had miraculously survived due to a loose knot. According to the legend, the pilgrim returned many years later to carve the Cruzeiro do Senhor do Galowhich is now housed in the Museu Arqueologico in Barcelos. Of course there are many variations and embellishments to this Portuguese legend, but the Rooster from Barcelos has become one of the national symbols of Portugal and is said to represent faith, justice and good luck.  

"Joalea" Sailing the World