The Voyage


Andy and Melissa are sailing around the world on their 48-foot sailboat, Spectacle.

The Position

Bali, Indonesia

The Pictures

The Voyage of Spectacle

Archive for the ‘Pests’ Category

So Far, So Good

Posted by: melissa

Planning and packing to leave the country for 10 months is no easy feat.  Trying to anticipate every need and desire regarding not only personal effects but also possible boat parts and accessories is nerve-racking.  We did the best we could and set off yesterday for a very long travel day … LAX to Houston, Houston to Panama City, and Panama City to Cartagena.  We arrived back at Club Nautico Marina well after midnight.  At first glance, the boat seemed to be intact, so we crashed out without even bothering to make the bed.

We both had some trepidation in leaving the boat, which is now more like our home than anyplace else, for an extended period of time.  Luckily, as a matter of convenience, price and quality of service, Cartagena is a pretty terrific place to store a boat long term.  On the recommendation of marina manager John Halley, we hired a boat sitter named Alberto who was responsible for watching the lines, airing out the boat on a regular basis to minimize mold and rot, scrubbing the bottom to keep nasty barnacles away, and generally acting as project manager for a list of repairs about 50 items long.

After a long sleep, we awoke to find the boat in encouragingly good shape.  We have yet to go through our to-do list one by one with Alberto the boat sitter, but I’m fairly confident that the conversation will go well.  Unfortunately, the one problem that we’ve discovered since our return involves a stowaway of sorts.  Yes, sadly, Spectacle has acquired a minor roach problem.  We don’t seem to be full-fledged infested and the critters are both small and scarce, but it is nonetheless more than a little unnerving.

Club Nautico is just as we remember, and there’s quite a buzz around here as many boats prepare to head toward the Panama Canal and begin the Pacific Ocean crossing.  When we left Cartagena last summer, it was the rainy season – blisteringly hot and intensely humid, interrupted by frequent downpours.  Having returned in the dry season, the days are temperate, breezy, and dry (comparatively speaking).  As I sit here writing this post, I’m looking out on the marina and beyond … it’s a sunny and beautiful day, not a cloud in the sky.  The clubhouse is full of boaters from all over the world … drinking Aguila or Club Colombia beers, playing dominoes and Scrabble, and passing time in anticipation of the passage to Panama.

The War on Terror

Posted by: melissa

So Huge and Quite CloseOur 47-hour passage from Cartagena to Colon, Panama, was totally uneventful, unlike our last attempt.  The wind was  very low and we were forced to motor about two-thirds of the time.

On our approach, we marveled at the 30 or so tankers and freighters anchored outside of the entrance of the Panama Canal waiting for passage.  We passed through the “goalposts” (that’s kind of what they looked like) indicating the opening of the canal breakwater, and then took a right turn into Shelter Bay The Entrance to the Breakwater is Really Well MarkedMarina.

The assault on Spectacle’s roach problem (now referred to as the War on Terror) is coming along nicely as well.  Due to our unusually conscientious/formalistic (depending on your view) regulatory framework, the United States is missing out on all kinds of extremely effective, and equally frightening, insect extermination systems.  I purchased an aerosol spray that is an absolute killing machine … one quick blast will instantly drop a roach in full stride.  Andy zapped a fly the other day and the thing was dead well before it hit the ground.  We no longer use this (nicknamed “Napalm”) without ample ventilation and immediate hand-washing.