In the morning, we rose, had breakfast and then motored back past Dalrymple and into Wreck Bay. As soon as we were cleared by the authorities, not an easy task as the authorities were somewhat suspicious and officious. A friend, Tom Blackwell, came over from another boat, the Islander, bringing with him oranges, bananas and lemons which were very acceptable as our fresh fruit purchased in Balboa had run out ten days before.

Tom had left Panama the day before us and had taken 19 days to reach Wreck Bay, but motored a lot of the way. Roscops (who had left Wreck Bay this very morning, for Academy Bay) had left Balboa four days before us and had had good weather for the whole of the trip and had taken only 11 days.

 
 
On Sunday, 19th April, after having made all the necessary preparations, we left Balboa and motored to the Tobago Islands, where we were becalmed for four hours. Then at 4 pm the wind and sea built up and we could see a storm hanging over Balboa. 


 
 
If I ever go long distance sailing again, I would want a boat at least 40 ft long, as with this one can earn a living. Most of the boats we meet are bigger than ours and I now have a very clear idea of the type of boat best suited to this kind of life. How you would have reacted off Maracaibo, I don’t know, but the rest of it I think you should enjoy, once you got over your initial fears. I think that Penny will want to go back to sea again. With her own charter boat, she says.


 
 
At the club we found one British yacht, Islander, 56 ft long, sailed, single handed, by a retired naval chap, Tom Blackwell, with whom we have become very friendly. The next day, a Belgium boat, Roscops, arrived. We had last met in Tenerife. Both these boats are bound for Tahiti via Galapagos and Marquesas, as we are.