090220; 1554 UTC,
Isla Espiritu Santo, Islas Las Perlas, Republic of Panamá
N 08 degrees 25.5’ / W 078 degrees 51.1’
We thought by this time we'd be emailing you on passage to the Galapagos and south seas. However fate has been kind to us and while inspecting our rigging yesterday (an item on our departure checklist), while anchored in the Islas Las Perlas, we found that our forestay is just about to part. It has basically failed but it's still hanging by a few wire threads. A complete failure of this type while under way would have been somewhat catastrophic since, at best, the furling rigging would have fallen and gotten bent and destroyed in the process. Fixing this at sea would have also been difficult or impossible.
Today we hope to get the hardware ordered for the repair (plus spares) and will likely have to go back to the city (grrrr) to fix it. The fittings are Sta-Lok brand so the actual repair shouldn't take long, barring any unforeseen issues. Of course we'll have to get the rig down with a few hands helping. Last year we helped friends put a new forestay onto a Profurl roller furling (which is the same as ours), so we've had some experience-perhaps just enough to make us dangerous!
We are disappointed of course to turn back but will keep in touch with our "class" of "puddle jumpers" through a net we helped found a few weeks back. This marine frequency radio net will allow boats in the fleet to support each other by sharing weather, sea conditions, etc. and also provide relays and assistance in the event of an emergency.
Mentally we were ready to go to sea. We had a fabulous gathering at the restaurant Napoli in Panama City with 27 amazing folks, all good friends, who we thought we may never see again. Leslie is superstitious of "going away" parties, thinking they could invite "the gods" to play, and perhaps she is right...here we come again folks!
We hope sincerely that our next passage note will be when we are once again headed west under sail.
Sus amigos del velero Carina,
Philip, Leslie and el gato supremo, Jake
At 2/18/2009 and 21:45 UTC (GMT) our position was: 08°25.48'N / 078°51.14'W