Portobello, Panama

Things got interesting early morning as I approached the Panama Canal entrance.  Look at the AIS view on my chart plotter above.  I had over 100 ships listed on that chart.  It made for some pretty entertaining navigation.  I cruised right between the main fleet and the 4 ships furthest left on the chart. 

Last night was an easy sail for the most part though. I was on watch with a constant alarm going off every 30 minutes.  I’d do the usual watch routine and check 360 degrees around the boat for anything.  If there was nothing I checked the course, reset the alarm, and passed back out.  

Anybody who has done extensive night watches knows it just flat out sucks.  The payoff though if you have the morning sunrise watch is always spectacular.  I got to watch the sun rise over the mountains this morning just outside Colon.  Another insane view of the clouds burning away as the sun slowly changed colors and came into the sky!

My breakfast amazing popped out of the hatch soon after the sun had crested the mountain tops.  I ate my fruit plate with coconut water and enjoyed my morning talk with Olivia. The talk went something like this.. 

Olivia: How was last night?
Matt: You mean the entire night?
Olivia: Yeah, Did everything go ok?
Matt: Yeah it was a blast! haha NOT

After breakfast she went back to bed and I went and set the poles out on the back deck.  It couldn’t have been more than an hour before I hooked up into this 50 lb. Wahoo.  Fish On, I yelled at the top of my lungs while throwing the boat in neutral and running for the noisy pole.  Olivia came up and had no idea what was going on whatsoever.  I told her to grab the other pole and reel it in for me.  Clueless she sat there looking at me having no idea what I was talking about.  

I guided her through the steps of bringing in that line and getting me the gaff as I fought this monster on our old piece of work pole.  She had no idea still what was happening.  I asked for the gaff and with one hand on the leader and the gaff in the other I got a good hit on the fish and grabbed the gaff with both hands.  I was so worn out from fighting the fish that I could barely lift him the 5 feet over the lifelines and onto the deck.

Tired as all hell I grabbed a towel, one of my best ones on board, threw it over the entire fish and just laid there on top of him like in some weird wrestling position.  I finally gained back some energy and shoved a gallon size bottle of Abuelo Rum in his gills and it was lights out soon there after.

Life on the boat for the next week is going to be something along these lines..

Breakfast: Wahoo, Pancakes, home fries, toast, grits, fruit, coconut water, etc.

Lunch: Blackened Wahoo Sandwiches, fresh lettuce,  onion, tomato with chips

Dinner: Wahoo anyway you can think of it.. Tacos, grilled, sauteed, stir fry, Thai style, Asian noodle, etc..  Served with fresh veggies, potatoes, salad, and the list goes on..  

I am so stoked I can’t stand it. Its been awhile since we have had a really nice fresh fish on board!

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