Aboard s/v Epsilon

Dan joined Bill Southon, on February 18, 2023, in Acapulco, Mexico to help sail Bill’s boat (s/v Epsilon) to Panama and then transit the Panama Canal.

Friday March 24, 2023, I flew to Panama City joining Dan and crew to transit the canal.

Saturday March 25, 2023, provision day for our trip, Cheryl (Bill’s wife) arrived this afternoon. We all went out to dinner the night before our transit.

Sunday March 26, 2023, canal transit day! We are doing the transit in one day, arrived at out wait point at 5:30 am. Dan and I worked the lines on the bow, Andrea (Andi) and Janusz from s/v Sidona, were in the stern. Bill at the helm, Cheryl taking pictures and feeding everyone. Arrived at Shelter Bay Marina around 5 pm, the 6 of us shared a bottle of champagne, then had dinner at the restaurant here.

Monday March 27, 2023, by 12 noon, Dan and I were off to sea aboard Epsilon, an Island Packet Motor Sailor. It has the livability of a trawler, with the ability to sail. We have Starlink on board! Kinda cool to have internet so far away from land. First destination Grand Cayman Islands.

Tuesday March 28, 2023, not gonna lie this wind and waves were very unpleasant. We both got sea sick, luckily the windows are big enough hang out of. We have a slight heal to port, seating is only on the starboard side, makes for an uncomfortable ride always being on the high side.

Caribbean Sea sunset

Wednesday March 29, 2023, still in recovery mode. Funny after 2 1/2 years sailing around the world neither of us were sea sick.

Thursday March 30, 2023, I think we’ll have lots of food left. Day 3 we both don’t feel like eating much.

It seams like the waves and wind caused us to burn excess fuel, we should have had a 1000 mile range, but the distance from Panama to Grand Cayman is about 650 miles.

Friday March 31, 2023, low on fuel the tank reads 1/16 left or about 13 gallons. There may not be enough to get into the bay on Grand Cayman Island. Dan radioed to a passing cargo ship, Condor Arrow requesting if they could provide 45 liters of diesel, and they delivered it to us, free of charge. The ship slowed to around 4 knots, I steered the boat to within 6 ft of the ship while Dan retrieved 4 jerry cans of diesel. In return, we put together a bag of snacks for them, and sent them back using the rope they sent down.

Arrived in George Town, Grand Cayman Island at 8:00pm, attached to a mooring ball.

Pasta Salad elbow pasta, corn, black beans, onion, tomatoes, cucumber with Italian dressing for dinner. Left overs tomorrow, I’ll add chorizo and Gouda cheese with a little more salad dressing. There was enough leftover for a third meal.

Pasta Salad

Saturday April 1, 2023, we spent a total of 16 hours in George Town, Grand Cayman. Checking in and out of the country, purchased duty free fuel, additional water, then departed for Florida.

Sunday April 2, 2023, Dan made fried eggs with toast and juice for breakfast. We’re finally enjoying food again.

The day has been very light winds, 1-5 knots mostly on the nose. We’re motor sailing with Genoa pulled in tight, as there are a few small rolling waves. For lunch we shared 2 oranges and an apple.

Dinner, I made rice. 3/4 c. +1.5c of water, adding a can of Kirkland canned chicken and about 2 teaspoons of a taco seasoning. Meanwhile in a bowl I added 1 can of black beans rinsed and drained, a can of chopped chilies, a tomato diced as well as a small onion diced. To this I added t tablespoon of cider vinegar and 2 tablespoons of oil. When the rice/chicken was done, that was dumped into the bowl, mixing it all up. On a wheat tortilla was added thin slices of pepper jack cheese, then a scoop of the rice mix, rolled up to make a burrito. Enough for leftovers, plus we still have one meal left of the pasta salad. We decided to make the burritos today as the wind will pick up tomorrow and Tuesday, alway good to have dinner already made for higher winds and waves.

Monday April 3,

Sunrise over Cuba

Tuesday April 4, after rounding the western point of Cuba, we headed northeast to jump on the Gulf Stream. It gave us an additional 2 knots of speed sometimes more. We were motor sailing at 9-11 knots.

Wednesday April 5, cruising past Palm Beach, we used the CPB Roam App, and were able to check back into the USA while sailing 12 miles from shore.

Thursday April 6, just after sunrise, we entered the Ponce de Leon Inlet on the ICW. Destination is Hammocks Beach Resort and Marina near Palm Coast, FL. We arrived there around 12:45pm. This the new home for Epsilon.

17 thoughts on “Aboard s/v Epsilon

  1. I know those mixed up waves just out of Colon can be disconcerting. Covid year we left on a bit of a different tack, leaving from San Blas Islands, avoiding Caymans and rounding West end of Cuba to Tampa Bay..
    8 days so similar time. Sure you are glad to be back.


    1. Thanks Judy. We didn’t meet up with your friend at Shelter Bay as we departed the next morning, due to a weather window. There was a big Happy Birthday sign hanging off the pool wall.


  2. Sorry you had some rough sailing and sickness after Panama but recovered quickly. Glad the ship could spare some fuel, free too, what a deal! Owners should be thrilled that they had you both sailing their boat back for them👍
    See you soon,

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow! So cool you were on the ocean again! How weird you both got sea sick!

    Awesome to hear a cargo shop helped you out with fuel!

    Glad you had a safe passage.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Could it have been food issues from Sat or Sun night combined with drinks? Great deal on the free gas! Glad you had a safe passage. Off to Iceland & Germany tomorrow. Sail Safe.


    1. No, it definitely was not from food, or drinks. it was rough seas, like a washing machine with no air circulation in the wheelhouse with the windows closed as to not get wet. Have fun in Germany and Iceland!


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