Nancy and Sam welcome you aboard Windfall, our 1977 Maple Leaf sailboat. Windfall is a center cockpit design, 42' length, 13.5' wide, and 40,000 lbs of cruising fun!

On August 7th, 2010 we set sail on our "No Itinerary" world cruise and enjoying the "Cruising Life" very much! It's a wonderful adventure!!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Hotel Windfall is open for business!

Ahh...Smooth sailing! This is what Admiral "Aunt Nancy" likes!!
     Nancy's niece Christine, and her boyfriend Soham, came aboard Windfall currently anchored at Bocas del Toro Panama to visit, relax, sail, and snorkel with us. We think this blog may have had a little to do with making their decision to come easier.
     We met Christine and Soham at the HUGE Bocas airport, and within minutes we were aboard Windfall unpacking the items we  had them bring down...nobody comes to Windfall empty-handed!
      After an introductory Balboa beer and great food served at the Bocas Cantena we made plans for the few days they have aboard. So,the next morning at the crack of ohhh...lets say...10 O'clock... we raised anchor, and set the mainsail. Light winds prevailed so we set our course and motorsailed toward the beautiful Zapatilla Islands. 
     It's the Leatherback Turtle's egg-laying season. Four of the worlds eight breeds of sea turtles lay eggs on the beaches in the Bocas area.
     The weather gods were smiling as we set anchor in crystal clear 84 degree Caribbean water and jumped in. The water was smooth as glass as we dropped the dinghy anchor in the white sand 10 feet below....Perfect! This is Christine and Soham's first time snorkeling and no better place to start than right here and right now! After a quick lesson of..breath in...breath out...Yep! You've got it! Lets Go! They were soon snorkeling like pros. We snorkeled till we were exhausted. 
      The Zapatilla Park Rangers came out and asked if we anchor tonight to please reduce our cabin lights and to not use our anchor light so not to scare the turtles. "No problema," we replied. We could see the red flashlights of the Turtle Conservatory volunteers working on the beach and searching for the turtle eggs. They take it very seriously here.
     That afternoon, with a soft tropic Caribbean breeze blowing, Christine and Soham walked the island  hand in hand as they enjoyed time alone...a little romantic time together is always nice. I picked them up at the beach at sunset and returned to Windfall sitting peacefully at anchor in the mirrored glass water. After a few cold Balboa beers, Nancy made her (now famous) Chicken Satay (peanut sauce with chicken and rice). That evening we sat in the dim lit cockpit with a nice breeze, cold beverage, enjoying the wonderful quite of the Caribbean water splashing gently against the side of Windfall.

Christine getting her first sailing lesson from Aunt Nancy.             

"Captain Christine" at the helm. She has Windfall sailing with mainsail and jib full of 20 knot wind, and heeled 15 degrees!         Nice job Christine!!

     The next day we decided to sail to Dolphin Bay....but the weather gods were sneaky. First they allowed us to sail in beautiful 15-20 knot winds with calm water....Christine and Soham took turns at the helm as we taught basic sailing skills and noticed the winds were picking up. As we crossed the open water toward Dolphin Bay the waves were short choppy and 3-4 feet. NOT what we wanted for our new crew...and hoping "Mal de Mar" (sea sickness) wouldn't show up. We laughed back at the gods as we entered calm Dolphin Bay and dropped anchor in protected water! Ha! Take THAT weather gods!
     With the water calling us to come on in, we jumped in near the mangroves and swam along the colorful coral and fishes. A great day was had by all.  We spotted a couple of dolphins nearby and we went to investigate with snorkels and fins in hand. Gulp! This was a "little" un-nerving for Christine and Soham. They slipped over the side of the dinghy and into the water where they couldn't see the bottom (80-90 feet deep). But, they did great and passed the test with flying colors! No dolphins came near enough to "play" with us...but they were close enough that you could hear their "clicks" of communication in the water!
Three dolphins coming toward the dinghy!
     With our new crew, experienced, and having sailed in "rough" water and near 30 knot winds, we pronounced them as TRUE crew members of Windfall! As an initiation, we just had to show them the movie EVERY sailboat has aboard...."Captain Ron" with Kurt Russel and Martin Short. This is a MUST see comedy for anyone wanting to sail!
     The next day the weather gods were smiling upon the crew of Windfall, we saw a few dolphins in the bay, but decided to dinghy 3 miles to another bay in search of more dolphins to swim with. No luck! BUT...we did find a great place to snorkel with awesome corals, colorful fish, sea anemones, and hundreds of fish hiding in the mangrove roots along the shore. We spent a couple hours just swimming in the tiny cove.

         On our return to Windfall, we spotted dolphins jumping and surfacing near us! Soon, we were in the water....a "little" nervousness was had by our new crew as they jumped into the deep water with dolphins, but brave they were! Soham saw one dolphin below as we swam in the deep water.
      On their last day aboard Windfall Christine and Soham went to the Oreba organic chocolate farm for a wonderful sunny day adventure.  Then, sadly, they returned to pack for the 5P.M. return flight back to Panama City and then Florida. We know they'll be a little slower at work and school as they daydream of snorkeling the warm Caribbean water and snacking on a delicious piece of Oreba Chocolate.....Mmm-Mmm! I think I'll have a piece right now! 

     We are loving the Bocas area, exploring new bays and coves, and enjoying life aboard Windfall...THIS is why we sail!

Enjoy the pictures!

Snorkel time! This is how we roll!

"Expert snorkeler" Christine in action!

 Soham is a natural at snorkeling! Hope the watch is waterproof!
Sam snorkeling 15 feet below and near huge coral
Nancy spotted and Sam retrieved this beautiful live Conch
"Snorkel talking" to each other.....Only they can understand what is being said! "Huu huu huu.. Hum?? Brrr...mumble"