Saturday, November 6, 2021

Southern Hemisphere


Pilot boat guiding Aspen into Puerto Amistad

Neptune's toast!

Panama electronics expert working on Aspen's autopilot

A German Shepard dog searching Aspen in Ecuador!

When the sea was calm for 1 hour...

Leaving Panama with a calm sea.  That didn't last!

Puerto Amistad, Ecuador.  In the river where Aspen is moored.

Aspen's mooring, fore and aft, in the river.

It is very shallow in the river at Puerto Amistad.  The long bridge makes for a nice run too!

Drone picture of Aspen's mooring at Puerto Amistad, Ecuador

S/Y Aspen – November 6, 2021 – Log #177

Aspen Position: 00 degrees 35’ S, 080 degrees 25’ W

Puerto Amistad, Bahía de Caráquez, Ecuador

Southern Hemisphere

 It took three attempts to finally leave Panama. 

 On the first try the alternator failed.  The second departure date, the autopilot quit.  Then the third time, Aspen worked great, all the way to Ecuador.  People say things happen for a reason but it was really frustrating to say the least.  At least the repairs could be done in a great place as Panama, instead of somewhere down the line where there are few facilities for fixing things.

Crossing the equator is always exciting, not related to the wind and seas.  Neptune was waiting for Aspen and wondering what gifts she brought:  Only the finest Panamanian RUM and M&M’s of course!  May Neptune help us on our journey around South America.

Puerto Amistad allowed us to arrive in Ecuador, since most ports are closed to marine traffic.  I applied 3 weeks before we set sail and was granted permission to enter Ecuador.  The COVID test upon arrival coincided with a three day fiesta so there was no leaving Aspen for dry land until the parties stopped.  My running legs wanted exercise in the worst way.

Aspen is tied bow and stern to moorings in the river, the only place to stay.  The river flows at 2.6 knots, both directions, depending on the tide.  Coming into the river a pilot is required to guide us in and the entrance can only be attempted at high tide, due to the shallow depth and breaking seas.  It was quite a ride on Aspen when we came in.  Kind of like driving a Formula 1 car, maneuvering to avoid shoals, rocks, and the huge waves, but without the blazing speed of a race car.

The marina people are very nice and helpful.  Between my poor Spanish language skills and their lack of English, we eventually get things understood:  Donde esta diesel?!?

The temperature is surprisingly cool, both day and night, considering we are sitting on the equator.  It certainly is not hot here compared with Panama heat!

This area is kind of an Ecuadorian resort town with wealthier Quito residents visiting and partying.  There is one modern grocery store in a small mall that has a very nice food court.  KFC and Carl’s Burgers are two popular eateries in the mall.  Ah, I won’t perish after all.

The sea and distant horizons are calling Aspen again.  Departure date will be this coming week for Easter Island, Chile. 

Sail on, sail on Aspen…

Fair winds,



1.   Aspen has a Garmin tracker working so you can follow along:

2. Our updated sailing book, Voyage Into Hell, is available at (

3. And the new edition for the book, Leadville Trail 100; History of the Leadville Trail 100 Mile Running Race is also available at (

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