Spread; The powerful Kristen 46 'Precious Metal' powers across the bar at Bahia del Sol, El Salvador. Upper left inset; Pamela and a friend land a big mahi mahi. Lower left spread; A small piece of the engine wiring fried by lightning. Breathing the toxic fumes caused Pamela health issues.
up with Garmin that I wrote all the company executives around the world and told them I was going to report what had happened to all the sailing magazines. A week later they had the correct autopilot installed on my boat â€” even though it required their getting a custom pump made in Seattle. But I still wasn't very happy, as I'd had to hand-steer for a year, and I'd paid full price for the autopilot. 38: Where did you stay while you were in Panama? P.B. The Perlas Islands, which are on the Pacific side. We'd commute back and forth between the Perlas and Panama City when we needed food and supplies. My boat became my office, fitness center and spa. Remember, she has a bathtub. After a full day of doing my stuff, I'd join Mr. X for dinner and then spend the night on his cat.
38: How did you like Panama? P.B. It's a great place and you can get just about everything done there. But it's a corrupt society, and I always felt like I had to keep looking over my shoulder. This was especially true when it came to the nitty gritty of a blonde woman trying to buy boat gear. For example, I needed new chain badly, but I just didn't believe that I could trust any of the vendors in Panama to sell me good quality chain. 38: Did you think about going through the Canal to the Caribbean? P.B. Yes, but we decided that we didn't want to take two boats through the Canal. And I decided that I wanted to return to Canada for at least part of the year to work on my speaking business. So we singlehanded both boats north, stopping every
night. I loved stopping at every harbor between Panama and British Columbia. Mr. X joined me for several of the legs, and Vicky from Roscinante joined me for another two weeks. 38: Wait a minute, you're telling us that you anchored every night!? P.B. Yes. In the case of my boat, all the way from Panama to Canada. Mr. X took his boat to Puerto Escondido in the Sea of Cortez. If there weren't harbors or anchorages, we'd just look for places to drop the hook. We didn't anchor in places where there were rocks, but when we found some sand, we'd drop the hook in 40 feet and spend the night. If it was too close to shore, we'd anchor in 50 feet. 38: How much chain did you have? P.B. About 250 feet. But when I left Panama, my chain had lost so much galvanizing that the links would stick together. I didn't get new chain in Panama because I didn't feel I could trust the quality, so I waited until I got to Mexico. So between Panama and Mexico, we'd get to a roadstead at 4:30 p.m, and Mr. X would drop his anchor. I, on the other hand, would have to go up to the windlass with a hammer and chisel and break the links apart. [Laughter.] 38: Having spent a lot of time on a monohull and on a multihull, which do you prefer? P.B. I'd like to have a monohull to sail across oceans. I found it to be very unnatural to be on Mr. X's cat, as the seas would be going, bong, bong, bong, bong against the hulls. My monohull plowed through the waves serenely, without the discombobulating noise made by the cat. It wasn't 'bombs' on the bottom of the cat's bridgedeck that bothered me, but rather the seas slamming on both sides of the hulls. I couldn't find anyplace comfortable to sleep on Mr. X's boat when at sea. I've crossed between Baja and the Mexican mainland several times on Mr. X's cat in beam seas, and I didn't like it. Riley, Pamela's "soul mate, strength and pride" was Bendall's constant cruising companion until his recent passing. PRECIOUS METAL
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The May 2014 issue of the West's premier sailing and marine magazine.