2. Isla Mujeres, Quintana Roo MX
  3. Cruiser Safety Alert – CUSTOMS @ Border Town Talisman, Chiapas, MX *
  4. Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala
  5. Picture of the Week
  6. Punta Guiones, Costa Rica
  7. Vista Mar Marina Rates, Panama 
  8. Rounding of Punta Mala, PANAMA
  9. Passing Ships at night, Papagayo Winds
  10. Boca Chica, PANAMA
  11. About heading across the Pacific
  12. San Blas, Panama
  13. * Situational awareness levels
  14. Zihuatanejo, MX
  15. Notice to Mariners: Marina Ixtapa, Channel Closing
  16. Sailing into Playas Del Coco, Costa Rica
  17. Early Warning of new exit Requirements from Mexico in Chiapas
  18. Panama Canal, Successful Passage
  19. Boca Chica, Panama
  21. Satellite .mbtiles which work deliciously with OpenCPN 5.0+
  22. Please reply to this email
  23. Opt-Out 

1) We welcome our newest Sponsor
Sevenstar is proud to be the logistics partner of choice for the PANAMA POSSE fleet,
and will be providing tailored solutions from Golfito in Southern Costa Rico, Manzanillo, La Paz to Ensenada, Mexico and Victoria,Canada and beyond.

            - Seven Star Yacht Transport

For more information about how Sevenstar can help your extend your plans or return you back to
home base for the transport of your yacht, please contact Kris Caren kris@sevenstar-usa.com & mention the
Panama Posse and you’ll get your discount as well For more information about PANAMA POSSE and Sevenstar Yacht Transport BV please visit the below websites:


2) Isla Mujeres, Quintana Roo MX
Independence (CounterPosse)  finally left Key West and made it to beautiful
Isla Mujeres
, Quintana Roo MX, where we enjoyed a beautiful sunrise (see attached photo.


We are now in Puerta Aventuras and plan on being to Bay Islands Honduras by this weekend.

Larry & Jamie



3) Cruiser Safety Alert – CUSTOMS @ Border Town Talisman, Chiapas, MX

This is Steve and Chelsea on s/v Jean Anne.
I’m writing to you this morning to please include an alert to all cruisers passing through Chiapas that they should be warned to avoid Talisman, Mexico (Mexico-Guatamala border crossing) under ALL circumstances.

Yesterday, Friday Feb. 28th, we needed to go to the Guatemalan border to deal with a VISA issue. We were told by the Marina Chiapas manager that his immigration friend recommended we go to the border – that the airport was not an option to get our issue resolved. Unaware of which crossing to go to, we headed to the more Northern border known as “Talisman”.

When we arrived, we immediately encountered young Mexican men with fraudulant ID badges that attempted to sell us faked Visas. One man claiming to be a Mexican official (with an official, Mexican-sealed and stamped-looking badge) brought us into the correct immigration office, likely to gain our trust. We would learn hours later this man was NOT a Mexican official and was a fraud/criminal looking for money either via tip or by force.  It quickly became apparent that he was also working with at least six or more other males and was doing all of this criminal activity in open-sight on both sides of the border unabated.

While at the border, we were required to cross into Guatemala twice. As soon as we entered, it became obvious there was a significant criminal element working in coordination and absolutely no police presence at all.

A series of incidents occurred while we were at this crossing that could have very easily been life-threatening, including having our passports taken by these unknown men and finding ourselves literally surrounded by five men at one point.
We are warning all cruisers to avoid this border under ALL circumstances, unless escorted by an offical approved by the marina office. 

Steve & Chelsea


(note: we know STEVE coming out of the law enforcement field has ample experience
Carinthia cancelled their tip in 2018 @ Talisman and it was an ok experience albeit slow
– when we went back to Mexico in 2019 the Marina Chiappas advised us
to not go to Talisman but
to opt for the Border crossing customs station at Ciudad Hidalgo, MX @ 14°40’37.9″N 92°08’57.1″W

This worked well but the situation is fluid in many parts due to the migrant crisis in Central America
in the area so PLEASE USE CAUTION –
situational awareness * – see item 10) – something we will add to next years safety seminar !


4) Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala

Update from Bait ‘N’ Switch:
Currently in Marina Papagayo, Costa Rica. The Papagayos are blowing! This update is about Puerto Quetzal, however.
Arrived Marina Pez Vela, Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala on Feb 11 at sunset. Radioed Capitan del Puerto on VHF 16 re arrival and they replied something about checkin on boat that evening. Soon after, an older guy named Miguel Oscar came with some papers to fill out. Turns out he was an agent–not an official. He then asked for $440 which he said included $300 for official visit, $90 for 3 passports and $50 for his services. He asked for the funds in cash, payable right away and proceeded to say it would help with the costs for his wife who had cancer and the therapy was expensive. (!?) We paid but made him sign something that he had received the funds and what they were for. We also asked what other costs there would be and he said only $20 for exit zarpe when we left. He went away with our passports and returned about 2 hours later with the Port Captain, immigration officer and customs officer and our 3 passports. All was fine.
We checked in with the marina the next day (Ivan Marroquin, cell +502-4873-7348) at a rate of $2/foot.  There were no services on shore (no wifi, no women’s bathroom or shower) although there is water and power on the dock. We were the only transient boat amongst lots of charter sportfishing boats.
Upon checkout with the marina, Ivan (a helpful guy who also oversees the cruise terminal) called the agent who came by asked for the $20 plus $90 for 3 passports. We were very angry about the $90 and called Ivan to intercede and he did help. After a lot of back and forth, we paid the $20 and Miguel Oscar left with our 3 passports. He returned about 1.5 hours later with our passports and asked for $45 instead of $90. We asked for receipts for evertything but he said they were all back at the office. We reluctantly paid and learned a lesson–when using agent, get in writing in advance what it will cost to check in and out and demand receipts for everything. We also heard from an American guy who runs a sportfishing operation there that we don’t have to use an agent. I’m not sure how to do it yourself, but I assume you’d need a cab to go to the various offices which are probably near the commercial harbor.
The good: A friend arranged a driver for us to Antigua (1.5 hours). They also have Uber in Guatemala which would have been cheaper.  Antigua is a beautiful Spanish colonial town with cobblestone streets surrounded by 3 volcanoes and well worth the visit. Lake Atitlan is also supposed to be very beautiful. Also, for those who love to fish, this is supposedly the sailfish capital of the world (thus the name “Pez Vela”).
The bad: The expensive checkin process. Also, we were assigned an end tie on the floating dock and the surge is very strong. Overnight we popped one ball fender and lost another due to the intense surge.  The surge is manageable if you tie the boat using long lines and lots of fenders.  Being assigned a slip/mooring dock (tie off to pilings)  would have made the surge much more manageable. There is a lot of coal dust when it’s windy as there are huge piles of coal at the marina destined for the power plants. (See coal piles behind marina in photo.) Still, we loved touring around Antigua area!
Laurie & John

Bait ‘N’ Switch III

Santa Maria
Bardin / Spielberg

5) Picture of the Week – Fuel dock at Marina Puerto de la Navidad, MX
500 year old fuel for their twin 350hp diesel engines first spotted in Chiapas a few weeks back.

This 200t spanish flagged replica of the Santa Maria is in the Costalegre area filming
an Amazon miniseries about the legendary Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés developed by Steven Spielberg.
and tapped Oscar-winning actor Javier Bardem to play the titular conquistador.


Created and written by Steven Zaillian (Schindler’s List), the Cortes miniseries will follow Hernán Cortes as he leads a “rebellious expedition” to King Montezuma II’s Aztec empire. Cortes was famous for bringing about the fall of the Aztec Empire and leading the first phase of the colonization of the Americas by Spanish conquistadors.

The epicenter of the filming with lot’s of local extras and help from the Panama Posse HQ marina is the backdrop around the Punta Perula / Chamela / Playa Pariso area.

Here is the Good Nautical Anchorages map of the area.


Suzanne( took the picture) & Dietmar


6) Punta Guiones, Costa Rica


Pilot whales playing off the bow in Punta Guiones, Costa Rica !


Still waiting for your …


Paul & Hazel



7) Vista Mar Marina Rates, Panama

2020  Rates at Vista Mar Marina. I checked with Cesar to get the accurate information.
The rates below are the US dollar STANDARD rates as of Jan 2020.

Panama Posse 2020 gets a 25% discount off of those rates for a total length of stay of 3 months (90 days), starting the count of days when they arrive. 
Your payment must be calculated and paid on your arrival. So if you pay for a week, but stay for a month you do not get the monthly rate.
Since I’ve been here for 14 months, Cesar might have cut me a deal. But he mentioned that the 90 days do not have to be consecutive.

Vista Mar

The first number is the Monohull rate second number is Multihull rate.
These numbers are per foot with a minimum of 35 feet.

Up to 60 feet
0- 7 nights 0.75, 1.00
8 – 14 nights 0.70, 0.90
15 – 29 nights 0.65 0.80
Monthly (30 days) 0.55, 0.70
90 days and over0.50, 0.65

61 to 80 ft
0 – 7 nights 0.90, 1.15
8 – 14 nights 0.85, 1.10
15 – 29 nights 0.80, 1.00
Monthly rate (30 days) 0.75, 0.75
90 days and over 0.55, 0.70

81 to 100 ft is very similar, except and 0.05 to 0.10 on multi-hull only

My monthly electric is $20 just for the hook up. My usage was quite small.

I don’t have numbers for usage or numbers for shorter terms than a month.


Water in Panama is potable

Now for some bad news.
The resort pool is owned and run by different people than the Marina. 
They want $75/person for one month access.
$25/person for one day.
Walt & JearieneKNOT RIGHT

8) Passing Ships at night, Papagayo Winds

Saltair3 passing SV Blessed Life off the coast of Nicaragua 20 nm north of SJDS in the heart of the papagayos with 11 knots of wind on a beam reach. Yes!  Hello Blessed Life. Perfect Wx window for this!
4 Posse boats at 11:00pm crossing through the non existent Papagayo winds (currently 8 knots of wind) all boats within 4 miles of each other and 25 nm north of SJDS. 3 heading north and one heading south.
SV Trance, SV Ankyrios
SV Saltair3 and SV Blessed Life. Pretty cool! Lots of fishermen out here too. Be aware and take care.


Brad, Cole & Krista


9) Boca Chica, PANAMA

Interim Port of Entry report at Boca Chica.  I’ll write a full report for GoodNautical when I have a little more information after we receive the cruising permit.

Carlos is the go-to guy here in Boca Chica.  He has a dock, boat ramp, and a few moorings.  He can also coordinate the officials from Pedregal.  Carlos is a get things done kind of guy and as ethical as the day is long!  His cell/whatsapp # is
+507 6600-6191

Our rowing dinghy can’t handle the current through the channel, so Carlos picked us up just before 8am and brought us to his place where the officials were waiting.

There were four officials.  Port Captain (Moises), Health inspector, Customs, and Immigration.

The fees totaled $167 because it was a festival holiday.  Non-holiday would be about $30 less.
The cruising permit is $185 and is delayed a bit because of the holiday.  We’ll get it by Thursday.

Diesel Fuel
We were charged $1.00 a litre for diesel, about $4.00 a gallon.
Street price on diesel in Panama seems to be about $3.75 or so, so that’s not a bad markup.
Pick up and Delivery of our jerry cans was an extra fee ($20.00 in our case).



10) Rounding of Punta Mala, PANAMA


Green flash and Avant rounding Punta Mala with 12 knots of wind from the north east!  What a beautiful thing!

11) About heading across the Pacific …

The South Pacific Sailing Network is inviting all sailors heading to the Pacific Islands for a free informative
seminar about Tahiti Tonga Fiji and New Zealand at Shelter Bay Marina on March 1st 10 am to 2 pm.
Drinks will be offered

          Pacific Sailing


12) San Blas, Panama

          Blas 2

Dan &  Angela

*13) Situational awareness levels – (now you know):

For optimal situational awareness stay in Condition Yellow

            stages from

Could not find a better graphic with a mariner /
sailor but maybe we’ll get some at the Party @ Vista Mar on May 30th 😉

In a dynamic situation, situational awareness is embedded in a loop where the environment affects SA
and decisions made under a particular level of SA affect the environment

  • Learn to Predict Events
  • Identify Elements Around You
  • Trust Your Feelings
  • Limit Situational Overload
  • Avoid Complacency
  • Be Aware of Time
  • Begin to Evaluate and Understand Situations
  • Actively Prevent Fatigue

For more on this topic please head to

14) Zihuatanejo, MX

          Nauticcal Zihuatanejo

Cruisers – Welcome to Zihuatanejo      

Here are a few facts to help you out.

Report into the Port Captain to register

Information: listen to the morning Cruiser Net on VHF 22A at 8:30 every morning

Anchoring Protocol for Sailfest boats:

. …during Sailfest please mark your GPS anchor location and use just that spot. This allows Sunset Cruise boats to easily return to their spot at dusk plus allows the Panga guys to get familiar with where to find the boat. The anchorage will get crowded and it helps immensely if everyone stays in the same place.
Dinghy parking and Valet Service:

 on the beach to the right of the pier and before the fishing boats. Alfonso, Jesús, Mateo and whoever else greets the dinghies and watches them 24/7…..a great service. A minimum payment of 20 pesos in and 20 pesos out is suggested.
Concierge Service:

…Ismael and Hilda located beside the Tourist Welcome building. They can be called on VHF 65 and will deliver fuel, water, ice, beer, propane plus local knowledge like who to call for outboard repairs, diesel engine service, parts etc. Tel: 755 108-9161

Ismael and Hilda are our Amazon Mexico drop-off location.Full address is: Paseo de Pescador, No 1-B, Muelle, Col Centro, Zihuatanejo, Guererro 40880

Panga & Water Taxi:

 Coordinator- Jorge- looks after all the guest boarding for the on-the-water Sailfest events as well as providing taxi service from the pier to your boat. Jorge speaks English and can be called at: 755-111-0194. His boat is called ‘Rumbo Sur’

Showers. Are available across from Ismael and Hilda’s booth at the shore end of the pier…clean and well managed. Cost is: 15 pesos

Laundromat- self-service – located on Vicente Guerrero between Nicolas Bravo and Ejido St. (beside the Banamex)

There are several other laundry services available on La Boquita, which runs along the canal.


– most banks Scotiabank, Bancomer, Banamex, Santander are all located on Benito Juarez. There is an Intercam on Morelos

Taxis – generally 35 pesos for the downtown central area, but may increase to 40 pesos to Mega, Sam’s, bus station

– 55 pesos to La Ropa, at night more for return

– 35 pesos Madera, 40 Madera uphill

– 85 pesos Ixtapa Playa Palmar

– 95 pesos Ixtapa Marina

Buses – generally 10 pesos to La Ropa, 9round town

– 14 to Ixtapa

Hospital/Doctors (just to mention a couple)

– Hospital de especialidades 544-7628

– Hospital Clinica Maciel 554-22380

Groceries –

– Merza on Ejido St, good for your basic staples

– Mercado main fruit and vegetable market on Benito Juarez

– Mega Soriana is walkable, by taking the footpath all along the canal.

– Bodega is on the main highway

– Sam’s Club is on the main highway


– La Cava on the corner of Nicolas Bravo & Vicente Guerrero

– Andy’s on the opposite corner

– Merza has a selection of spirits

– Mega Soriana

Gas & Diesel

– closest Pemex is on Morales, which is at the top of Cinco de Mayo and to the left. Can be accessed by dinghy a short walk from the head of the Lagoon

Parts and repair supplies:

AutoZone store is on the main highway.

Small Marine Store on the main highway who can order from catalogs

Boat bottom cleaning Memo. 555 127 7446

Restaurants – too many to mention

Music – (a partial list…)

Rock & Roll
– Steve & Friends Thurs, Fri, Sat at Rossi’s on La Ropa

– Jimi Mamou at Daniel’s Restaurant Wednesday and Friday


– Juanito Zihua at Coconuts on Friday, Santa Prisca on Thursday afternoon (great pozole)

– Jose Luis Cobo plus Musicas en Fuga at El Canto de las Sirenas a special Monday night event from 6:00pm to 10:00

– Zihuana Band – Salsa at Restaurant El Pirata on La Ropa, every Sunday at 3

– Solo Tres – El Pirata Restauranton Playa La Ropa every  Wed at 3. Great harmonies from 3 of the best Zihua guitarists

Blues – Don Scott and Rosanne Licciardi at ——?  Restaurant, —— night, and other venues around town

Website: Porlosninos Zihuatanejo

Facebook: Zihuatanejo-Sailfest

Groups – Zihuatanejo Let’s Chat

Thisldu Arrived this morning to Roqueta Island out side of Acapulco. Very protected but deep until pretty close to shore. Would be fantastic anchoring in 20 feet on sand but it’s stocked full of “mooring balls”. We dropped anchor and found good holding but was afraid of snagging a mooring line around our prop. Slept a few hours and woke up to a busy tourist spot with glass bottom boats filled to the brim with people, and a few boats pulling tubes wizzing by way to close. We were finally able to get ahold of Club De Yates harbor master Mary (her English is better than my Spanish but communicating over the phone was challenging. Note we did send an email yesterday but it bounced. Any way sh directed us to the fuel dock and then to the office for paperwork. For such a large facility and an important job, they have Mary in a tiny hard to find office just before the boat yard. The marina is mostly Mediterranean ties which we’ve never done before and dreaded with our full keel won’t steer in reverse beast, but were luck enough to get a side tie! The good news. The facilities are beautiful and we are paying $1.75/ft/ night which I think is reasonable, but we got our first night free from our Sausalito Yacht Club membership! I think reciprocity May very by club, but anything is better than nothing! Lastly Navionics charts aren’t even close so Ill try to add my track.

Thisldu Planning on heading south on Saturday after this TPecker chills out and MAYBE catch it’s up coming forecasted lull. (Yes I know it’s too early to plan on that but here’s to hoping!)


Garrett & Audrey


15) Notice to Mariners: Marina Ixtapa, Channel Closing


For anyone intending to come into Marina Ixtapa for fuel or Moorage be aware.

The marina entrance channel will be totally closed- 24/7 – for dredging from March 2nd thru March 5th.
eopening the morning of March 6th.

Dough & Mary


Blessed Life sailing into Playa Cocos withthe Panama

16) Sailing into Playas Del Coco, Costa Rica

Yeaaaa to Costa Rica. Thank you all Panama Posse for the ongoing intel to get here

Anchored in Pappagayos winds with 49 knots of wind

Chatter in LINE.me
Hi Greg- SV Blessed  Life watching right with you! That is directly in front of you –
Greg on SV Anduril is watching it gust to 45 knots in Playa Del Coco. 
Imagine what’s its doing in San Juan del sur, they are Really bad there!
Chimera also here in playa Cocos  the southern part of the bay .
Day 2 of this wind, stronger today than yesterday.
Looks like Monday till we see any improvement.
@SV Blessed Life we saw you coming in to Playa Coco with your spinnaker. You looked great!

Bob & Margie


17) Early Warning of new exit Requirements from Mexico in Chiapas

Ok- here’s a new one. Apparently the port Capt in Chiapas now wants some type of a piece of paper that shows you are “qualified ” to be the captain of your boat in order to leave Mexico, not needed on checking in. Two examples of what were accepted today 1) for someone else also checking out- membership in BoatUS or 2) for us, a certificate of achievement from 2012 for ASA 101! Not sure I would accept that from anyone as proof of any kind of competency, but it seemed to work here! None of this has been asked of us either checking in or any other port in Mexico, only as we go out the door!

(Note from ANGELIQUE: a USA state boating license works too. You can get Oregon’s on line for cheap )


Bob & Sarah RHAPSODY

            OASIS - Panama Posse - PANAMA CANAL
            OASIS - Panama Posse - PANAMA CANAL Camera
            OASIS - Panama Posse - PANAMA CANAL
            OASIS - Panama Posse - PANAMA CANAL
            OASIS - Panama Posse - PANAMA CANAL

18) Panama Canal, Successful Passage


Following a freighter into Pedro Miguel lock at dawn a few weeks ago.

Center chamber all the way through, total transit 13 hours.


Barry & Kathy



Stand Down

19) Boca Chica, Panama

Carlos, son Simone and Rich aboard Stand Down.

Pedregal, Panama. Sarana waypoints are right on.
We left Boca Chica at lowtide in 14ft/60hp skiff .

Pedregal is very industrial. Marina is steel and disappointing.

Richard & Nancy
(no picture)



(no picture)CONTEXT

21) SATELLITE .mbtiles which work deliciously with OpenCPN 5.0+

Thanks to the incredible work by Rob from Avant we now have 50+Gig of mbtile satellite charts for the entire coastal route available –

Download the whole chart enchilada from http://route.panamaposse.com/charts/mbtiles_central_america/

If you are lucky to see Rob or Debra – buy ’em a beer / ice cream sundae – they deserve it having spend weeks compiling this info  !



Rob & Debra

22) Please reply to this email with any updates – your vessel location –
contenders for picture of the week – your favorite song for our list –
and we’ll include it in the next Fleet Update

The Panama Posse transfer of knowledge and learning process operates under the gestalt theory
We will not tell you what to do, when or how – we want you to to figure that out. YOUR VESSEL YOUR CREW YOUR RESPONSIBILITY


Dietmar & Suzanne


Panama Posse BUrgee

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