Contact us for the date
Depending on group size
Join our sailing expedition that offers the opportunity to navigate and explore the Panamanian near coast Pacific Ocean and its diverse island and marine sanctuaries.
Contact us to get a more detailed itinerary & options, and description of locations!
44 nautical miles
- Fitness Level: Healthy lifestyle and a good level of general fitness
- Season availability: All year
- Total duration: Min 7 days, max 11 days
- Elevation Profile: From 8 meters below sea level (free-diving) to 40 meters above sea level (hiking)
- Distance: 427 nautical miles (768 km)
- Common hazards: Sunburn, seasickness, blisters in hands from pulling lines
- Modes of transportation: Sailing, swimming, trekking, dingy paddling
- Natural environment: Ocean, coral reef, island, wetlands, river and primary dry forest
- Learning content (optional/typical): Ocean climate, marine life and island conservation, building with natural materials, hydrology, sailing and navigation
- Lodging: Sailboat
The objective of this expedition is to explore alternative locations for Geoversity’s marine field station – aka Life Changer (link to LC programs) campus – on the Pacific island of Cébaco.
Inexperienced participants will learn about sailing techniques, navigation, and get a good idea about open water sailing.
The outbound voyage (red on map) is expected to be smooth and less demanding in terms of seamanship, considering that we will be sailing downwind with the trade winds that blow over the isthmus this time of the year.
The participants need previous sailing experience and / or to be strong at sea for the homeward navigation, as we could end up sailing against high seas. The captain, however, has already done this journey into the Bay of Panama several times.
The waters we cover are normally rich in fish (for the menu aboard!) and dolphins normally approach the vessel to play.
Outbound, if desired, there can be an extra stop organized at the Azuero Peninsula to visit the eco-lodge of a Life Changer collaborator, while the return we will pass by another collaborator in the Pearl Islands.
In both cases there will be time to explore the Bay of Cébaco Island.
Why This Experience is for You
You have a desire to sail the open waters and learn sailing techniques along the way as you explore remote islands, and want to do some good while supporting the development of Geoversity’s Island Conservancy Marine Field Station on Cébaco Island.
The Itinerary Outline
This is an estimate – as we are dependent on weather. Any participant should keep at least one full day of flexibility in their overall travel itinerary.
Day 1 Morning. Road transport from Panama City to Marina Vista Mar (2hrs) Afternoon/night: Open sea downwind day and night sailing (12 hrs)
Day 2 Morning: Day sailing along the Azuero Peninsula to Cambutal (4 hrs) Afternoon: Anchoring and optional Eco Resort visit
Day 3 Morning: Day sailing to Cébaco Island (6 hrs); Afternoon: Anchoring in the bay in front of potential Geoversity campus
Set foot on the beach
Day 4 Full day exploration of beaches and forest of the bay
Day 5 Morning: Day sailing to Santa Catalina (4 hrs) It is possible to stay and camp out on the beach like Robinson Crusoe for a day and hope for the boat to come back the following day; Afternoon: Eventual change of crew
If all participants should decide to do the round trip then we will stay and explore Cébaco rather than visiting Santa Catalina.
From here on the itinerary is only for participants that have signed up for the homebound journey.
Day 6 Morning: Sailing to the Bay of Cébaco Island (easy sailing); Afternoon: Exploration of bay property and search for a “Home Tree”.
Day 7 Morning and afternoon: Continue exploring; Evening: Departure for a full night’s sailing along Azuero Peninsula (still relatively calm sea).
Day 8 Morning and afternoon: Full day sailing in expected rough conditions. Arrival to shelter behind the Island of San José, the largest privately owned island in Panama. The entire island is in conservation and includes the Hacienda del Mar Resort where Geoversity’s Nature of Business 2019 event was held.
Day 9 Full day sailing to Otoque and Boná islands (relatively calm); Anchoring between the islands in a completely natural setting.
Boná was almost lost earlier this year to a Chinese company that wanted to convert the island into an oil depot. Instead, it ended up becoming a protected area due to its importance for birdlife.
Day 10 Morning: Time to relax before departure back to the marina (5 hrs. relatively easy sailing).
This expedition is for anyone with a healthy lifestyle and a good level of general fitness. Sailors need to be comfortable in open water, without the sight of land, and with potentially high seas (especially homebound).
Participants should be willing to be part of a team working together to enjoy a safe, fun, and meaningful experience.
Arriving unprepared and/or without meeting the minimum fitness requirements can jeopardise your health and the overall expedition experience, so take training seriously.
Get in touch with any fitness, health, training or packing questions that you might have. Our certified wilderness guides prefer to have video conversation with participants in advance to ensure that fitness expectations and packing needs are met.
Additionally, you should expect the following:
- Supporting crew with sailing and housekeeping tasks
- Age minimum is generally 16+, but flexible
- Experienced captain
- All meals and beverages
- Hammock with mosquito netting for adventurous beach campers
- Fully equipped sailing yacht:
- 37 feet sloop (fractional rig with 1 mast/1 hull/2 sails) with a wide beam
- compared to its length
- 3 double cabins with doors for privacy + saloon and cockpit sleeping
- Fully equipped galley with oven and refrigerator
- Modern navigation electronics (GPS, electronic navigation station with
- chart plotter, radar, and autopilot)
- Mini-jack input HiFi stereo
- 12V/220V electrical system
- Solar panel
- Swim platform with ladder
- Outdoor shower
- Zodiac dinghy (with paddles)
- Stand-up paddleboard
- Electrical anchor windlass
- Some snorkeling gear (bring your own if you want to guarantee a perfect fit
- Inboard diesel engine (for auxiliary use only)
- Fishing gear
- 6 person life raft
- International air transportation to and from Panama City (for USD 150, Geoversity offers a 5-year carbon offset opportunity in the Mamoní Valley Preserve)
- Insurance of any kind
- Alcoholic beverages not provided by hosts with meals
- Additional hotel days/nights in Panama, Centro Mamoní or in the jungle
- Personal equipment according to personal needs and preferences (list of mandatory items and recommendations will be provided upon registration)
- Tips to local support guides; discretionary but anticipated by the local guides. Your trip leader can help advise on how much