I had to make a hard decision to abandon my plans to continue to Panama after my auto tiller died. There are no repair or purchase options on the island and shipment of a new one from the states would take a couple weeks. That would put me further into the hurricane season.
I has another very exhausting 24 hours of hand steering to get back to Guatemala and had the boat hauled. It’ll remain there for the rest of the year. I could have left it in the water, but it costs about the same to have it out.
It’s discouraging, but there was no way I could continue without an auto tiller. I did do some steering by using the sails tied to the tiller and using a length of surgical tubing to balance the force. That worked well with the wind forward of the beam or slightly beyond that, but I couldn’t get it work downwind. I have studied methods and watched videos, but I lacked a downwind pole. I had tried to find one in Guatemala, but was unsuccessful.
I’m back in Costa Rica and have time to make decisions about how to continue.
I had some photos from Utila and from the boat yard, but I lost them when I had to reset my new phone to unblock it from the AT&T network.