Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Gofito to Las Perlas

We left Golito in the late afternoon and motored out into the large outside bay, Gulfo Dulce. Winds were light, but enough to sail through most of the evening. Next day we motored into Isla Parida early enough for a dinghy explore and a swim off the palm covered little island outside the anchorage. We must have been too close to the mainland river estuaries and in the rainy season, as it was not clear enough to snorkel.
Next day we did a short sail down to Isla Seca and anchored in the NE bay. The island is basically empty except for the 5 or 6 yurt like tents that you see in the main bay. These are supposedly available to rent for 600 dollars a day. The water is crystal clear and the diving the best we have seen this trip. It was certainly the most robust live coral we've seen -- lots of large parrot fish, angle barber something others, and the other assorted neon glow reef fish. We stayed two days to take in the snorkeling.
Next we headed off toward Bahia Honda. On the way we stopped in the Coiba park island of Isla Brincanco in the Isla Contreras group to get in a little more snorkeling. Clear water and interesting, but nothing like Isla Secas. We continued on toward Bahia Honda. As we approached we could see a pretty good rain squall coming from the south. We decided to head into a deep bay on Isla Medidor. We could see a fancy, ocean going mega yacht anchored out at the head of the bay. The island is owned by an Italian who built a fancy house at the top of the mountain with a railway to get up to it. I was hoping he'd come out and offer us some pizza when the rain stopped. He didn't, but after dark the howler monkeys let us know who runs the place.
Next day we did a long motor to Ensenada Naranja. Not too bad an anchorage, but a bit on the rolly side. Then it was off for a overnight to make the Perlas islands. You have to round the large headland of Punta Mala, bad point, and then enter the Gulf of Panama to get to the Perlas. It was a long day of motoring until early evening when the wind picked up. We had a good sail around the actual point and across the gulf. The gulf is a freeway of freighters coming from and going to the Panama Canal. There doesn't seem to be any organized shipping lanes here, so the AIS targets show up all around you. 30 hours later we are anchored in Isla Pedro Gonzales looking for 3G cell access so Chris can figure out her work schedule. We'll head off to Isla Contadora in the morning in search of a cell tower.
Paul and Chris
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