Thursday, January 8, 2015
Time for a New Ride
It was really strange looking at our dinghy hanging from the backend of someone else's boat. After a lot of years of good service, we decided it was time to retire the Aquapro and invest in a new dinghy. The tubes on the old one were solid and have never leaked. But the handles and other attachments were failing. We found a French boater in Isla Linton who needed a new dinghy and made quick deal.
Then we bought this new AB dinghy from Arturo at Marine Warehouse in Panama. The AB’s are built in Colombia. Its a 9UL model, i.e. 9 feet long with an aluminum bottom. Arturo gave us a decent cash discount and delivered it to us at the dock in Shelter Bay. Can’t wait to cruise around the anchorage and have everyone in total envy of our new ride.
We left the San Blas after about a 5 week stay. We had visited the San Blas 2 years ago. Not a lot of changes, other than there are a lot more backpacker/charter boats moving people in and out, and the cell network data connection is really fast now. The cell network works better in the remote San Blas than it does in Shelter Bay Marina near Colon. The Kunas don’t seem to have changed much. Still quiet and friendly.
The last week in the San Blas was very windy. Too much to get in any decent snorkeling, or much of anything. The seas were 6-10 feet as we sailed downwind in 22-29kts of true wind up the coast toward Colon. We did a stop in Linton to drop off the dinghy. That was after a little navigation faux pas. I used some courses on the chart plotter that were left over from the last time we were in Panama. Somehow I picked up the entrance course to Isla Grande, right next to Isla Linton, instead of the Isla Linton course. We had a few moments of confusion with islands and landmarks not really matching up to what should have been there. Then a quick and graceful navigation recovery was made and all was well.
Next day we sailed to the entrance to the Panama Canal and headed into Shelter Bay Marina to start prepping for our Canal transit.