Friday, July 29, 2011

To Panama City

One last reminder of Costa Rica. In the LandSea club house the walls are painted with names of the various boats that have been through over the years. Here’s the remembrance of S/V Jeorgia we left: on my old truck’s vanity plates.
We did an overnight sail from Golfito to Isla Parida. Quite the empty tropical anchorage to stop at to catch up on missed sleep. The water was a bit milky, as the island is fairly close to the mainland rivers and estuaries. Good, warm water swimming – no diving- but we did spot a few whales swimming nearby.
Next stop was a short day sail to Isla Seca. We showed up early enough for a sunset snorkel. The live coral was the best we have seen since leaving Seattle – actually there isn’t any coral in Seattle. Clear water with 20 feet visibility. The colorful reef fish were similar to what we’ve seen further north, just in much larger numbers, along with a few new big fat guys. The diving was so good we decided to stay another day and get in some more snorkeling time along with some beach walking. 
The bummer was our underwater camera went Tango Uniform. Looks like the slot that has the memory card has some corrosion. I’ll try and repair it in Panama City – although I’m not hopeful. For now you’ll just have to imagine the flow of schools of tropical colored fishes  around the forests of white tipped, brown coral in crystal clear waters -- without pictures.
panamaIMG_8584 Big old shells on the beach walk.
An in-use shell by a hermit crab with a penchant for Victorian frill. The beaches are covered with shells, but the shelling is not so good because most have a long-term lease by hermit.
The 600 dollar a day yurt tents that are in the center anchorage on Isla Secas. Other than these the island is deserted.
Jungle green trying to contrast with tropical ocean green.
Driving onto yet another tropical island – YATI
We were headed for Bahia Honda, a large, completely protected anchorage with a small village. As we got close another evening rain and lightening storm was approaching so we decided to duck into Isla Medidor. This island is owned by an Italian who built a house on the highest peak. As we came in we could see his or his guests ocean going yacht. Check the pastel colored satellite domes – must be nuevo rococo Italiano.
We were treated to an exceptional sunset from our anchorage while listening to the howler monkeys and green parrots settle in for the evening.
Early morning coffee as we left for the next stop south, Ensenada Narjano.
We spent a somewhat rolly, though not too bad, night in Ensenada Naranjo. This pace sets you up for going around Punta Mala. We decided to go overnight and make the Las Perlas Island group the next day. It was the best sailing wind we’ve had for months. Spent two days in the Perlas, but some how we didn’t get a lot of pictures.  Did some snorkeling and exploring. We will definitely go back for some more time exploring and diving.
We headed off to Balboa, the port city for Panama City and the entrance to the Panama Canal. It is hard to image how busy the ship traffic is here at the canal.
The shot above of our chart plotter as we approached Balboa shows a forest of green triangles. These are the AIS -Automatic Identification System – signals sent out by the large ships. The ones with a just a triangle are anchored. The ones with the red lines leading off them are moving into or out of the canal. We are the red boat icon on the lower right.
panamaIMG_8681  As we approached Balboa the weather started to close in on us. In the drab overcast we were treated to some whale gymnastics. They were jumping and slapping and  seemed oblivious to all the giant ships that were at anchor awaiting their canal passage.
panamaIMG_8688  Ship after ship waiting their turn for the 24/7 canal operations.
First you weave through the large ship anchorage, then through the fish boat and work boat anchorage, till you come into the small boat anchorage at Las Brisas.
The view of Panama City from the anchorage. Must be spectacular when the suns out. We’re looking forward to exploring this place, even though it looks like it has more tall buildings than Manhattan.
I’ll write up the clearing into Panama info for other cruisers in a few days – once I decide if we are actually done or not. Sounds simple, doesn’t  it?

1 comment:

  1. Perfect place for the BluWAWA plate.