Friday, December 9, 2011

Jeorgia of the Jungle

JohnChagras 003
After spending $115 in Shelter bay Marina for showers for the crew and a shower for Jeorgia (two nights in a 40 ft slip, WiFi and tax), we said goodbye to our good friends on Tivoli. Torbin and Judy are off to Cuba and points east. Torbin wants to meet up in Malta in 2014.
Then we headed NW and entered the mouth of the Chagres River. This is the river that was dammed to form Lake Gatun for the canal. It took 6 years for the lake to fill once the dam was built. The river mouth is guarded by the 16th century Spanish Fort San Lorenzo. The river is about 30 feet deep and you can anchor pretty much anywhere just off the jungle.
The entrance was a bit raucous. You have to do an S turn to avoid the reef in the middle. We were scooting in trying to beat a big, black squall line over our backs that made the entrance bouncy and hard to see. Once past the fort, the river is calm, with a 2-3 knot current flowing out as they try to lower Lake Gatun. The lake will be 10 or 12 feet lower by March, after the rainy season.
The pic above is a toucan, al la Fruit-loops, hanging next to the river.
JohnChagras 001 Here’s Jeorgia, sitting in a blue circle on the river taken from the fort. I think you need to blow the pic up to see her.
chagrasIMG_9526 This guy landed on our dodger in the rain just after we put down the anchor.
chagrasIMG_9532 Evening in the jungle – amazingly without any mosquitoes. Plenty of noisy green parrots flying overhead and howler monkeys in the bush.
chagrasIMG_9550 Looking out to sea from the fort.
chagrasIMG_9542 Aimed and ready to fire!
We were the only folks walking around this fort – no care takers, except…
This pathetic cat family that suckered Chris into giving up a Granola Bar.
+chagrasIMG_9557Continuing the unidentified bird theme, this osprey like guy was cruising the fort.
chagrasIMG_9579  Chris and John hiking back to the dinghy from the fort. Chris is already missing the cats and wanting to go back to the boat and get some frozen meat.
Off to Portobello today to pick up Lisa, John’s wife, tomorrow. Then we’ll head east to the San Blas Islands.

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