We took the bus to Panama City today, bringing our EPIRB with us to get a new battery for it. The rain has not stopped, even on the other side of the isthmus. Denny from Jubilant came with us to replace his EPIRB battery also; he'll return to the marina with both EPIRB's, saving us from lugging ours to the US and back to Panama. We've got a few days to relax before carrying our 50 lbs of books and other assorted stuff we've taken off the boat back with us to Florida.
(The picture is the view from our hotel room.)
at 9:14 PM
We're here --thank goodness-- before the fronts that brought a lot of rain and squally weather. The weather report reads 'squalls indefinitely!!'....our one night in Portobela was not very restful. The waves and swells are building....we're happy to be enjoying the comforts of a new well protected marina. The pool and jacuzzi were just finished last week! The showers and bathrooms here are not like any other 'marina' quality we've seen. A real treat! Nov. is one of the rainest months here.
We limped in with a split in our exhaust hose....the mess to clean up is never 'fun'. We took our Vernalift muffler out for repair too. The doubled up dock lines are a good thing for now! We've got a few projects to work on...a torn up boat once more!
The picture is coming in through the smaller Manzanillo breakwater--we haven't come in the main ship channel yet.
at 11:32 AM
We enjoyed the company of Bruadair from Baru to Nargana. We hope to rendezvous with Damon and David again someday!
After departing Nargana we returned to four anchorages we visited when we were first in the San Blas in Aug. While in the Holandes we organized a snorkel trip out to the grottos ...we had six dinghys join us. It was high tide this time, so we could skim over the reef to see where the caves connect without having to dive through!
On to Linton. We motor sailed 40 miles-- the wind always seems to be on our nose. Seas were calm, thank goodness. We're waiting out a few fronts that need to pass through before we go into Colon and Shelter Bay Marina. It's nice to hear the howler monkeys again. There's about 20 boats in the anchorage--some with owners away--which makes anchoring near them nerve wracking when squalls come through. In Linton, boats dragging has been known to happen because of the soft mud bottom. One really exciting thing was going aboard the vessel Joshua, Bernard Montessier's boat. (The red ketch in the middle of the picture is Joshua). We have many (all?) of his books aboard, and being aboard and exploring the nooks and crannies brought back many memories of his life and philosophy. We took lots of pictures I'll post in our web album section, eventually!
We took a dinghy trip through the mangroves to Panamarina with Patrick and Rebecca from 'Brickhouse'.
at 7:29 AM
09deg.25.2 N 078deg.28.8 W
We enjoyed 3 nights at Snug Harbor before moving up the island chain here. We caught a nice jack on the way. We've been dragging that line everywhere we go with no hits...finally!
My 6am call from Michael was to see a 6ft. alligator swimming by our stern. He was swimming to the mainland. Must have gone to town to eat last night!? The ulu's head out for work at that time...it's awesome to see the parade of them glide by.
at 7:10 AM
The drum music started at 4:30...it's a holiday celebrating Panama's independence from Columbia. With the sun rising and setting at 5:30, our early to bed early to rise habits have fit right in.
We are in the rainy season, so cloud watching has been great...the overcast skies offer a nice change from the heat. The river run off from heavy rains brings lots of debris and flotsam. Evenings are actually cool! We need to run the engine every day to charge our batteries, since solar and wind aren't helping now. We're upgrading our battery charger, alternator, and adding a Honda generator to our wish list when we get back to civilization. We're still figuring out our energy needs and 'what works' as we live aboard full time. It's been a fun process.
The local Kunas have been very friendly. The rain or weather doesn't keep them in. Father's take their sons in the ulus at a very early age. We've seen quite a few kids around 5yrs. old out fishing alone.
at 7:02 AM