Christmas Day

 Superted V

Blog & Photos - December 2011

So we started the month with getting the starter motor fixed and then decided to have a break from Las Brises and visit a couple of small islands in the south west of the bay of Panama.  We intended to go to Otaque. Had a great sail down there but as we were approaching the two islands, watching out for rocks, I commented to Matt "If I didn't know better I would think that shape in the middle is a mini war ship- but it must be the rocks"  But as we got nearer the outline grew clearer and yep - it was a mini warship!  Not only one but a couple of others had also appeared.  As we dropped the sails ready to anchor, we were approached by a machine gun toting panga - after much gesticulating and communication in a 'spanglish' we got the message that we were not going to be allowed to anchor around the islands as 'there were dangerous men about'! So it was up with the sails again and off to a river on the west coast of the bay.  Needless to say once again we had a beat in strong winds with a fairly steep chop!  And once we arrived at our destination we decided to turn straight around and back out - a very short chop and a lee shore - not the way to spend a peaceful night at anchor!  So a few hours later we arrived at Taboga - just 7 miles from Las Brises!  Spent an idyllic few days there before heading back to Las Brises to stock up for Christmas and to collect Helen.  It was great to see her.  As one of her bags had been left in Madrid, we couldn't head off to Las Perlas straight away as planned, so spent a lovely day showing her round the old town.  Bag collected the following day, we set off for Las Perlas. See flotsam.  Had a fabulous time visiting Contadora, Mogo, Mogo - great snorkeling, walking and chilling with the first of the really good weather.  We arrived at Espiritus Sancto in time for a bout of carol singing around the boats in the anchorage - led by chief Santa Brian on Darramy with fairy Sue and apprentice Santa Trevor from Malarkey with elfin Jo - great fun.  Christmas day we spent with all of the above - shared the cooking and had a feast on Superted - classic Christmas dinner with all the trimmings. Boxing Day we had our first 'science' lesson - we are now a 'ship of opportunity' and have equipment on board to measure pH, salinity and temperature of water (for Helen's research) and aerosols in the atmosphere (for a scientist at NASA).  More cruising the islands with Helen - back to Mogo Mogo, Pedro Gonzales and then Contadora before heading back to Las Brises to drop Helen off on 31st December - it certainly doesn't get any easier to say goodbye - the 2 weeks went far too quickly.  And so that sees us at the end of the year celebrating new Year watching the fireworks in Panama City (which started a good 2 hours before 12 and ended a good 2 hours after with the whole of the city erupting at 12 o'clock!)  Happy New Year to all our friends and family - hope it's a very happy, healthy and prosperous year.

                     Lat and Long December 31st:      

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