Panama Bay

 Superted V

Blog & Photos - November 2011

So here we are in the Pacific!  To be precise we are in the Bay of Panama - see above.  After finishing the celebrations of our arrival 'on the other side' we got down to some serious business - firstly the promised flotsam of our transit of the canal - see flotsam.  Then of course the very serious business of sailing.  Matt had installed a second autohelm so the first job was to calibrate it - up anchor and off out into the bay - going round in circles avoiding the big ships is quite fun!  Anyway we got it calibrated and off we went - our first sail in the Pacific waters to the small island of Toboga  - about 7 miles from Panama city in the north west of the bay.  Very pretty island with lots of nice walks, a neat little village and a nice beach.  Unfortunately it is still rainy season so we had quite a lot of rain whilst we were there and didn't manage to get in much walking.  Back to Las Brises for a few essentials (read bits for boat) before heading off down to Las Pearlas islands (about 50 miles south of Panama City).  Unfortunately we managed to break the belt for the electric furler on the genoa on the way down - Matt had a helluva job hand winding it back in!  Sailing around Las Pearlas is a bit like sailing around Brittany with lots of rocks and big tides - but lots of trees (in the water too!)  First stop the Island of Contadora - reminded us a bit of Poole - lots of very expensive looking houses!  Bit rolly so only stayed one night before moving on to the Canal de Gibraleon (a small anchorage between 2 of the islands).  We have been using the Bauhaus book for our navigation along with electronic charts of the area but we managed to hit a rock on the way in - someone must've moved it since the charts were done!  Nice little anchorage but not a lot there.  Few days later we headed for the island of Espiritu Sancto - a great little anchorage safe from the swell and any wind direction.  We had caught a few fish since setting off but had met a 'local' cruiser who said it's dead easy to catch fish here - just go out in the dinghy and cast your line so just before lunch Matt says 'shall I go and catch a fish' so off he goes for 10 minutes - comes back and it's like the Texas chain saw massacre in the dinghy - one 8lb cero and about 16 pints of blood spattered all over our snorkeling gear, flip-flops etc. But the fish was really yummy........On to Isla Canas - shame about Las Pearlas is the amount of rubbish floating around - this island was probably the worst so far.  As the sun was going down, Matt thought he saw a crocodile near the boat - of course it had gone by the time I looked but lo and behold the next morning there was this big black croc sitting on the beach!  Didn't hang around there for snorkeling so on to Rio Cacique on the south east side of Isla Del Rey - up the river in the dinghy but couldn't get far as there was a huge log across the river about a mile up.  After being woken up at  6.30am by locals wanting to sell us fish and another rolly night we decided to up anchor and on to Punta Cocos on the tip of Isla del Rey.  Great beaches and jungle walking so spent a few days here.  We had been having a few engine starting problems so decided to have a serious investigation - spent a day to no avail.  Next morning (30 November) engine wouldn't start at all so, after having checked the forecast and saw there was a bit of wind that day and not a lot afterwards, we decided to hot foot it back up to Las Brises in Panama City............ now there's another story - see flotsam!

                     Lat and Long November 30th:      

                                                08.55.23N    79.31.78W