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Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Febuary 12, 2014-One Day at the Beach and then...Panama City

Judy in the Water

We watched the weather and took our opportunities to work our way west from the Eastern San Blas.

We needed a window to get to Colon and then Panama City to get Judy on a plane. Her sister in Florida needed her.

Tuesday looked good; we'd leave the San Blas in the afternoon to get to Colon by Wednesday morning.

Time for one last day at the beach.

Our favorite location for private swimming was just around the corner from the Hot Tub anchorage (and that's as close as I'll get to telling you where it is) and we took the dingy over. We ran barefoot in the sand and swam in the deep, clear, cool water. It was marvelous there, and even though the light was not good for those stunning beach photos I wanted you can get the idea from these shots . We loved it

Back on Wings we made ready for sea; the dingy was put away, the awnings struck, sails bend onto spars.

At 17:00 we raised the main and sailed off the anchor and made our way out between the reefs, then we set the jib and turned west.

By sunset we were on a good breeze and we cleared into the open ocean between Hollandes and the Lemons. Sailing was fine and the farther west we went the freer we found the wind. Wings flew.
Now a new problem arose: we were going too fast. Before midnight we had to get the jib off and that took us down to six and a half knots; slow enough maybe. At 0800 we arrived at Shelter Bay Marina in Colon.

A day or so in Colon, long enough to clear in and decide Colon was basically a slum, (the whole place, but we saw that the Panama Canal looked interesting; we'll see for ourselves soon enough), and long enough for us to make Judy's flight arrangements to Florida and for us to catch a bus to Panama City.

Now Panama City is something else. For one it is stunning. The high rise buildings, the freeways, shopping centers, and it is huge, modern clean and buzzing. The Pacific ocean looks serene after the tumultuous Caribbean, I guess that is what Balboa thought too, since he gave it the name "Pacific".

We had time to have some minor dramas, senior moments I'd have to say, which are better left un-described, but we finally got to the hotel, checked in and everything was good. Dinner in the old town at Cafe Rene with some Panamanian rum and a bottle of Malbac, and we were feeling no pain and it was surprising that we found our way home to the hotel, but we did.

Judy is now in Florida and I am back on the boat in Colon, doing minor boat projects and enjoying the heck out of Happy Hour at Shelter Bay Marina, and planning our Panama Canal Transit. We'll go into Gatun locks in March and head back to the Pacific Ocean, which we crossed heading west in 1998 (we're still heading west, 16 years later).

And that will be another new adventure.

Click here for more photos.

Fred (and missing Judy), SV Wings, Colon, Panama

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