April 21, 2014-Wind Howling all Night in Las Perlas
The French single-hander came over in his dingy.
"This is a good place" he said, "much better than last night on the flats by Point Chame, where it blew the dogs off the chains all night; I could hardly sleep."
That was four hours ago. I wondered what the old man thought now; it was howling in the little bay where we'd set the hook for the night, and I could see the his anchor light bobbing ahead of us.
Even closer in he was still getting it.
At eight PM the flag's cracking and slapping in the wind got too annoying, we took it down. Thirty minutes later we struck the awning too.
Now, however, we were secured for heavy weather. You know it's rough when you have to do that in a harbor. But we've been here before: in some lonely anchorage where the wind howls all night. If you want to sleep you need to take everything down and clean up the boat. Clear the decks and tie everything . The wind driven chop still gives you some movement, of course, and you can hear the wind in the rig, but you don't have to worry about some bit of canvas getting loose and shredding itself to death.
Yesterday we got out of Panama City and ended up here. It could be a frying pan and fire sort of story, but all in all, it's better here. At least it's nature which is slamming us, not the wakes of roaring shore boats speeding through the anchorage, and we also know that we'll wake up in the morning to a clean smell and a clean boat, not the soot and dust covered decks from the filthy city air which blew down on us every night anchored at La Playita.
But we enjoyed Panama City, rough and dirty anchorage or not. The city was interesting and stunningly beautiful, and as we got to know it we found a lot to like. We began to feel at home in the different districts, on the freeways and the busy streets, we got to know the bus routes and how to deal with taxi drivers and we felt comfortable in the neighborhoods and we found where to shop, where to go for a haircut, a special boat part or a cold beer. In short, as we explored Panama we started to make it our own. It must have been time to leave. So we did.
We don't know in what city we'll live next; that's what we're off now to find out. For the next couple of months we'll cruise along the Central American coast and see what we find. Mexico is in our future, but we don't know how soon. We're not sure how much Internet we'll have so you may not hear from us as often as when we have been in a city like Panama, but don't worry, we'll be back.
Fred & Judy, SV Wings, Las Perlas Islands
PS, We rented a car and took a short trip before checking out of Panama, to El Valle de Anton, up in the mountains where it is cooler and scenic. You can check out the photos here.