Friday, March 18, 2011

Golfito, Costa Rica to Panama City

We sailed from Drakes bay in the morning and by late afternoon we'd arrived around the peninsular that protected Golfito's entrance. Seeing as we still had 10 NM to sail and the wind was dying, we decided to drop the anchor in a secluded bay for the night and go into Golfito in the morning. What a sweet anchorage it was. On shore there was a large lawn dotted with trees and a bench placed facing the sea. We could imagine someone coming down to sit and relax there. Next morning we set sail for the entrance to Golfito and a short while later we were there...motoring past the marker buoys, David scanning the shoreline, looking for 'Blue'..."there she is!" he said, I altered course and headed for Blue. She is tied to the dock at Land Sea Marina. 
Blue, Tied up to the Land Sea Marina Dock.
As we got closer we realised that Maggie was on board...David yelled out and she looked over in surprise...It was so great to see her again. We chatted for a few minutes and then went off to anchor Puddytat. We'd just finished putting up our shade awnings, that David calls the marque, and Maggie rowed up in her kayak. She climbed on-board and had an ice cold beer with us..a welcome relief in the sweltering heat. We'd wanted her to come and eat a late lunch with us but she needed to get back to Blue to finish cleaning, so we moved the get together to that evening. First it was drinks on Damiana with Roy and Maureen, then off to a yacht club for food. Time flew by far too quickly and soon we were saying goodnight. We wondered when we'd get to see our friend again, as she was leaving on an early flight for the States tomorrow morning.
Land Sea Marina.

The sign for the Marina..from land..
Sunset from Land Sea Marina.

David and I went to the Port Captain the next day. You have to report in when you arrive here. He was friendly and told us the routine when we wanted to clear out of Costa Rica..nice chap. Then we went to the huge Duty free place to see what they had on offer...lots of stuff and the prices were average, but we'd been told by other yachties that things were cheaper in Panama, so we've put off our buying till we get there.
Looking back towards the Marina from town.
A Park.
Peeking at Puddytat from the road.
We've spent almost every day in the club house trying to get work done via the internet. I'm trying to get the blogs loaded and my Etsy site sorted. It takes forever when the system isn't lickitysplit fast …:-p I have a wound on my foot that practically eliminates any extensive walking so I haven't seen much of the area at all.
David's gone to the immigration to ask for a 5 day extension on my visa, we need Propane. You drop your cylinder off at the supermarket on Tuesday, it gets taken to the refill place on Wednesday and brought back on Saturday. My visa expires on the Thursday .. He seems to think it will be no problem..I am not so sure. Well he came back and sure enough they refused him...They said that I have to leave the country for 3 days and then I can return for another month...ha ha ha...idiots, There is no way I'm catching a bus to heck knows where, spending 3 days in a hotel and then catching another bus back. I can just imagine, trying to get back into the country with no hotel reservation, trying to explain in my rotten Spanish that I live on a we have to sail all the way to Panama City with a half tank of propane, as there is nowhere between here and there to get it filled.....he's ticked off too, but I'm used to it, countries just don't like us Zimbo's.
So we sailed sooner than planned, down the coast, round a point of land, half of which was Costa Rica and half Panama. It was dark when we finally dropped anchor for the night. We got our first look at Panama the next morning. Surprise!! it looks a lot like Costa Rica..ha ha...I love the greenery. The masses of trees and plants, the land birds we can hear calling and the ubiquitous swallows chirping and fluttering around the rigging. Everywhere we go we end up with them visiting us. They are so smart in their black dinner jackets and white fronts.
One of our stops we enjoyed.
Lots of barnacled logs floating around.

As we sail further down the coast we are hoping to get clearer water for snorkling. So far we haven't seen any, sometimes the vis is only about 2 feet and cloudy at that. We've visited a few islands on the way down and the clearest water we've had so far was at Isla Pargo, but we were plagued with 'string of pearls', they literally look like small pearls strung together floating in the water...and they sting like hell...not fun!
From our anchorage in Bahia Honda.
Some very pleased fishermen.

So today we've dropped anchor at Bahia Honda and tomorrow we will sail for Isla.......and drop the anchor for the night again. We've decided that we're going to try and day sail only we want to see as much as we can. Today David gave some gasoline to a fisherman and asked for some fruit in return...what a surprise..he didn't come back, we actually didn't think he would, but we hoped. Next morning we did some remodelling of some storage units under my seat in the saloon, and so when David saw another Panga motoring by he called them over and offered them the containers we'd cut out...They were very happy to take them off our hands. We left shortly after that, to sail to Ensanada del Naranjo.
The fishing rod is going crazy, I'm steering Puddytat, spilling wind, and David is hauling in a fish. We've already thorn a Bonito that has red David is very pleased he's hooked another...Wonder what it is? It seems rather large and is giving him a tough time. When he gets it to the step he, gaffs it and brings it aboard. It's a Caravel Jack. We couldn't let it go because the Rapala is halfway down the it's throat. So he filleted it and we'll try it on the barbecue tomorrow.
A Caravel jack..not bad eating.
At Anchor at Ensenada del Naranjo.
Sundowners on Eileen Donan.
Hey ho, we met up with Ness and Ian on 'Eileen Donan'. We have met up with them, unplanned, in a few places and have enjoyed their company immensely.
Next day..I think it's Friday, we take a short sail to Punta Naranjo and drop the anchor in the afternoon. David goes for a walk ashore whilst I work hard on my painted squares for my Etsy site. We have heard a Tsunami warning. Japan had an earthquake, 8 on the richter scale, We really don't think anything will come our way and it doesn't.

Early on Saturday we lift anchor and set sail.  The sea got rougher and rougher and by lunchtime we were experiencing 25 knots True, on the nose. We reefed both sails down to the first reef, Puddytat was flying along at 7 knots but we still spent the next 10 hours tacking. Water was continuously washing up over the decks, and pouring down into the cockpit. A lot of it was thrown up onto the cockpit roof too. We only had to go 45 nautical miles...what a trip. I've hurt my back and am trying to lie down in the saloon and not jar it..ha ha ha ha.. right! One good thing came of this trip. David had been fixing the seals on various hatches and not one leaked! Way to go David!
We finally made it, dropped the anchor. I heated up some food for lunch/supper. This place is lovely and calm. We'll stay tomorrow and see what the weather has in store for us because the next leg is 140 nautical miles, from here to Panama City, and we really don't feel like being beaten up trying to get there. It feels really weird because we are sailing North! Yeah, The land curves around so much that to get to Panama City we must sail north. Of course the wind is coming from there so we'll have tack all the way. It's going to take AGES! The weather forecast says that the wind will drop tomorrow to below 20 knots, so we'll probably leave late morning.

Today I have been painting and have finally finished the work I need to put onto my site. I'm rather excited about it. Here is an example of some of the pieces.
I've paid a high price for these works of art that I have so painstakingly created. My back has gone into spasm and I've been told to take total bed rest till it eases...just what I need :-p When we get to Panama City, we have friends flying in to spend a week with us...and I have so much to do to get Puddytat ready for that visit.
I haven't seen many of the overnight stops we've anchored in on our way here, the pain has been quite incredible, I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy........weeelllll …..chuckle...nah....anyway a strange thing has occurred, a section, the size of my hand, of my left side groin, has gone totally numb, quite the weirdest feeling I've ever had. I'm hoping we can find a doctor soon so I can ask him why it's happened and what I should do about it. Maybe it's like a common cold...fixed by the Doctor in two weeks or you get over it by yourself in 14 days. :-)

The trip from Punta Mala has been calm. The wind was great for most of it and we spent a decent amount of time sailing along along at about 7 knots, directly for the Las Pearlas islands, but inevitably we ended up motor sailing and then just motoring across mirror smooth seas. :-p We left on Monday night at about 10pm and it's Thursday morning now. Because I can't help with watches, David has had to do it all and so we've stopped whenever we could so that he could get some sleep.

Last night we dropped anchor in Taboga Island. A bit of a rolly anchorage, but I managed to get some sleep....The pain has decreased a lot, but I'm really nervous about doing much in case I exasperate it again.
Taboga Island..7 miles away from Isla Flaminco.

Now we are motoring towards Flaminco island. David has counted 40 ships that he has to watch out for, and he reckons that there are more still. The ships are fouling up the water with oil slicks and the air with their smelly exhaust wonder they're called 'Stink pots'!
Flaminco Island with Panama City behind it.
Coming up to Flaminco island.
Looking back on the anchorage from Puddytat.
Well we're here. Flaminco Island. The anchor is down and David's putting our Marque up. Then he'll go ashore and start the clearing in procedure which we expect will take most of the day. I will totter around and try and tidy up a little.

Ciao for now.

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