July 27, 2002. Panama City, Panama.
|N 8deg. 54′ 36″|
|W 79 deg. 31′ 34″|
After a couple more days in the Perlas Islands, we motor-sailed to Panama City on July 25. On the way, Clark caught a nice sierra mackerel which is a delicious white-fleshed fish. He also caught several large (20 to 30 pounds) common jacks which were a handful to bring aboard, especially since it was only to remove the hook and throw them back in the water. They are not very good to eat, but they did stretch our hooks and marked the lure. After three of those, the last one was caught while Clark was just putting the lure back in the water, we gave up fishing for the day.
Paul on Espresso ready to attack while passing us on the way to Panama City
After the fishing and our having to repel boarders as our friends Paul and Allison on Espresso came along side we anchored northwest of Isla Perico, a comfortable anchorage during prevailing weather conditions in the rainy season. But we were informed that the Port Captain had given an eviction order for the anchorage and that we had to move the next day to the opposite side of the island, which we did dutifully. A few hours later, the order was rescinded, after protests from some cruisers and further review of the anchoring situation by the port captain. The canal authorities realized that all the yachts had been asked to move to a restricted area of the canal on the south side of Isla Perico. So we were all asked to move back to the first anchorage! There are many rumors providing various explanations for the moves but nobody knows for sure the real reasons. We are happier northwest of the island because it is a lot less rolly, but neither sides provides a good dinghy landing. Dinghy can not be left on the beach because thieves come with chain saws to cut off the transom of the dinghy and take the engine… So the yachts anchored here provide dinghy taxi service to each other. Unfortunately, since our hand held radio has ceased to function, it is particularly difficult for us to call the taxi dinghy back when we return from town. There is bus service into town, but only once an hour, so most people use taxis, which makes outings to town more expensive. We plan to consolidate several errands before going. The list is long. We want to see what spare parts we can find here so we do not need to carry them back from the US. We need to go to an internet cafe, do laundry, some grocery shopping and would like to do some sightseeing as well.
Ship traffic near the entrance to the Panama Canal
Yesterday, as we moved Temptress from one anchorage to the next, we lost the transmission and our friends on Espresso towed us around the island. The transmission oil alarm sensor had broken and released the hydraulic fluid in the bilge, depriving us of transmission. So Clark spent the morning fixing that. In the afternoon, we went to the Balboa Yacht Club by dinghy to inquire about price and availability of moorings. We are on the waiting list to get a mooring at marina Flamenco, which is quieter and cheaper, but wanted to see what were our backup options if we could not get into marina Flamenco before leaving for the US. Balboa has plenty of free moorings so Temptress will not be stranded.
Today, I worked on consuming some of the perishable supplies we still have onboard, namely bananas a little too ripe, margarine, raisins and oatmeal, which attracts weevils. I made banana bread and oatmeal raisins cookies. But I am looking forward to eat out at a restaurant soon.
Cheers, Birgitta and Clark.