FAREWELL TO PANAMA
Farewell to Panama – yeah!! After being here for 3 months we are finally leaving Panama, although our first stop is the small islands of Las Perlas, which is still part of Panama.
We hope to spend a few days chilling out here before heading for the Galapagos Islands. The 40 mile trip to Isla Contadora was very relaxing after the stress of the last few weeks – A pleasant 10 to 15 knot sail in calm seas.
We caught a couple of good size tuna, but we let one go as we haven’t got any room in our freezer as it is packed to the gunnels with meat and prepared meals in preparation for our Pacific crossing. We saw some whales, the first for several months.
We never thought we would ever leave Balboa Yacht club – Finally we got the last of our supplies, sorted out a dodgy oil switch, started the engines and turned on the navigation instruments and guess what… there was no GPS signal!!! There must be a reason the Gods don’t want us to leave. Anyway our electrician came across to our boat (we call him our electrician as he has been on board for days on end) and discovered that there was a bad connection with the aerial. Fortunately I had a spare; a couple of hours later we finally left- I think Penny was about to jump ship and catch the next plane home. By this time it was 5.00 in the afternoon, so rather spend yet another night on our crappy mooring, which is alongside the shipping lane to the Panama Canal and runs 24/7, we decided to up anchor and spend the night at Toboga a small island 1 hour away and would give us a good start in the morning to the Las Perlas islands.
We were beginning to feel we were becoming one of the locals and even ended up paying local taxi fares rather than the gringo rate which is five times as expensive. None of the taxis in Panama have meters and the price is done on zones. Unless you are a local it is difficult to work out how much to pay. What you don’t do is ask before you get in the cab ‘how much’. We have a fair idea now how much a ride is and you get out of the cab and pay your 2 or 3 dollars. They don’t argue but if you ask they will tell you $10.00.