Our latest entry always comes up first...

Click this link if you want to start at the beginning of our trip from
South Carolina (where we bought the boat) to Lake Ontario Click this link:

If you want to see the story of our 2 1/2 year project getting
Blowin' Bubbles ready for our life on board click here:

If you want to start at the beginning of our trip:
START OF TRIP - July 2014
2015, 2016, 2017

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

We Are In Shelter Bay (Near Colon) Panama

Welcome to our Blog. Our latest entry always comes up first... 
Click this link if you want to start at the beginning:
If you want to start at the beginning of our trip:
If you want to see the story of our trip from South Carolina
(where we bought the boat)
 to Lake Ontario Click this link:
After just under 5 months, we finally left Bocas del Toro and have headed east to the Colon district of Panama.  This is the westward entrance to the Panama Canal.  

This is the BUSIEST place we have EVER been! Our AIS is covered with blue targets.  For every blue target, it means there is a ship...

With all that traffic, we just had to radio Christobel Control, which is like the traffic control center, and we safely entered the inner harbor and have pulled into the marina in Shelter Bay.
There were literally HUNDREDS of big ships waiting to enter the canal.

A 4 or 5 mile break wall that protects the inner harbor.
You may wonder why... It turns out there is a family situation at home that means Shelley and must fly home on Saturday.  Our hope is that we will return in 8 days.

We finished up our house/dog sitting duties earlier this week and began preparations to travel to the San Blas Islands in the south east corner of Panama.  We placed an $1000 food order with the Panama equivalent of Costco and were completely ready to go when we learned we needed to go back to Canada.  The good news is that most of what we bought will keep while we are gone...
Alex from the marina helped us get our goodies home...

Shelley checking off our order...

Wine - $2.50 each, Beer - $11 per case and Rum....$11 for almost 2 liters!

Barely room to move....

Bubbles back in "Sea Mode" - Ready to go!

This trip from Bocas to Colon was just over 150 nautical miles and we did it in just 2 days.  Our first day saw us sail to Escudo de Veraguas, which is a small  isolated about 20 miles from the mainland.  There were a few Indian families living on the island, but it was mostly deserted.  We wished we could have spent more that one night here, but we needed to get going.
Course Plotted!

We then motorsailed for 20 hours overnight to Shelter Bay.  We fished the hole time but caught NOTHING...  I guess that why they call it fishing, and not catching...  We do have an impressive fishing rig though.  When conditions permit we have two lines on outriggers, two lines off the back and one line on a poor man's downrigger.

We did however, pick up 4 hitch hikers.  That's right 4 small birds joined us just around suppertime last night and eventually settled in under our dodger for the whole night.  Clearly, they were not afraid of us and this morning just after sunrise they woke up and flew away... Who knew!

Sharing Supper!

Just before morning takeoff!

Shelley and I will blog again when we get back from Canada.  In the mean time, I leave you with two pictures we took on our way out of the Bocas archipelago.  It was Sunday morning and these Indian men were out for a day of sailing and fishing fun...  I guess their life isn't that much different from mine...


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