Wednesday, March 23, 2016

A Few Weeks in the Las Perlas Islands

Shelley and I have been exploring the Las Perlas Islands about 40 miles from Panama City. In Spanish it means "The Pearl Islands". So far we have not found any pearls but the islands are as beautiful as any pearl.

Another tough day at the office...

Local Fishing Boats

Our most beautiful shell yet

Chuey getting ready to install a new mooring in Tabogo

Another "fancy" dinner out...


Isla Contradora

The poor section of town...


We found where they filmed Survivor Panama...


Oh look, another tough day... Are you seeing the pattern yet?

A beautiful church, which doubles as a school during the week...

Another trip up the mast....

The weather has been stunning and Shelley has collected photos of many of the birds of Panama. We spend hours slowly exploring the mangroves and inlets in our dinghy. The only diving we have done is about 3 hours with both of us scrubbing the bottom of our boat. The water in La Playita (in Panama City) was disgusting and the air was constantly dropping soot all over the deck. We are so happy to finally have the boat cleaned up again.




We are doing a bunch of last minute chores getting the boat ready to head to the Marquesas Islands on or about April 11. Right now the weather does not lend itself to making the trip so waiting a few more weeks will hopefully open a better weather window. We are being told that el Ninio is just about over, which will hopefully get the wind and weather back to normal.

Next weekend we hope to see Mike and Margaret from Cozumel. They will be flying into the Las Perlas to visit us for a week before we leave.


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

A Week to Remember....


Welcome to our Blog. Our latest entry always comes up first... 
Click this link if you want to start at the beginning:
FIRST BLOG ENTRY
If you want to start at the beginning of our trip:
START OF 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:
  SOUTH CAROLINA
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
What a great week!

Before Michelle left, we visited the Smithsonian Bio Diversity Complex here in Panama City.  It was an interesting afternoon where we learned about many of the small critters indigenous to Panama and their work learning about the effects of our worlds colliding.





This week started with a number of trips into the city to finish our last minute provisioning.  We discovered an amazing place to buy wonderful meats and cheeses that we haven't seen since we left the USA.  We thought we might be in heaven!






On Saturday we met our friend Robin from s/v Mermaid for dinner in the city.  She was on her way home to the US to see her grandchildren.  She and Mike have become good friends since we arrived in Panama.  Sadly, they have already done the pacific, so are staying in the Caribbean.  We will sure miss them.


On Saturday night we attended an amateur theatre presentation of the Complete Works of William Shakespeare in 96 Minutes.   The show was hilarious!  3 men performed this show with awesome energy and talent.  A bunch of other cruisers from the anchorage were with us...  It was a great night.



As most of you know, we were involved in the Pacific Puddlejump Gathering here in Panama. Through this experience we met some wonderful people...

Our job was to help organize the gathering that took place at the Balboa Yacht Club here in Panama City.  There were over 30 boats here in Panama City who attended the gathering & information session.

Andy, from the sailing magazine, Latitude 38 was the person who we worked with.  A great magazine supported by good people..  Paul, Stephanie & Manoa were here from Tahiti Tourism.  They made a very good presentation and helped all of us better understand what we can expect when we arrive in French Polynesia.   Tehani was here from Tahiti Crew, an agency who helps us with entering French Polynesia.  Tehani's organization really makes checking into the area easy and safe.

Last, but not least, Sharon was here from New Zealand.  She works with the Whangarei Marine Group who are a group of businesses in New Zealand who cater to boaters needs.  Everything from sails to places to stay, Stephanie was a wealth of information and fun...

The posters we put up around town...

The presentation..

Andy (Latitude 38) & Paul (Tahiti Tourism)
Tehani (Tahiti Crew) & her happy customer
Sharon (New Zealand), Kyle & Andy
Ben & Marion (s/v Guinevere 1)
Manoa (Tahiti Tourism)
The bar.....
Stephanie (Tahiti Tourism)
The finale of our week was an invitation to the home of the French Ambassador to Panama.  We, along with a few other invited cruisers, joined the organizers of the PPJ gathering for an evening of wine, awesome food and the chance to meet people we would likely never meet in our real world. The ambassador and his wife were the most gracious of hosts.  They were down to earth people (except for the armed police at the door) who seemed genuinely happy to receive us into their home and learn a little about our world.
The French Ambassador, The Minister of Tourism for Panama, & The Director of Tourism for Tahiti
Lanny, Luc & Ginger (cruisers)
A really happy cruiser...
Nice House!
Mustafa & Elif from Turkey
Ginger & Shelley
Ginger & Food!
Paul (Tahiti Tourism), Sharon (New Zealand Marine Group) & me...
Sharon, Shelley & Deb (from Deb's Place, a cruiser haven here in Panama)
Solving the World's Problems... (The French Ambassador) Andy, & me...
Lanny & Ginger
Audrey & Adrien (s'v Quatra)
We were politely kicked out of the embassy residence around 10 pm..


Our "official" invitation...
The goal of the people who organized this gathering was to bring together folks who can influence better environments for cruisers travelling to Panama, French Polynesia and beyond...

All in all it was a GREAT week in paradise....

Cheers!