Finally in the Las Perlas islands
Phil May and Andrea Twigg
Thu 2 Feb 2012 00:54
Yesterday we set off for the Las Perlas islands. These islands are only about 40 miles from Panama, so while our replacement Parasailor has not yet arrived we can go back to collect it when it does. There was a good wind and we were cruising along at 10 knots when the strap connecting the genoa sheets to the sail broke. We furled the sail, and returned to Panama to fix it (which was just a case of replacing the braid strap with some strong rope, but involved taking the sail down to tie it on).
Today we set off again for the Las Perlas islands. This time it was a smooth sail across, marred only at the end by a couple of aborted attempts to sail Anastasia over reefs before we found the right route to the anchorage. (No we didn't actually hit any reefs.) There are no good charts of Las Perlas, the cruising guide gives you a general idea of where to go but you still have to be careful to find a route between the rocks. Woe betide anyone who tries to come in at night.
We are now anchored at Isla Bayoneta which the guide book says has a beach covered with cowrie shells. Andrea will be able to go beachcombing tomorrow. Unfortunately she won't find pearls because apparently an epidemic wiped out most of the pearl oysters.