27 January, 2015
W. Eric Faber
Wed 28 Jan 2015 02:17
Daily Run: 75 miles
Destination: Christobel, Colon, Panama
The San Blas islands are relatively unspoilt as access can only be had by boat and none of the islands are big enough to justify setting up any kind of commerce. They can all be walked round in a couple of hours and many have extensive reefs surrounding them with the occasional yacht wrecked high and dry. Nevertheless, yachties are quite numerous, anchoring off here and there, while the winds never seem to impose any kind of threat. Only El Porvenir has an airstrip and that is where one can check into Panama (immigration) although the island itself is tiny with a few fishing families living on it. Our stay, alas, could not be extended and at 5pm on Monday, we left El Porvenir to make for Colon, the town that marks the entrance to the Panama canal. We had planned our arrival at around 9am the following morning (Tuesday, 27th January), so that we would have plenty of daylight to weave our way into the entrance amongst all the container vessels and other commercial craft and make our way to Shelter Bay marina. We had a magical sail under strong moonlight and a bespangled sky until about 6am, when the rolling of the ship would not keep the sails filled or anything in the cupboards. We took all sail off motoring for the last three hours.
Last Friday Julia developed an eye infection, which blurred the vision in the affected eye and made her feel quite unwell on Saturday. Under specific instructions I was allowed to prepare the evening meal and maybe that expedited an incipient recovery, as on Sunday, there appeared to be an improvement in the inflammation of the eyelids and eye ball. On Sunday the improvement seemed to have sustained and a surgeon ARC participant had taken an interest in Julia’s affliction, but his diagnosis was to go and see an eye specialist, which we are aiming to do tomorrow, although it can be said with confidence that the rate of improvement has continued, so much so that her former vision seems to be coming back as well.
We are scheduled to transit the Panama canal on 3.2.15 and we are told that we need four line handlers, who will stay with us until the end of the transit and who will need to be fed, watered and accommodated. I wonder whether they would sleep in the dinghy as we tow it….