Panama canal and city

Exocet Strike
John & Stella Dyer
Sun 8 Feb 2015 16:56
Since leaving Shelter Bay on the Caribbean / Atlantic side our wifi has been near useless so apologies for no updates.
The tranist trhough the canal was amazing, we were late getting into the Gatun locks, by nearly two hours but it was a fantastic experience, the Advisors which go on each boat are often tugboat captains, ours certainly was on day two.
After going through we tied up at midnight to a big mooring buoy, in a raft of 6 boats, then next morning at 0630 we headed off through the Gatun lake, a huge man made lake, created by damming the river Chagres. took about four hours to reach the Pedro \migul lock, approx 1200 local time and then onto Miraflores soon after. Some near disasters quickly averted, and down to the marina at La Playita. Its a very small marina so we had to anchor in the bay to await our turn, two days later.  Its all motor boats in there, but the staff were very friendly, and the power and water were useful.
We went on a trip called a city tour, but actually we went over the Centenial Bridge and up to the highest point in Panama City to see over the canal and city, pretty spectacular. Then down to the very old city, now abandoned after the Pirate Captain Morgan sacked it many centuries ago and then into the old town. All very interesting and starting to be refurbished.
We thought of buying some solar panels, but after deciding that the place we were going to put them was needed, we chose not to.
Saturday was when we had to check out of the marina and we decided to sail off at midday to the Las Perlas islands, and Contadura in particular. Got there to the ancorage just as it was going dark. great timiing.  On our way there we saw two pods of Dolphins and then one or two whales, not sure waht type of whale or how big, but pretty close to us and maybe 30 feet in length, so our third set of whales so far.
Crusing around the Las Perlas islands until Friday then we are off to Galapagos.