Land Ahoy

Fri 10 Jan 2014 01:17
07:25.5970N  80:11.5687W
After 2 days of bashing into the waves motor sailing, it was good to see the murky outline of land, not Panama City, but the nearest place we could head into to assess the damage.  The charts showed a bay called Playa Venao in the Los Santos province of Panama.  We dropped anchor and slept despite the swell.  A 500metre swim in later revealed a gorgeous 3 kilometre sand beach which turned out to be a famous surf spot complete with bars and resaturants.  Things started to look up and we planned a Saturday night ashore to enjoy the nightlife - not to be - the reality of surfing the dinghy in on 2 foot waves was not a good one and bought back memories of Turkey when Syd did a spectacular 360 complete with dinghy to land on his feet on the beach of Olu Deniz!  So the next few days were spent utilising the free wifi and putting wheels in motion for replacing the lower rigging.  Syd discovered the bit that connects the wire to the mast (lollipop fitting for those in the know!) had a hairline crack in it due to the part being manufactured with the wire way off centre leaving only a wafer thin wall on one side of the fitting....amazing that it had lasted all this time (since the boat was built 15 years ago).
Playa Venao proved to be a nice place to stay (other than the swell!) and the 3 kilometre beach was a great place to run.  Lisa even managed some surfing on the day we left as the swell had by now picked up and was making the anchorage untenable.
So next decision, with one tank of fuel left, what was the best way back to Panama City?  Decision made, via the Pearl Islands - so we upped anchor and had a wonderful sail in light winds along the Panama Coast and across to Isla San Jose in the Pearl Islands.