La Playita, Panama City

Friday 15th March 2013

 

We have been in La Playita anchorage longer than planned.  Some news of family illness stopped us in our tracks the day after arriving here, and we have had little heart to do much other than keep in touch with home for regular updates.  Initially we thought we would go home, but found that there is nowhere to leave a boat safely this side of the canal.  The news from home is positive though, and the outlook good, so we are continuing on our way, albeit with a heavy heart at times when an overwhelming need to be with the family cannot be either realised or ignored.

 

Accessing Panama City from the anchorage is not simple and involves either paying taxi fares into the city or negotiating (or arguing!) with the dollar taxi drivers (some of them insist the dollar fare is only for locals) to get to the bus terminus and then playing sardines with the locals on a bus.   We made a few trips in, and got a feel for the city.  We didn’t visit the sights for two reasons – firstly we had no enthusiasm for the transport, and secondly the Panamanians did not endear themselves to us. 

 

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View of Panama City from the Causeway.                                                                            Muscular joggers they must have out here!

 

We joined the Pacific Puddle Jump ‘Rally’ and attended their ‘send off’ at the Balboa Yacht Club.  It isn’t really a rally as there is no start or finish, but boats register and get access to information and some services, and usually a radio net is run so that boats can check in with their positions. 

 

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Having a Balboa beer……                                                                                                              …at the Balboa Yacht Club.

 

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Pepe, Bear, Rod, Mary & Steve at the Puddle Jump party.                                             Another flag to adorn the boat.

 

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Pepe & Bear from Beez Neez.                                                                                                    Rod & Mary preferred the light blue.

 

Tomorrow we plan to leave La Playita and sail 35 nmiles to Las Perlas islands.  This anchorage is quite lumpy at the best of times,with the wind and current, but the wakes from boats going in and out of the harbour or ships racing to get to the canal on time can make it downright unpleasant.  Time to move on.