Isla Contadora, Las Perlas Islands

Lynn & Mike ..around the world
Mike Drinkrow & Lynn v/d Hoven
Mon 12 Mar 2012 22:16
08:37.24N 079:02.096W   Isla Contadora, Las Perlas Islands:
This morning we left the La Playita anchorage off Panama city and headed south to the Las Perlas (The Pearls) islands.  We had a great stay in Panama city - seeing friends from Shelter Bay and making new friends. It was great to spend time with Des & Carole Elliot from SA, before they head off to the Pacific. There is quite a community down there, with a very active cruisers net and everyone is very helpful in passing on information. I went on two shopping expeditions with Rixzene from Poyugen for groceries - which are a lot better than in Colon.  I also headed downtown (faily grubby) and then took a taxi back to the mall to buy a camera.  Albrook Mall is massive by any standards least the size of Canal Walk in Cape Town, or Sawgrass Mills in Ft Lauderdale.   Mike spent his money on diesel - we heard there was about to be another fuel increase so filled up...  about 5000litres!
We were invited to a get-together of the Pacific Puddle Jumpers ... those cruisers intending to cross to the south Pacific islands in the coming months. There were some talks and videos as well as a bit of a party. We spent time with Ray & Lea on Equinox;  Rankin & Sandy on Gypsea Heart; Bill on Costina; Andy on Impiana & Marina & James on Happy Cat. 
We are anchored off Isla Contadora  (see view above), the most inhabited of the islands, which is very popular with the wealthy boat owners from Panama - nice place to spend a weekend! The islands were once famous for their pearls and a giant 31 carat peregrine pearl owned by Mary Tudor of England came from here.
Our plan for the coming weeks is to spend a bit of time in the Las Perlas islands and then head up towards Costa Rica. Today may be the last day that we have access to WiFi internet for a while.
Some of our friends in Panama:  Des, Carole, Rixzene, Steve, Marina, Sandy & Bill