On to Western Panama

Sunday February 11, 2007, we dropped the hook in a rolly anchorage at the SE corner of western Panama after a wonderful sail westward around the Azuero Peninsula. We left our anchorage at Isla del Rey early Saturday morning and by 10AM the engine was off and it was not turned back on until 6:30 AM Sunday morning. Crossing the Gulf of Panama to Punta Mala, we had winds in the 10-20 knot range from the NW giving us a nice reach across the bay in fairly calm conditions. After Punta Mala, about sunset, the winds picked up and then REALLY picked up as we approached Morro Puercos a few hours later. We had a fairly rowdy, and fast, sail the rest of the night with winds up to 25 in an area that usually is without wind. The wind lightened this morning around sun up so we started up the iron jenny and motored the rest of the way into the anchorage. All night long we had to keep a good watch out for ships as we were traveling in a major shipping lane toward the Panama Canal. At one time we had 7 ships that we were tracking on the radar and there was seldom a time that at least one ship was not showing. We did get more, strong wind as we approached Punta Naranja but being “almost there,” we motor sailed (the main was up) the rest of the way to the rather rolly anchorage. As we were approaching the point we were also greeted by 3 dolphins that swam at our bow in the clear blue water. We dropped the hook about noon and after a nice lunch we both fell asleep for badly needed naps.

The wind changed direction 180 degrees while we were sleeping and the rolls died down making this a pleasant anchorage. We were only awake long enough to enjoy a dinner and a little reading time before we both were back in the sack for the night.