Archive for December, 2007

Christmas

We have moved back to an anchorage off of Isla Gamez after spending a week in Boca Chica for Christmas. Christmas Eve, the resort “Gone Fishing Panama”, had a nice buffet for their guests and invited the cruisers anchored nearby. We went and the food was delicious. After dinner there was a gift exchange and we ended up with a bottle of champagne which we plan to open on New Years Eve. Christmas day we ate dinner at “Frank’s Place” with Jan and George, Claire de Lune, and enjoyed a fresh fish meal.

Into Boca Chica

It is getting close to Christmas, so yesterday we moved into the Boca Chica area where cruisers are gathering for the holiday. The water out near Isla Gamez finally cleared enough that we did a little snorkeling. One day we spent our time in the water cleaning the hull of Lanikai. It had very few tiny barnacles but lots of long fuzzy stuff. A few days later we checked out a reef near one of the northern points on Isla Parida. There were lots of fish even some fairly large ones … a leopard ray swam by too! The rocks had some coral but not much, although Doreen saw one starfish.

Last evening, after anchoring behind (north of) Isla Ventana, we dinghied into the Boca Chica anchorage. There is much more ashore here than when we were here five years ago. We climbed the steps to one of the new spots, a fishing resort called Gone Fishing Panama, where we enjoyed some cold beers while visiting with some of our friends.

Isla Ventanas

Anchor down behind Isla Ventana which is not far from the Boca Chica anchorage where cruisers are gathering for Navidad.

Isla Gamez

The swells got too much for us in the SE bay on Isla Parida so on Thursday December 6, we moved further north along the shore of Parida and anchored off Isla Gamez. Gamez is a small uninhabited island with a pretty white beach facing the anchorage. Doreen has found much kayaking opportunity, but the water is not clear enough to enjoy the many reefs by snorkeling. She has seen many sea turtles on the surface while kayaking and yesterday even saw two large ones mating. They are quite large turtles and it is fun to see their heads peak above the water for a breath of air and a look-see around.

There have been four or five other boats anchored nearby while we have been here. We have had several afternoon get-togethers on the sandy beach with the other cruisers during the last week. The weather has stayed dryer, but we have had some great rain showers as well; allowing us to fill up the water tank with fresh rain water. Most mornings are sunny with drifting clouds, by mid afternoon the denser clouds arrive bringing sprinkles in the early evening and twice good downpours. Bill has spent much time adding goodies to his FotoAlbum program. He is adding items requested by users, ones that Bill thought were a good idea. He gave me a copy to check out a few days ago and I immediately found a problem which he rapidly fixed.

Contreras to Parida – more info

After the sun returned, we spent a few more days in the Contreras islands to snorkel in the clear water. Then on Thursday we moved on to the Islas Secas. The snorkeling was great there as well and we had no rain and much sunshine while we were there. We anchored off the larger of the southern islands and found lots of great reefs along its northern side. The weather changed after the last days of rain in the Contreras and we have had no real rain for a week now. Our last night in the Secas, westerly winds picked up, bringing lots of swell and chop into the anchorage.

Monday, we moved on to Isla Parida and anchored in the southern bay where it is usually calm. But we have swells in here as well. At least there is not a current to keep us stern-to the waves, as in the Secas, which is Lanikai‘s most uncomfortable position. Claire de Lune, with George and Jan aboard, was anchored here when we arrived. They had just made the passage north from Ecuador and had a thawed turkey on board! They invited us over to share it with them last evening. We finally got our turkey dinner and it was delicious – as well as the company was great.