44 nm back to Panama City and the Balboa Yacht Club - Summary of Pacific Panama
After 5 nights at Isla Contadora(making 27 days in the Perlas Islands),it was time to head
back to Panama City. We made the 44 nm passage in about 7 hours, having to
swerve out of our way to avoid a few thunderstorms on the way back. We pulled
into the Balboa Yacht Club, located Canal-side, and took a mooring, at about 4:00 pm Saturday,
Officially, this ends Part 4 of our Journey, as our time cruising Pacific
Panama is over. From here we'll prepare to Transit the Panama Canal,
go home and visit the U.S.A. for a little bit, and begin cruising the
Caribbean side of Panama, including the San Blas Islands and Boca Del
Toro, which we're looking forward to. Below you'll find a table with
some statistics summing up our trip so far.
When we originally made our plans back in San Diego, we looked to our
time in Panama with some trepidation. All we knew back then was that,
for safety's sake, we had to be down "here" below 10*N by hurricane season
and stay here six months.
We had heard that we would be in Panama during rainy season, which
we were not looking forward to, and we imagined how hot and humid
Panama would be during the months of July, August, and September.
I imagined getting tons of mosquito bites, and the trip thru Mexico
and Central America thus far hadn't changed my mind about that.
So overall our expectations were pretty low when we left Costa Rica
and made our way to Panama almost 3 months ago.
Perhaps that's part of the reason we've been so pleased with our time
here. It has turned out to be the nicest place we've ever cruised.
Not only have the mosquitos been manageable (I haven't had a mosquito
bite in over two months), but the rainy season, although wet, has
proven to be more of a pleasure than a pain. Instead of the sweltering
heat that we experienced in Southern Mexico heading into summer,
as we've gotten down to Panama the temperatures and humidity have actually lessened
I guess it could be because during the summer the sun moves up to 23 degrees north,
and here we are below that at 8 degrees. For whatever reason, we have found
the weather here in Pacific Panama to be quite nice. It rarely varies
much from 83 degrees Farenheit, cooling a little when it rains, getting
a little hotter when it doesn't. It has only rained a few minutes in
the last week, and never did it rain for more than a day or two in a
row. I would say overall that we have seen rain, on the average, of
about 2-3 hours every 2-3 days. Not bad.
And we were not at all prepared for how nice a cruising ground this
is. Most people don't know that Panama has nearly 300 islands, and
Pacific Panama is filled with lots of interesting places to visit.
Often we have not had to move more than 5-10 miles to go from one really
neat anchorage to another. We have seen more white sandy beaches,
beautiful clear water, and calm places to stay overnight here than
in any other part of our journey so far. Not to mention that we've
caught more fish here, had better snorkeling conditions here, and that
the people of Panama have generally been very friendly and affable
So, it is with some sadness that we leave these islands, the Pacific Ocean
we have grown to know so well, and simultaneously,
say goodbye to so many of our friends. Many have already gone thru the
Canal, bound for Cartenega or elsewhere. Other friends will be staying
here for a while before crossing the Pacific to Polynesia. Still others
have had to end their cruising lives and return to the United States or Canada.
We will miss them dearly.
Nonetheless, we have had a great time here. From our first visions
of Paradise at Isla Parida/Gamez, meeting Bill and Arianna and
Max and Vittoria at Ventana, and having our 4th of July celebration with
WAHOO, KETCHING UP, and DELFIN SOLO, we have found Pacific Panama to
be a special and magical place and have made many good friends here.
Then travelling as a team with said boats, adding SPIRIT, and PIPE DREAM around
Punta Mala, including helping KU work their way thru their broken propeller
shaft saga, hooking up with JENNY, GALLIVANT, and CARAVAN again and partying
down in Panama City, has cemented some of those friendships and times in place.
Finally, getting to visit some of the many beautiful and remote places in
the Perlas Islands, together with new friends WINDSONG, AQUASTRIAN, R DREAMZ,
and LAUREN GRACE, has topped off our time here like icing on a cake.
Like I said to start, we're going to take a few weeks here in Panama City getting
ready to go through the Panama Canal. I probably won't post webpages again for a
while. But when we finally go through and get to the other side, I know we'll have
more new, great adventures. But whatever else happens, we will always remember
fondly the time we've spent in Pacific Panama on our RHAPSODY to Central America.
Memories of Pacific Panama
|Statistics||Panama||Total Trip so far|
|Miles Travelled on RHAPSODY||451||4225|
|Miles Sailed||15 or 3%||965 or 23%|
|Miles Motoring or Motor Sailing||436 or 97%||3261 or 77%|
|Hours Underway||105 or 4.5 days||584 or 24.3 days|
|Number of Places We Stayed Overnight||91||320|
|Nights at Sea||0||16|
|Nights at Anchor ||91||215|
|Nights on Moorings||0||34|
|Nights in Marinas||0||65|
|Add'l Nights in Hotels||0||5|
|Gallons of Fuel Used||approx 250||approx 865|
|Gallons of Water Produced||approx 1200||approx 3600|
|Watermaker Hours||approx 150||approx 450|
|Gallons of Water Captured||approx 300||approx 300|
|Dinghy Hours and Miles||50 hrs, 90 miles||approx 150 hrs, 275 miles|
|MPG (not counting sailing)*||approx 6.3 mpg|
|MPG (adjusted for sailing)||approx 7.0 mpg|
|Number of Oil Changes (Motor + Gen)||9||27|
|Number of Fish Caught||8, approx 90 lbs||20, approx 200 lbs|
|Beers Consumed||approx 684||approx 1800|
|Wine Consumed||approx 12 litres||approx 40 litres|
|Tequila Consumed||approx 3 litres ||approx 15 litres |
|Rum Consumed||approx 6 liters||approx 12 liters|
|Longest Stay||Panama City, 23 days||Marina Chahue, 25 days|
|Number of New Friends||Many, Many|
|Number of Great Experiences||Innumerable|