The adventure continued on to Costa Rica! I had no idea there were so many islands between Panama and Costa. You literally could spend years down there exploring.
We left early from Balboa Yacht Club area. Just check out the skyline in Panama City!
It took us about five hours to sail to Isla Contadora which is part of the Pearl chain of islands. Back in the day, these islands produced pearls of all sizes and colors which were sold to the Spaniards.
Contadora is a very charming little island with small markets, police station an airport and ferry service. About 250 people reside on the island. Back in the 60's there were quite a few famous people who would vacation there. I couldn't help think of the TV show "Survivor" with some of these islands in Panama and guess what?... Isla Contadora has actually been the base for that show.
Relaxing on this beautiful white sand beach was a nice break from the journey.
We left fairly early the next day and sailed to Isla Cebaco. There is something very special about pulling anchor, feeling satisfied you've fully explored an area, and being excited about the next island and the little surprises you will find there.
This was the longest part of this leg of the trip, about 200 miles. We did an overnight passage. At 3 am while Hubby was on night watch and the rest of us fast asleep, he had a radio conversation (if you could call it that being that Hubby speaks no Spanish) with a Panamanian patrol boat that pulled alongside of us. Being the only ones out there and having a boat speed up to you in the middle of the night was a little frightening to say the least or would have been for me. So glad it was Hubby on watch. The rest of us probably would have freaked out. After the interrogation, they seemed satisfied and took off.
Isla Cebaco is a super remote island that has a small sportfishing operation based on a larger ship. You can only get to this island by boat. There are a few people that live here who are commercial fisherman and supply the mainland with fish. The tide variations are crazy on the Pacific side of Panama. It can really make it difficult when anchoring. You really have to be aware because the tides can fluctuate by 20 feet in one day.
Nephew treated me to this fresh coconut he cracked...yum!
We left Isla Cebaco around mid morning and headed off to Isla Santa Catalina. This turned out to be a really interesting island... lots of reefs and good surf. Seems like the village is full of mostly surfers and a few fisherman. It poured rain all afternoon. When it lightened up a bit, we headed ashore for dinner. The cruising guide said it would be an exhilarating dinghy ride ashore and sure enough it was. Hence, no camera. An Italian surfer named Luca, had a restaurant "Pinguino" right on the sand in this remote little surfing village. This was our best meal ashore by far. Son had a huge local lobster for $17 with all the sides. The rest of us had local fresh fish for about $10 a plate.
The next morning we took off super early for Isla Parida which was at least a ten hour motor sail. We passed a few more remote Islands groups along the way. Wow... you could really hide out down there!
Son was catching fish all along the way trolling behind the boat.
This little Skipjack made a very tasty sashimi snack.
I can't even tell you all the sea life we experienced along the way.... many pods of dolphins, whales, sharks, crazy looking sea snakes, turtles and beautiful birds. It certainly made the time go by faster always being on the lookout for creatures.
Son, Nephew and Oldest Daughter shooting their daily wellness shot... ginger, garlic, lime juice, orange juice, salt, cayenne pepper, oregano oil and honey... we're healthy now!
After a very long day of motor sailing we pulled up to our anchorage and went ashore to check it out. Isla Parida is a very large Island with a few random houses and what looked like a couple of Eco lodges here and there. It's hard to explain just how remote these islands feel when you are there but believe me they are remote. I would definitely know where to go if I needed to hide!
We were the only boat in the anchorage.
We got there with just enough time to explore the island. One very unfriendly older man and his angry dog live in the shack there on the beach. He wasn't too happy when Hubby and I beached our dinghy despite our friendly guestures.
We got there with just enough time to explore the island. Son did some spearfishing and Oldest Daughter snorkeled.
Oldest Brother and Nephew did some kayaking.
Next morning we left for Costa Rica. We we were pretty close to the border of Costa Rica and Panama when Son caught a really nice sized Dorado.
Oldest Brother (or "Supervisor" as we called him on the trip) missed all the excitement while sleeping on the job!
I got such pleasure watching Son in action. From catching the big fish, cleaning and filleting it (under lots of motion I might add), and presenting a beautiful dish... impressive! In case Sama Sama, his current employer in Santa Barbara, is wondering what he's up to... he's definitely practicing his chef skills!
We arrived at Banana Bay Marina in Golfito, Costa Rica in the afternoon right before a huge down pour. When we docked, our new crew member (Ventura Friend) was waiting to help. It was a big crew change on Green Flash. Oldest Brother and Nephew stayed in Costa Rica to join other family members at my Other Brother's homes in Jaco area.
Oldest Daughter and I stayed two extra nights in the the Golfito Marina to help reprovision, refuel and do laundry for the guys.
Oldest Daughter and I said goodbye to our boys and Costa. We took a little plane out of Golfito to the international airport. We were sad to say goodbye but knew we were leaving them in good hands!
Hubby, Son and Ventura Friend would take the Flash across the infamous Gulfo de Papagayo and Gulfo de Tehuantepec. The adventure isn't over yet... stay tuned for more!