Panama to Las Perlas

Published on 12 February 2024 at 03:16

Great day today, our first day sailing in the Pacific - and an eventful one!


We left La Playita marina just after lunch, with a great view of Panama City and the Bridge of the Americas behind us. Sea was flat and breeze was steady, sailing was lovely - a pleasure not to have the waves we've been sailing through recently. 


A whale came up about 50 yards off our port beam - blowing great fountains of water into the air; we could see it's back but not much more than that. No idea what type of whale it was, just one that breathes through it's head!


We decided to try and fly our big colourful downwind sail which meant starting the engine whilst we dropped the mainsail - but the engine immediately stuck in reverse gear regardless of where the gear lever was so we had to keep the white sails up. Memories of the Dateline Bounty in Ibiza all those years ago (except that was stuck in forward). But that memory gave me a good clue what the problem was, and sure enough we found the gear cable outer clamp had failed inside the steering console. It meant dismantling the console to fix (interesting whilst we were still sailing, with the wheel turning constantly!) but an hour later we were fully operational again. And actually it will be useful for other things now we can get into the console. 


So after an hour we were finally able to drop the white sails and hoist the Wingaker downwind sail - and then had a great sail averaging nearly 9 knots through the water.


And whilst doing that we caught a Tuna (apparently a bonnito tuna - maybe!). We didn't notice at first so no idea how long we towed him for at 9 knots, but he was still alive when we landed him. Tom and Harri have done a great job of landing and gutting the fish - looking forward to very fresh tuna for supper!


We arrived at Las Perlas islands in pitch black. We're back to tidal waters here, and it's spring tides (over 6m range, compared to half a metre in the Caribbean). No problem with checking our depths but we arrived mid tide and were surprised to find a 2.5/3 knot current running through the anchorage we had selected.


But hopefully we've anchored well (the morning will tell!) - we're looking forward to waking up in daylight to see what the Las Perlas islands are like!


I'll sign off for now as aromas of frying tuna are wafting from the galley and my Negroni cocktail has just arrived (I told you this boat is well provisioned, and you have to drink something when it's G&T time but you're allergic to tonic!!).


Then another cockpit film night at anchor!


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4 months ago

Good to see you’re sailing again. Should be all set for the big pacific crossing now with just the usual running maintenance. Enjoy the Tuna, not jealous of that bit!

Jacq &Graham
4 months ago

Fabulous accounts of your passage through the Panama Canal , islands look stunning, enjoy the Pacific

Sarah Barnes
4 months ago

Completely useless sailing comment, you know me but a very pretty orange sail, accompanied by negroni and ultra fresh tuna… fabulous darling! Love to you both xx

Sue Rimmer
4 months ago

I was thinking just the same! Also a lovely photo of the girls relaxing! Looks idyllic at that point!! Xx

4 months ago

The tuna looked fantastic. Guess you weren’t tempted with sashimi- would have been amazing. Glad to see all
Is well again with the boat and you are back en route

4 months ago

Negronis are the best, could even top a good G&T!!

Big day today as you start your voyage to the Galapagos.

Wishing you all, fair winds and a following sea.
Sarah and Bruce xx

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