After bobbing around at the Balboa yacht club near Panama City for a couple of nights we headed over to Isla Taboga to clean our hulls. The town itself is cute and everyone was friendly as we wandered thru the skinny lanes at the base of the hill, which you can climb but sounded like too much work for us in the heat.
Then it was off to The Las Perlas Islands where we caught a tuna on the way, so sushi for dinner, yum. On arrival Brett was up up the mast trying to work out why our wind instrument has just started to play up. Great timing! Maintenance is a never ending job.
We cycled around the most populated island; Contadora and were surprised at the large homes, most of which were for sale. Hmmmm. It was holiday time so we watched the bay fill up with large motor boats and fishing boats from the City. Most of the month of November is holiday time in Panama.
Las Perlas had lots of nice bays to anchor where we could laze as the weather was pretty benign and there were only a few sailing boats about. Before we knew it we were at the furthest south west island, San Jose and heading out of the Panama Bay. Goodbye to the humidity for now.
Our trip south to Ecuador was good even though we wish we had dagger boards for that upwind sailing. Took advantage of the currents and tacking West to help with the southerly winds and waves. Saw great phosphorescence in the water, lots of dolphins, a few turtles sleeping and a group of pilot whales that led us towards the equator. The seas seems to get bigger the closer we got, with 6-8ft seas.
Crossing the equator by boat is a big deal for up until that time you are known as a Slimy Pollywog but after crossing the equator you transform into a Trusty Shellback. Brett having crossed the equator last year still partook in the celebration with me with a jig in the cockpit and a toast to Neptune and to finally becoming a Trusty Shellback.
As we were partying we look up and there’s this hombre in a very small open boat fishing in the large seas out today; 25 miles from the nearest land and 40 miles from the port entrance. Perhaps he wanted to join the party.
At the equator we’ve passed from the North Pacific Ocean into the South Pacific Ocean and have arrived in Ecuador. Yeah! Looking forward to some land travel.