Cruising Pacific Panama With Friends

Isla Bayoneta, Panama

Leaving Panama City

Well, we made it through the Panama Canal without incident, stayed a few days at Balboa Yacht Club, and made our way out to the Perlas Islands southeast of Panama City to enjoy a couple of weeks cruising and familiarizing Dale and Linda with the systems aboard Emma Jo.

We passed Thanksgiving at Balboa Yacht Club, and broke out the good French tablecloth and real cloth napkins, as well as a magnum of champagne we’d been saving since we departed Florida, to celebrate our gratitude for a great adventure so far. With a turkey roast, canned yams, cranberries, and green beans, as well as a box of Stouffer’s stuffing found as a treasure at the local supermercado, Thanksgiving dinner was about as good as we could make it. While we ate, ship after ship passed us on their way to and from Miraflores Locks, often within a hundred yards, making for some great rolls with dinner!

Ole and Dale made an excursion to Abernathy’s, the Panamanian equivalent of West Marine, for fishing tackle and boat parts, while Linda and I explored the Allbrook Mall, fully as extensive as any to be found in the US. Our list included stocking up on clumping cat litter, a must with two cats, and somewhat difficult to find in Central America. We were able to locate 6 40-lb bags, which were stored in the engine room and came with instructions to NOT PUNCTURE THE BAGS at any cost! We also found all of the thyroid medicine little Maggie might need for the next four months

On the 27th, we headed toward Contadora and the Perlas Islands, and broke out the fishing gear for the first time. Finally got the decks bloody, hooking an albacore almost right away! Dale educated us as to his “filet and release” philosophy of fishing…

We anchored off Contadora for a couple of nights, and went for a walk one morning. This island used to be quite the place for the Central American rich and famous to retreat to, and when the Shah of Iran was ousted, he even had a place here. We found the locals to be very friendly, and the anchorage to be pleasant enough to cast the spinning rod one morning. Learned about the “cut the line and release” philosophy once I hooked a devil ray with 5-lb test!


We travelled one morning over to another group of islands to finish out the month, and finally got to try our hand (foot?) at snorkeling and beachcombing on an island called Bayoneta.

Speak Your Mind