Another leg complete!
19 December 2017 | Shelter Bay Marina in Colon, Panama
Our last night at sea brought us a change in the wind direction to the north. This brought the wind more aft of beam and even though the waves were still huge, it was manageable and not splashing the boat. Took turns at the helm. No movies. Saw some freighters but they all kept their distance. Did not have any rain all night. With double reefed main and reefed jib we saw speeds consistently in 6-7 Knot range. At first we were going too fast and we slowed down by furling some more of the jib sail. But with the wind change also came a decline in the wind speed which affected our boat speed. By morning, we were getting close and winds were dying to under 10 knots, so Mark started one engine. Then at 8 miles outside of the break water, Mark spoke to Chrisobal, their port authority. We could not understand the discussion and decided to wait until we were closer to call back. The second call was better. They cleared us to enter the breakwater. Shelter Bay Marina was off to the right side after the break water. We followed the channel and motored past the ship yard and dry docks and then to our marina. It was quite large and pretty full of boats of all sizes. The channel was snug to the mangroves. They put on the farthest out dock and almost at the end. Mark backed Charabia into our slip and a dock hand took our lines. Once set, Mark took our papers and followed the dock hand to the marina office, while I waited on the boat. When he returned, he said we would clear in tomorrow with our agent. The agent will be bringing over Canal Inspectors who check out the boat for transit. That may happen tomorrow. Decided to try out the marina restaurant for lunch. Food was okay. We went in search of the Laundromat, here at the marina. No one was there and we didn't have coins. Went by the office and was able to get some quarters. Went back and the lady laundry care taker was there but said it was too late to start a load as she had to leave by 3:45 and our laundry would not have been dried by then. We decided to at least get these clothes washed. Took the wet clothes to the boat and hung them on the life lines to dry, after washing the layer of salt water from the boat. Then put on our swim suit and headed to the pool. The water was refreshing. Met some cruisers at the pool. Also got a lead on someone who does sail repairs, since the local shop was closed thru Jan. 4th. They have a contest for best decorated boat. Friday is party night with a group of carolers. Should be a fun way to meet people. Got wifi service but our WhatsApp does not want to work. It keeps dropping so the connection is not great. Also, the wifi only covered one device so we had to double our coverage. It was extremely hot with just a slight breeze. It also rained just as we got here. The shower did not last very long. Will get to bed early as we didn't get our usual afternoon nap.