The Best Laid Plans...
18 April 2019 | Puerto Armuelles, Panama
Good Friday and Easter are well-celebrated in the Spanish (read Catholic) countries. So we were trying to check out of Panama on Thursday, April 18. As we arrived, we noticed the major pier had no ladders, gangways or dinghy docks. In fact it was in poor condition for any use. We received a VHF 16 call from the Port Captain's office asking if we intended to check in or out. It so we needed to do so before 1200 noon, since all offices would be closing for the Easter weekend! We lowered the dinghy and rowed to shore, not sure of the surf condition. We turned the bow into the waves, trying to time the small wave action. Sue was able to get out, but George fell backward into the water. Nice, at least it was warm. After securing the boat to a large rock, we made our way to the Port Captain's Office. It was 1100, He helped fill out the Port Captain's paperwork, lead us over to another building where immigration and Customs were located. All was well, except for one thing. We didn't have our Panama Cruising Permit. We had the receipt for buying it from our agent. Sue remembered giving our papers to La Playita Marina, and their checking off that they had a copy of out cruising permit. But it was not in our official papers file. We would not get our Zarpe for leaving the country without finding the cruising permit. It was 1200 noon, and all offices were closing. We tried phoning La Playita Marina, but no one answered. So we sent an e-mail to them, asking them to make a copy of their copy, and e-mail it to the Port Captain's office in Puerto Armuelles. We are hoping some one will see the e-mail, make the copy, and e-mail it on Saturday. Otherwise we will be waiting until Monday morning to check out of Panama.