Gulf of Panama & the Perlas Islands
03 February 2013
When we left Banao we had a great motor sail down to about 3 miles of Punta Mala which took us off of our rum line so now it was time to motor back to our rum line so that we could have a straight run either motor sail or sail down to the Perlas, we wanted to do this before it got dark as we were crossing shipping lanes.
The seas got quite lumpy and sloppy on our way back to the rum line which was just off of Punta Mala and we got back on our rum line which ended up being a close haul run all the way to the Perlas. The seas stayed lumpy and sloppy until we were about 2/3rd's of the way to the Perlas Islands. We were crossing a major shipping lanes and boy did we know it as we moved into the darkness of night. We are so glad that we have AIS onboard as we were able to make contact with each freighter to make sure they could see us and whether we needed to alter our direction, for the most part the freighters were great and they actually changed course and either went in behind us or in front of us. Our friends on August Moon stayed close to us as they lost their forward running lights and we let the freighters know that they were with us, the freighters picked them up on radar. Our other friends on Gosling were about 3 miles behind us as they were accompanying another sailing vessel called "Catching the Sun". It got a little hectic at one point as we had about 8 freighters we were trying to deal with all at the same time while crossing the shipping lane. As we were the only ones with AIS we were also passing info onto our friends on August Moon and Gosling so that if needed they could contact the freighter also. We made it through that group and still had more as we moved onward towards our destination, a little easier when dealing with only 1 or 2 of them.
We arrived in the Isla San Jose in the Ensenada Playa Grande Achorage at around 7am after what seemed to be a very long night. It did not take long for us to have a sleep to catch up on what we missed overnight. This was a very pleasant anchorage with some nice caves at the one point and white sand which almost had a pinkish tone to it. We only stayed here on night.
The next day we had a wonderful sail to our next destination, the winds were about 12 knots and we were on a beam reach.....NICE! On our way to our next anchorage we stopped at a little village called Emeralda Village, we were welcomed by 3 dug out canoes, 2 of them with children in them and the other with an adult, our friends arranged for the man to come back with a panga and take us ashore so we could pick up a few provisions, the children of course wanted chocolate of which we had none....we gave them some cookies. Once ashore we were able to get some bananas, red snapper and some beer in what we would call a very rustic village.
We anchored in a bay called Rio Cacique for 2 nights, the bay was calm even when the winds came up. We could also hear the crashing of the waves on the steep rock wall on the one side of the bay. Very calming. We were in the company of Gosling, August Moon and Finisterre. One evening we joined Tom, Ken and Gary on Finisterre for appies and a game of catch phrase, it was a great evening, we had a lot of laughs. Last night we joined Russ and Doreen on August Moon for dinner, they had brought some steak from Mexico......it was great to have a good steak for a change. They don't have very good steak in Central America even though they tell us they have great steaks. Thanks Russ and Doreen!!
Now it is time to pull anchor and head off to our next anchorage....Isla Canas.