From Santa Marta to Puerto Lindo, Panama
With the first daylight we leave Santa Marta in direction to Panama.
Good idea, we find out soon, when we cross several logs and other rubbish, which all comes out of the river next to Baranquilla and we are happy to pass this area all in good daylight.
Big Mahi Mahi catch
Early the following morning during my first daylight watch – Reto had put out the fishing lines before going to sleep – I hear that there is a bite on one of the two lines.
I immediately get it and in the same moment the other one also has gotten a bite.
We slowly take them both in and 15 min later I have a lot of work waiting for me ;-).
It is our largest catch since just before Cabo Verde, each of the two Mahi Mahi measures around 1.20 meter.
Contrary to the weather forecast we have an excellent wind all the way.
As a result we are 30 miles before in the evening just as it is getting dark. As at the same time a number of squalls pass over us in direction to the mainland, we decide to stay safely outside and wait until the next morning.
With a distance of min 15 miles to the mainland we also manage to keep clear of the big tankers that are passing through here in order to go trough the Panama channel.
In the morning we go on into the Linton Bay and drop our anchor in front of Puerto Lindo.
Check in to Puerto Lindo/Portobello
After the next wave of welcoming rain showers we clear in with the port authorities in the new Linton bay marina.
The following day we go by bus to Portobello in order to get our passports stamped at the immigration “migracion” office and we get a first impression of Portobello. We enjoy the restaurant with the internet and taste our first “Panama” beers.
Interesting we find the “shopping possibilities” in Portobello.
We find a total of 5 Chinese supermarkets with all in all very little fresh food but a good brown rum at a reasonable price of 9 Dollars.
Boat work in rainy Puerto Lindo
In the next days we need to finish some work on the boat, especially the detail works on the bimini, which take another 3 days, sewing the zippers again (didn’t fit the first time), making the front corners more water tight, ect.
Good idea, since it does pour down almost every other day and we get a good possibility to test the new cloth in some very heavy rain. And how nice it feels to sit in the (almost) dry cockpit while outside it is pouring down…
The other priority is to do a check of the engines and to get the valve clearance adjusted, we get some help from Guido, a German mechanic and the local trans ocean contact. Reto learns quickly and the second one he does himself again.
In order to also do something useful I bake the first “Vanillekipferl” and have to find out that one corner of the oven is a lot hotter than the rest, so some get a bit too brown…
Exploring around Puerto Lindo
In between the work and the rain showers we also explore the area around Puerto Lindo either by foot or by dinghy.
We walk over to the next village of Guaira, that is where especially on the weekends hundreds of people from Panama City hop on the small boats over to the Isla Grande.
Great fun is also the dinghy trip through the mangroves over to the Panamarina, first you have to find the entrance without hitting the reef, then the mangroves become more and more dense…
Also on a Sunday we follow the local boats with our dinghy over to the Isla Mamey, but then we decide to come back on a Monday, when it is quiet and almost deserted.
Dia de la Patria in Garrote
On November the 3rd Panama celebrates its national holiday “dia de la patria” and we join in the village of Garrote and have a look how this is celebrated here. Already since days we hear the drums probing every evening, now it is time to show the public.
An estimated 50 children are dressed up and file in the parade that leads through the whole village.
We understand from Guido that the village counts a 250 children out of a total of 500 inhabitants and that because of not enough place and teachers they go to school in shifts – the younger ones in the morning and the elder ones in the afternoon.
We enjoy the parade and the joy of the people to watch and photograph their children and as you can see we also give our best to catch some nice pictures…
At the end of the parade everybody is keen to get into the shade, we join the men in drinking a beer, the women chat and the children are happy to gather the sweets and chips that were distributed. Well, at least an apple was also in the goodies pack.
Then we spend two entire days just watching the rain, well, working on the blog, baking bread and cookies and also preparing for our visit, my sister Gaby and her friend Markus who will arrive on the weekend.
We plan to visit Panama City and then travel to Guna Yala, the beautiful San Blas islands and for sure soon we will share what we find there with you 😉