Panama-City, Panama (and a bit Las Perlas)

Hin und her – Optionen, Bewertungen, Entscheidungen

A hard time to decide what to do in the future


  • A holiday
  • Options
  • General decision
  • Options
  • New decisions
  • Squalls
  • The-carburator-incident
  • Bird on line
  • A recipe
  • Whales
  • Taboga

This text is chronological (as ever), but I was free enough to group the pictures thematically into “Panama-City” and the previous blog “Las Perlas”.

Sunday, 01.06.2014, 21:00 – „Taboga“ - (Christian)
We were invited to join Nell and Phil on “Moondancer” on a trip to Taboga => felt like a holiday in good company! Thank You!

Tuesday, 03.06.2014, 09:00 – „Generall options or like usual: we are running out of time“ - (Christian)
“Kalliopi”, Gregg and Debb left to the Las Perlas and then to Equador.
“Nes-Puck”, Lisa and Thomas are preparing to go to the Gambiers.
“Wild Rose”, Kathi and Don are preparing to go into the Atlantic.
“Moondancer”, Nell and Phil are preparing to go to Costa Rica.
Where are we going and if, when?

Until now we are much longer in Panama-City than we wanted to be, but we took it easy and I read a book! => That´s ok on one side and hard to bear on the other, because we are running out of time:

We have to either leave Panama or extend our cruising permit at the end of the month. So more or less we are struggling) for an option for having a good time...
Option 1:
Going to the Galapagos at the 26th June
stay there until the end of July (3 weeks or middle of August (5 weeks),
cross in August to the Marquesas, Arriving there middle of September
Marquesas until middle of October (1month)
Crossing to Tuamotos 1 week
Staying in the Tuamotos 2 weeks
Crossing to Tahiti 1 week
(Cycloneseason starts arround 15. November)
Staying in Tahiti in the cyclone season and then return to the Tuamotos next season
=> Long ways to go
=> Are we ready?
=> Is the boat ready?
=> The time frame is a bit short / unrelaxed

Option 2: Leaving the boat in Panama-City until December, going abroad to visit Mexico and the US/Hawai and then going to Galapagos very early.
=> We are fed up with Panama and there are no reasonable priced marinas on the Pacificcoast => No way!

Option 3: Going to Equador and then because of the formalities (90 days for the boat in 180 days) to Peru
=> Not comfortable!

Option 4: Sell the Boat and do something less stressful
=> We are just at the edge of going to the Pacific Islands which we were told are the best you can visit, so it would be a bit like escaping an insane-sanatorium with 100 barrieres and giving up at number 99 and return going over 99 barriers again. And I just quitted my job!
=> Maybe not very wise

Option 5: Going north to Mexico from the lightning-belt into the hurrican-area in the bad season to leave the boat in Chiappas.
=> Maybe a bit mad! But we maybe would not get troubles from the gapwinds (winterseason).

Option 6: Going to Costa Rica, which is below the hurricanbelt, with the most rainfalls of the region and with lightning that scares me, leaving the boat in bond there and escape to Mexico, Hawai and Germany for a couple of months, return, going maybe more north, but skip Baja California, Going north with the boat at the end of the hurricanseason (maybe Nicaragua, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras). Then cross to the Galapagos very early, Going to the Marquesas very early. Staying not in Tahiti for the next season, but to go all the way either to NZ or Australia.
=> Mentally we are not used to “very early!” :-)
=> Mentally: Do we really want to stay in Central America? => these countries are spanish speaking countries where I have some prejudices about safety, petty theft, working attitude, friendliness and getting stuff and good food.
=> Mentally this option would maybe result in prolonging our voyage another year (if we might stay in French Polynesia or further west longer than planned (we are good on that)
=> But we learned from “Wild Rose” that Central America should be nice to go. And they provided us with lots of charts and information. Thank you very much!!!
=> Currents sometimes with us, sometimes against
=> Wind at this season lite and from the southwest which is ok
=> Rainy season
=> If we go I think I might would like (need) to take some spanish lessons?

Tuesday, 03.06.2014, 14:00 – „Plans for Option 6a“ - (Christian)
Dagmar is not in the mood of doing a long passage yet, but want´s to proceed traveling and want´s to have a break from the boat. We have to get the pressure released!

We will investigate going to Costa Rica (looks a bit complicated to leave the boat longer than 90 days!), Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala or even Mexiko at the end of June and leaving the boat in a “relatively” safe harbour for 3-4 months (much to find out!!).
End of July we want to go to Germany for ca. 4 weeks to have a chance to enjoy long warm evenings in summer with barbecues and sunset at 21:00 instead of 18:30 sharp and working once more, but not 10hours/7 days a week like last time!!!!
Middle of September - Hawai for ca. 4 weeks (maybe Simone will go with us???) and on the way back stop in Seattle to get some transportation to Yellowstone-NP for some weeks in October (Indian Summer?). We will need an adress somewhere to get our orders for boatstuff shipped too.
Then fly back to the boat (with some overweight) beginning of November and revive the boat after 3 month (getting rid of mold and mildew and collecting hurrican-debris?????).
December either taking the boat or flying to Mexiko to see some old Aztec-ruins (maybe we could meet John there???) (but because of the time and distances we will skip Baja California (Dagmar would love to go there! => Maybe we can rent a boat there for a couple of days or re-think plans???).
Cross to the Galapagos in January
Going to the Marquesas end of February.
Staying not in Tahiti for the next season, but to go all the way either to NZ (only heard very bad stories until now for the crossings!) or Australia. Either sell the boat there quickly or cruise the Coral sea (watch the crocodiles and boxjellyfish) and then sell it?
And then - I do not know (most probably looking for a job somewhere!)...

That´s the plan. (of course it will be adjusted soon!)

Plans change: to our surprise “Ukulele Lady” just dropped anchor 50m away. They left ca. 3 weeks ago to the Marquesas and we thought they will arrive there in a week or so … we will check later what happened.
(=> A part of the motor broke and they decided to return)

Questions waiting for an answer:
How much do the harbours in Costa Rica cost?
Where is it best to stay? (the south is extremly humid!)
How can we deal with “bonding the boat” so the boat has not to be taken out of the country within 90 days?
Where to go at the end of the hurrican season?
What´s to see? Where?
Costs bus to Nicaragua for 72 hours (new visa?)?
Costs flight´s to Mexico? Where to go?
Costs flight´s to Los Angeles?
How to get to the Yellowstone NP?
Costs flights to Hawai?
1100E 24.09 hin über Seattle (Stopover in Seattle möglich (Am Anfang mit Simone))
Fra-Hawai-Seattle möglich für uns (Simone Fra-Hawai-Seattle-FRA)
Aufenthalte App Miete und Automiete in Hawai
Automiete in Seattle für Fahrt nach Yellowstone
Flug von Yellowstone über ? nach Centralamerika

Costs flights to Germany?
Wo sind Condordestinationen?
=> alle Zentralamerikaländer sind Condorziele (CR Codesharing)

KRANKENVERSICHERUNG USA!!! => ist lt. Fr Mason abgedeckt

=> Oneway tickets for round trip better then Hin und Zurück?
Galapagosagentfee transferable to 2015 or another boat?

Wie sind die Wind-Bedingungen bei Start nach Galapagos?
Wie sind die STROM-Bedingungen bei Start nach Galapagos?
Wo ist die ITCZ bei Start nach Galapagos?

Wann ist ein gutes Wetterfenster für Galapagos?

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Außer Denken haben wir noch einen Abstecher zu einem indischen Heiligen gemacht

Saturday, 07.06.2014, 18:00 – „Squall“ - (Christian)
Moondancer seemed to have moved about 15-20m (30ton, 70kg Rocna, 60m+ chain)
Obelix dragged a lot and quite fast (11ton, 35kg Rocna, 60m chain)
Both with good sized hooks and chain and experienced crews who know how to anchor! => Conclusion:
Anchoring here is tricky. The gusts came in from 0 to 25+ in very short time and I guess the anchors were dug in the other directions and the chain moved so quickly 180 degrees that the anchors broke free, instead of slowly turning.

I believe our Bügelanchor turns more easily than a Rocna, which is tested to be a little better, but I do not know of any tests where they tested “turning”.

This “squall” was the longest we had until now: 1,5 hours

Sunday, 08.06.2014, 22:00 – „Brockenboatparty on Moondancer“ - (Dagmar)
Nell had the great idea to throw a party on Moondancer for all cruisers who have at least one thing broken on their boat, so let`s say: Everybody could come, because there is no such thing, as a boat without anything broken...
We had a lot of fun meeting other cruisers and hearing their stories. Sometimes it helps to hear that other cruisers have the same or even more worse broken boatstuff.
The evening was really nice and cheered us up.

Sunday, 08.06.2014, 10:00 – „Internet“ - (Christian)
Digicel sucks. We recharged 5 US and activated a 2 days dataplan as a bonus:
The Saldo is now 3,50 US! AND we do not have Internetaccess via the cellphone!
Claro is the choice if going north anyway we heard
=> we will buy a Clarocard (that will be our 7th SIM then!)

Monday, 09.06.2014, 15:00 – „Windmill“ - (Christian)
I tried to dismount our Aerogen => it´s stuck and with the wake it is not nice to work so exposed => it is still up the arch! But we changed the oils at the motor. => Not half of what I dreamt of...

I described the various options which we had to think about going next and I think they are long. I did leave them in the text for others who might have the same situation and realy want to study them...
You can skip them via link, if you like :-)
Skip "Making Plans" / Planungsüberlegungen überspringen => going to the summary

Thursday, 12.06.2014, 23:00 – „New infos - Rethinking - North or south??? - Options on a timeline“ - (Christian)
Going north means going maybe up to Mexico and definitly going into the rain, thunder and lightning belt of Central America, and passing the area where hurricans are born => The lightening frightens me most!
Other cruisers talked a lot of going south to Ecuador. => Sounds not too bad, but I really have to make a deep research about Ecuador, the possibilities there and the possibilities where to go when after we come back from inland travels.


The Panama-Version
End of June – Prolonging our Cruising Permit and go to Las Perlas
Mid of July - rent a Taboga-Mooring and leave the boat with Chuy
End of July - Flight to Germany
August – Germany
Beginning of September – Ireland or Istanbul or somewhere else maybe with Simone
End September – USA – Yellowstone
End October – USA – Hawaii
End November – Back in Panama going north towards Mexico
December - Mexico
January – Flying to Galapagos (Sailing seems to be uncomfortable against the wind)
End of February – Sailing to the Marquesas

End November – Back in Panama going north towards CR
December – Panama / CR
January – Sailing to Galapagos (Sailing seems to be uncomfortable against the wind)
End of February – Sailing to the Marquesas

Pro: We can see everything
Con: We stay longer in Panama
ToDo: Is a mooring at Chuys possible? And does it make sense? Donna, Paul and other cruiser´s votum? Wind in Jan / Feb when going south?

The Costa Rica-Equador-Version
End of June - leaving Panama via N-Panama to Costa Rica
Mid of July – Costa Rica
End of July - leaving to Equador
Beginning of August – Bahia de Caraquez (Puerto Amistad)
Mid August – Flight to Germany
Beginning of September – Ireland or Istanbul or somewhere else maybe with Simone
End September – USA – Yellowstone
End October – USA – Hawai
End November – Equador (fixing the boat?)
and then see alternatives below
Pro: A chance to visit CR and the northern Islands of Panama
Con: Rainy Season with Thunderstorms and Lightnings - Landtrips can be wet
ToDo: What do we want to do there?

The Equador-Direct-Version
End of June - leaving Panama via Las Perlas
Mid of July – Bahia de Caraquez (Puerto Amistad)
Begining of August – flight to Germany
Beginning of September – Ireland or Istanbul or somewhere else maybe with Simone
Mid September – USA – Yellowstone
Mid October – USA – Hawai
Mid November – Equador (fixing the boat?)
and then see alternatives below

Pro: Escaping the Thunderstorms / More summer in Germany / Maybe seeing more of the Las Perlas, Good weather to leave the boat in Equador
Con: Going against wind and current to Equador
ToDo: What do we want to do there? Check Immigration-Details

Alternative 1
End November – travelling the cold Andes or Amazon or flying to Argentina for a steak
End December - sailing to Galapagos
January - Galapagos
End of February - going to the Marquesas.
Pro: More time for Galapagos
Con: Maybe more money to spend in the Galapagos compared to a last-minute-flight-tour (which we maybe then will spend on steaks?)
ToDo: What do we want to do in Galapagos and Argentina?

Alternative 2
End November – Galapagos by plane (last minute)
Mid December - sailing or flying to Mexico
January - going south
End of February - going to the Marquesas.
Pro: Quick check on Galapagos, seeing Mexico (I would like to see some temples) and below
Con: Crossing the ITCZ three times! Having to deal with the gap-winds, sailing against the current ? CR and up
ToDo: What do we want to do in Galapagos?

Alternative 3
End November – travelling the cold Andes or the warm Amazon
End December - flying to Mexico (what we want to see is inland anyway)
End of January – Back in Equador – sailing to Galapagos
End of February - Going to the Marquesas.
Pro: We heard of good food and nice culture in Mexico
Con: Let´s not think of money
ToDo: ?

The Simone-Version
End of June - leaving Panama via Las Perlas
Mid of July – Bahia de Caraquez (Puerto Amistad)
Begining of August – flight to Germany
Beginning of September – Ireland or Istanbul or somewhere else maybe with Simone
End September – USA – Yellowstone
End October – Equador (fixing the boat?)
November – look around Equador or if too cold fly to Mexiko
Mid December – USA – Hawaii (Simone could meet us there in January)
End of January – Equador - Sail to Galapagos
End of February - going to the Marquesas.

Pro: We fly a lot ?
Con: Less time for Galapagos / maybe money
ToDo: Make a detailed plan

The Dagmar?-Version
End of June - leaving Panama via N-Panama
Mid of July – Mexiko - Chiappas
Begining of August – flight to Germany
Beginning of September – Ireland or Istanbul or somewhere else maybe with Simone
End September – USA – Yellowstone
End October – going N to Bahia California
November – Bahia California
Mid December – USA – Hawai (Simone could meet us there in January for 3 weeks)
End of January – Mexiko and below
End of February – sailing directly to the Marquesas

Pro: Dagmar wants to see the Sea of Cortez
Con: Going N in the hurricane- and thunderstorm season, no Galapagos, a long way to Bahia California, only a short time for the sea of Cortez (or we stay a year longer?)
ToDo: Make a detailed plan, e.g. where to park the boat in Bahia California

Friday, 13.06.2014, 20:00 – „North or south???“ - (Christian)
We are still in Panama, but we want to leave soon, the rainy and stormy season has started and this makes La Playita uncomfortable. We changed our plans and will now stay in Middle America until the end of the year, visiting Costa Rica, Nicaragua and El Salvador, maybe Mexico. But now is hurricane season, so we cannot go too far up north. In December we will start into the Pacific towards Galapagos.

Sunday, 15.06.2014, 20:00 – „Plans begin to form – the decision – a surprise“ - (Christian)
I was sick last week and got a bad cold. Today is the first good day again!

We talked to some other cruisers and got some more hints from firsthand! => Good!
All alternatives do have a couple of downsides! Weather, currents, people, security, things to see, distances … => Not perfect !

Do we only want to get a safe parkingspace before we fly to Germany? Cs: yes
Do we want to see beautiful places and have fun, before departing to Germany => Cs: No
Hawaii exchange with Mexico ??? D: Hhmmm,Yes, if more suitable
Mexico: beware of the hurricane season!

To sum up:
On Monday I would have gone to Mexico or Nicaragua, or El Salvador.
Wednesday with more informations I thought Equador would be the choice
Today Dagmar and I talked some more hours about what to do and it seems like the winner is : Panama.
=> This is not what I had in mind and thought this will never happen! A very big surprise!

Saturday, 21.06.2014, 10:00 – „Left behind“ - (Christian)
Moondancer and Ukulele Lady left to the Las Perlas, Obelix left as well. It gets empty …
I feel lonely!

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A new idea to get kids into a mall

Sunday, 22.06.2014, 11:00 – „Malls“ - (Christian)
Yesterday we made a shopping tour just to collect Dagmars laptop from a repairshop, because it nearly fell apart (Lenovo Thinkpad 6 month old...).
We went to the El-Dorado-Mall to have some Sushi (not so good) and watch Germany versus Ghana 2:2 (not too bad and not very many supporters for Germany but for Ghana!) and had a look on the chinese shops there.
Afterwards we went into the Multiplaza-Mall which is definitly upscale (e.g. a little tarte in a coffeeshop for 6,50 USD (on the street you can get a full proper local meal for 3,50+USD). We attended a free show from the national ballet – very good in the traditional tiptoedancing, but a bit surreal in the fancy glittersplatters of the Gucci-shopping-world. They showed modern dance too, which I liked much more; if I compare this to Frankfurt, Germany is absolutely high-quality and panamainian dancers are still caught in the traditional movements.

It was fun just to do something for ourselves and not to have to search for things.

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Ballet in the shopping-mall

Sunday, 29.06.2014, 11:00 – „Electric-wizard ?!?“ - (Christian)
I was busy with wiring in the aft cabin all day:
the autopilot works again (once more), => very good (but we will check tomorrow if it is still working)
the remote control of the autopilot is dead, because I did a shortcut ... => bad
The GPS looks like having current, but the led is not lit and the plotter still says "No Fix": I think this is kaputt. => if this would be the cause for all the trouble, it is ok for me

We plan to put back our stuff back into the cabin asap, so we could sail tomorrow, but Dagmar thinks about maybe watching Germany vs. Algeria at 15:00 => so I do not know, when we leave ...

Tuesday, 01.07.2014, 20:00 – „Outboard - The-carburator-incident“ - (Christian)
We had bad luck and are delayed due to a breakdown 15m from our boat of our outboard again (fixed in the meantime!) => so Dagmar did not attend the german soccergame. What I had planned to buy on Monday in town I wanted to do today => bad luck: Inaugurationday => Nearly everything was closed, but Albrook (sorry the USA is out)! Tomorrow, I want to go to town, return to fill the tanks and leave to Taboga => a plan! => we will see ...
Good news 1: I fixed the GPS and the autopilot is still alive (=> but I do not really trust this ...)
Good news 2: I am getting quite fast with getting the carburator out, cleaning and getting it back again. /The first time when we wanted to visit “Letitgo” it took several hours now 45 minutes.

Donnerstag, 03.07.2014, 21:00 – „Jammern auf hohem Niveau“ - (Christian)
Unter Deck steht noch die Hitze des Tages, da wir die Luken geschlossen hatten für einen Restaurantbesuch (war nicht so toll, => extrem laut und nicht so lecker wie erhofft). Es regnet und leider ist im Cockpit alles entweder feucht oder naß:
D: Ich find´s voll Scheiße hier!
C: Was ist die Alternative?
D: Keine, das ist ja das Schlimme. Ein Hund hat ´ne Hütte und wir haben nix!

Nun ja, manchmal dauern die Gewitter auch nicht so lang, manchmal dafür die ganze Nacht …

Monday, 07.07.2014, 11:00 – „Sailing to Las Perlas – The-bird-incident“ - (Christian)
We left Taboga a bit late, but early enough and were lucky with the wind and our asymetrical spinnacker:
6 knots halfwind => 4 knots boatspeed.
9 knots halfwind => 6 knots boatspeed.
11 knots halfwind => 7 knots boatspeed.
(ok the tides may have pushed a bit as well).

We fished with two lines:
On line No.1 the hook went missing => a sign for a big fish?
On line No.2 we caught a bird => a sign for a good looking lure?

Unfortunately the bird hooked his foot in our hook just while we were passing the narrow entrance to the Las Perlas. We got him onboard (he did not want to) and released him from the hook after a little surgery to get off the little hook, which lets the big hook stay in the prey (“Widerhaken”). After some minutes on our bathing platform the bird jumped into the water and swam away.
=> We had enough of fishing for this day (but still no supper).

Underneath is our PURPLE GPS-track during this incident:

Yes, this track looks like we have gone wild => we will dispose the GPS-Antenna for our laptop and get a new one

Freitag, 11.07.2014, 19:00 – „Flucht nach Bayonetta“ - (Christian)
Heute ist es trübe grau, nachdem heute morgen (sonst immer nachts) eine Gewitterfront vorbeigezogen ist.

Normalerweise sollte Isla Ampon / Casayetta schön ruhig sein. Gestern Abend wehte es allerdings mit bis 25 Konten und Schwell kam in die Bucht über die Riffe.
Wir haben uns von Isla Ampon nach Isla Bayonetta verlegt, da eine sehr unangenehme Welle in die Bucht kam und uns durchmixen wollte ... Wir hatten zur Ankunftszeit Hochwasser und damit 6,5m Wasser unter uns. Bei Niedrigwasser um 21:00 Uhr werden es nur noch 1,5m sein => Die Landschaft wird sich in den nächsten Stunden signifikant verändern und ich hoffe, dass wir nicht kurzfristig fliehen müssen, weil irgendeine nicht verzeichnete Felsspitze neben uns auftaucht.
Wir machen vorsichtshalber das Boot klar zum trockenfallen und ziehen Schwert und Ruder hoch.

Genau in einer Rinne zwischen 2 Inseln haben wir geparkt und sind gespannt, wie wir zum Wind liegen werden, wenn die Strömung einsetzt. Ich wäre lieber kurz nach Niedrigwasser angekommen, aber dann hätten wir es ggf. nicht durch unseren Fahrtkanal geschafft, da der dann nicht sonderlich viel Wasser gehabt hätte ... Heute haben wir ca. 5m Tidenhub, morgen ist Vollmond und in der Nacht zum Dienstag haben wir 6,10m Gezeitenunterschied.

Die Wettervorhersage (Gribfiles) zeigt 18 Knoten für jetzt. Es ist fast windstill und jedes Plätschern einer Welle ist zu hören und der Mond lugt silbern hinter einer Wolke hervor!
Die Wettervorhersagen hier sind nicht sonderlich akkurat!

Samstag, 12.07.2014, 21:00 – „Tide“ - (Christian)
Geankert haben wir bei 6,5m jetzt müßten es 1,5 sein; sind aber 3,0 => Warum?
Ich habe das Gefühl, das die Tidendaten der Kanaladministration von Balboa sehr großzügig sind (besser als zu knapp!).

Isla Bayonetta

Sunday, 13.07.2014, 22:00 – „Contadora“ - (Christian)
There are some nice beaches at Bayonetta and the anchorage was smooth.

Exiting Bayonetta at low water the Bauhaus-Charts looked good to go west.
But the south of Isla Verde looked very shallow covered with rocks. We took the exit north of Isla Verde and stayed very north because a long sandbar coming from Isla Verde. I think these sandbars can build up quite quickly.

We moved to Contadora to the next TV-Set, so Dagmar had a chance to look the final footballgame Germany vs. Argentina.
I think maybe the 7:1-game with Brazil was more fun to watch. Unfortunately the restaurant had no WiFi!

Dienstag, 15.07.2014, 17:00 – „Blister“ - (Christian)
Einer der schönsten Segeltage des Jahres!
Eine schöne Brise, bei der wir den asymetrischen Spi auf meist Halbwindkurs setzten und nach Espiritu Santo brausten. So könnte es immer sein!

Moondancer hat ca. 250 Fotos von uns geschossen => Die ersten, die wir unter Segeln haben !!!

Thursday, 17.07.2014, 22:00 – „Lightning“ - (Christian)
Very weird! 2 hours thunderstorm at the horizon south of us. The lightnings came about every one or two seconds! I have never experienced something intense like that – I am glad that it did pass us in a distance.

Friday, 17.07.2014, 12:00 – „Rain“ - (Christian)
After the lightnings yesterday I expected to have a calm time today => wrong!
Grey in grey at the horizon, some thunders and then some really nasty gusts wit 25+ knots came in. After 2 Minutes the wind died to normal and since 9:00 it is raining a bit and it is cold!!! I sneesed.

We planed to go south to Rio Cachique, but because of the time left and the thunderstorms mostly beeing south of us we postponed this to November.
I wanted to take the boat around the corner to a very shallow place to let it dry out, to clean the waterpass from the "shore" but we postpone this to better weather.

Isla Espiritu Santo

Friday, 18.07.2014, 19:00 – „Green teethed Crocodilefish“ - (Christian)
While trolling from the dinghy we caught a weird one. Dagmar did not want to get very near it, because it looked a bit dangerous. The fish was nearly a meter long and only thick like an arm, but the snout looked like from a freshwater-crocodile.
I do not have an idea of the name of the fish, but it tasted very good.

Saturday, 19.07.2014, 12:00 – „Cooking on Taitonga“ - (Christian)
My cooking is always without recipe, free-style-stir-fry. A rough idea is this:
Fry nuts first separately (if you want some with it), because when they turn from pale to brown it takes only a few seconds more to burned-black, and add later to the veggies.
I fry onions slowly, then put the stove to high power and add other veggies (in the order of which veggie takes longer to cook (e.g ginger, christophene, carrots, peppers, prefryed nuts, mushrooms, sprouts ...).
Sauces: I recommend starting to add oystersauce (hard to give directions on how much => maybe 3-6 tablespoons) and then add soysauce (maybe 1-3 tablespoons) and let it bubble for some minutes. I do not add salt, because the soysauce is salty enough and the oystersauce adds some salt as well.
I add some black pepper and sweet chilisauce (and normally a good amout of sembalolek or chillies and garlic :-).
I add juice or water if the consistence is not liquid enough.

Cookingtime: The good thing about asian cuisine is you can eat all the veggies raw, so I avoid to overcook it.
When the veggies are ca. 80% cooked I put these aside and fry the fish seperatly so it is fryed (roasted) and not cooked. I use neutral oil which can get very hot (no olive oil) and if I have I add some drops of sesame-oil.
  (You can add the Veggies when the fish looks good (inside a bit like glas) or finalize them as a side dish, which I prefer ( so you have two tasty different dishes).)
Seasoning: A bit salt, more pepper before frying and after it fryed and got some roast-aroma I add only a bit of soysauce (maybe 1 tablespoon) and some lemonjuice and if I am in the mood maybe a bit sweetchilisauce (you could add oystersauce aswell, but for a fine fish I prefer only a little bit of soysauce). 

Sunday, 20.07.2014, 09:00 – „Whales“ - (Christian)
We had a beautiful day yesterday and we saw 2 whales ca 250m north of the boat in the canal. They breathed every 20 seconds and after 8 to 10 deep breaths they dived for ca. 12 minutes and showed up again 200m south of the boat.

I looked for a spot to dry out and found a perfect one behind Isla Mamey. We will check this after coming back; Dagmar prefered today to clean the waterpass from the dinghy.
I think about getting some underwaterlights to attach to the rudder and getting the powerlines through the rudder (like the hydraulic hoses). I think this can be great to watch fish at night. I am sure I can install the lights during one dry-out.

We wanted to go to Bayonetta yesterday, but I was in the mood of working, so we postponed it to today. I tried to clean my drillbits with Acti Brite which contains a lot of agressive acid. I wasn´t to fond of the result and found out I spilled some on the deck => great mess, but the stains were easy to remove with Acti Brite!
We are in the middle of getting the boat ready to leave it for a couple of months, so work piles up and we try to use the dry, sunny periods to vent the matresses.
(Maybe we are going to Mogo-Mogo today, depending on the wind).

Today I saw a wale going wild and jumping out of the water and hitting the surface with its fluke; it was about a mile away, but still good to see with the binoculares.

Sunday, 20.07.2014, 20:00 – „Sunday, bloody sunday“ - (Christian)
It sucks!
I thought before we leave Espiritu Santo it is a good idea to do the fuelfilter exchange, which i planned for yesterday. I planed 1,5hours.
The fuelfilter exchange took longer and after bleeding the system we startet the motor: The motor started – good; No cooling water came out of the exhaust – very bad!
We checked the impeller of the waterpump: Some blades were missing. The whole thing looked really bad!
We had a hard time to get this thing out! Because of a visible thread it looked like it is screwed in, but that only fake. It only sits on a shaft! The Yanmar-manual sucks (aswell the impeller-manual)!!!
We added the adjustment of the alternatorbelts and found out we got the wrong size delivered!
In the middle of nowhere, without the reach of an technician or a sparepartsstore I will try to avoid doing something like this again! I saw us dinghying to the next village and call for help, because we did not have a cellphone coverage in Espiritu Santo (Maybe at this place you are suppose to pray?).

We saw some jumping whales again on the way north to Casaya and then we saw a black wall approaching very fast! We took the sails down and stored the laptops and HD into the mikrowave. Between two islands nearby I saw bright, luminescent, green water against the blackened sky – unreal, would have made a phantastic picture, but we were a bit busy ...
After a minute came very ugly, very cold gusts with 25+ and tons of rain, the visibility was reduced to our bow.
We slowed the boat down and let the squallwall pass over us, the sky cleared behind us and for the first time we could see the mainland 25-30nm to our west. We arrived in Casaya/Ampon at dawn (a bit too late for other options) and were lucky that the swell died after an hour. This anchorage is uncomfortable with swell out of NE.
=> Could have been worse.

Montag, 21.07.2014, 12:00 – „Zu wenig Wind! Grau in Grau“ - (Christian)
Heute haben wir wieder Walfamilien gesehen (die uns wahrscheinlich auch!), näher als 150m konnten wir uns nicht nähern. Noch keinen Fisch gefangen, dafür versuchten wir bei 4 Knoten Nordwind und etwas Welle zu blistern => vergebens! Wahrscheinlich werden wir heute nur Motor fahren? Laut und langweilig!

Der Wind hat auf West gedreht. Auf unserer rechten Seite wird es milchig-kakaoig – die Wolken fließen ineinander und vor uns sind ein paar böse Wolken auszumachen, die sich noch dunkler gegen den bereits grauen Himmel abzeichnen.

Abends werden wir in Taboga an die Mooring gehen und dann 2 Tage lang das Boot fertig machen und packen, Donnerstag müssen wir auf die Fähre, Freitag morgens fliegen wir. Dagmar hat schon Ballast gepackt – diesmal werden wir mehr nach Deutschland bringen als beim letzen Mal.

Mittwoch, 23.07.2014, 20:00 – „Taboga“ - (Christian)
Entweder lernen wir es nie oder wir brauchen den Streß:
Wie immer ist es kurz auf knapp und vieles was wir schon vorher erledigen hätten können, wird jetzt unter Hochdruck bearbeitet.
Wie für so vieles haben wir auch dafür eine Checkliste.

Zur Zeit liegen wir im Plan, einiges werde ich noch Nachts machen oder morgen früher aufstehen (wahrscheinlich letzters (oder ggf. eine Mischung?).
Chuy wird uns gegen 15:00 Uhr abholen, den Außenborder mit spülen, das Boot kennenlernen, kassieren und uns zur Fähre bringen, damit wir zum Hotel und von dort morgens zum Flughafen kommen, sonst bekommen wir unseren Flug nach Deutschland nicht.

Ich muß dringend die Schlagpütz (Eimer mit Schnur zum Wasserholen von Deck aus) optimieren; das Ding hat eine zu kurze Leine und wenn die aus der Hand flutscht (wie heute) geht er sofort auf Tiefe und ist nach 5 Sekunden weg, wenn nicht einer beherzt ins Wasser springt und ihn rettet (ich bin ein Retter!).

Leider kommt gerade unfreundlicher Schwell in die Bucht und wir tanzen an der Boje Boogie-Woogie. Insgesamt hatten wir für die Jahreszeit in den letzten paar Wochen zuviel Wind. Naja, wenn gar kein Wind ist, wie heute vormittag ist es mindestens genauso Scheiße, da arbeiten, egal ob an oder unter Deck, extrem kräftezehrend ist. Wenn wir wie Esel die Ochsentour durchziehen, trinken wir in dieser Zeit wie ein Kamel und schwitzen "wi´d Zau".


Anchoring / Nautic stuff and infrastructure

La Playita - Anchorage
Very rolly, because of the traffic; the workingboats do not mind going 20 knots right through the anchorage passing your boat as near as 3m ! AND the swell of the big ships rushing through the canalapproach will rock you around very hard => Fix your pots on the stove like in a storm!!!

The anchorage is the one with the „more“ suitable dinghydock (far from good but safe to get ashore!). They charge on monday 35US for a week to use the sides of their half sunken dock (no other facilities than a trashbox and an oildump! Water and diesel, but no gasoline)!!! If you arrive later in the week the charge is reduced 5US per day to „only“ 5 US on sunday. If you arrive on monday and leave tuesday they do not care and charge a week! You get a bracelet to identify yourself by the guard (braceletcolours change each week!). The Ladies in the office speak english.

We anchored in 09-15m with around 60m chain. In our time beeing there one boat „found“ a dieselengine in the middle of the anchorage with his tangeled anchor (3 hours work) and dumped it around the corner where nobody will anchor => Thank you; another boat caught a long anchorchain belonging to nobody => it is still there, so watch out!

At low windspeeds the anchorchains are not streched and we often rested above our anchor, so estimating the distances to throw the hook is not easy (Tides around 6m at springwater does not makes is easier). We moved the boat one day in unpleasant conditions, because a french-canadian boat anchored to near.

Because of the currents and tides the boats are sometimes pointing against each other.
If the winds are coming from the south with 15+ knots it gets really uncomfortable, the swell is building up very quickly. If there is a pacific-swell (1-2m) coming into the anchorage the more sheltered places inside will turn into a washingmaschine, the bows pointed in every direction even with 15 knots wind from the north, because of the currents, some boats bounced into each other; on that occasion the harbour „La Playita“ chased all the motorboats out, because the swell destroyed one or two fingers of the jetty.
One day we tried to anchor more north, but the hook did not dig in 3 times, so we gave up this spot.
Holding is "mostly" not too bad in mud (after the high swells the bottom changed and it looked like a very weird washboard in our fishfinder). Some boats did drag. We heard there is a ditch with soft mud "somewhere", where the holding is poor!
More out I think it is safer, but more swelly, too.
Anchoring here is tricky. Squalls can start from 0 to 30+ knots in no time (especially when your shopping in the city) and I guess when the anchor is dug in the other directions than the squalldirection the chain can move so quickly 180 degrees that the anchor will breake free, instead of slowly turning. We dragged ca. 20-30m during one severe squall; Some other dragged badly on several occasions.

Public transfer to the anchorages
Metrobuses run each hour (mostly each 30 minutes from Allbrook-Mall to Causeway Amador and it take about 15-20min. We were told they run between 08:00 to 18:00 (Saturday maybe to 19:00). The schedule is not really fixed and even the busdrivers do not know their schedule (sometimes two buses will arrive in 2 minutes distance, sometimes you wave them down like a bouncing jerk and they will not see you?).
A taxi from Allbrook costs around 3 to 8 Dollar ( I try not to pay more than 4, even at dark!).
A taxi to Allbrook is very hard to get at this price, they asked for up to 15 => do not pay that! Sometimes it is better to arrange a taxi on an hourly basis beforehand (10-12 Dollar).

Flamenco-Marina / Fuel-dock
To make an appointment was a nice idea, but useless!! Some staff is unfriendly.
They did not have water (They said a technician comes on sunday!?! :-) but did not say that upfront on the VHF! :-(
There was a very strong surge on the fueldock, while we came in and the staff seemed to have never helped a boat with handeling some lines => the fenders did their work, but one is now flat!
Enough space for us to manouver.
Diesel was clean (We filter with Mr. Funnel).
Gasoline had some particles in it.
Diesel was cheaper than in Playita harbour; no dockingfee as in Playita and no surcharge if you pay with creditcard.
(To rent a berth in Flamenco is incredibly expensive.)

Taboga does not had the big swells, but is a bit rolly too (without the waves of passing ships); ca. 20 knots of wind during our stay.

Transfer Taboga - Panama
Mon and Fri: leaving PC: 08:30, 15:00 / return: 09:30, 16:00 or 16:30?
Tue, Wed and Thu: leaving PC 08:30 / return 16:30
Saturday and Sunday: leaving PC 08:00, 10:30, 16:00 / return 09:00, 15:00, 17:00
Ferry-Boat Fares: $14 adults. Be at the pier one hour before departure
Check schedule!:Telephone: 011-507-314-1730 / 390-2403

Mogo Mogo Ferry, National Tours.
Pier of Balboa Yacht Club - tickets beside the Yacht Club clubhouse. trip about 30 minutes and is $16 per adult - can be wet and rough in poor weather.
Depart Panama City: 08:30 am and 15:00
Depart Taboga: Return at 09:00 and 16:00 from Taboga Island.
Telephone: 6617-0450; 6615-1392 (they often do not answer the phone)

Restaurante El Trapiche, (Av. Argentina, El Cangrejo and Allbrock Mall)
Typical Panamenian and good, nice service
Sugar Cane Juice 2 US
Breakfast: Fried eggs, black beans, ham or bacaon, tortilla, white cheese, sausage 5,10 US

Restaurante Beirut (Flamenco besides Brennigans)
Very nice libanese food and a nice service. Big portions. Mains around 14US.

Restaurante Diabolicos (Casco Antiguo)
I was very surprised! Good tasty panamanian food in a very touristy place, nice service. Mains around 14US.

Sushi-Restaurant (Allbrook Mall Main-Foodcourt, Groundfloor)
Good Terijaki-Chicken around 7US as a Combo.

Japanese Restaurant Tsugoi
Inside the Principe-Hotel, near Via Espana / Via Argentina

Pizzaria Eskenita (La Playita)
Good, woodfired pizza, but my digestive system did not like the cheese (maybe too much lactose or artifical cheese?=> I ordered the next ones with half cheese => fine). Pizza for 2 around 14US.

Sushi-Restaurant in the Hotel Principe (Via Espana => turn into Via Argentina, next left (against the one-way-street)
Very fine food! Reasonable prices. Mains around 10-15US.

Colchoneria Panama (Mattresses / Matrazen)
They made 2 mattresses for our frontcabin (2x 105cm(max) x 200cm x 7,5cm orthopedico-foam glued on top of 7,5cm super-orthopedico (Quite hard!!!)).
They manufactured the mattress from our patterns and we brought one old matress as a pattern aswell.
They do not speak english!!! We visited 3 times (twice with Roger as interpreter) before we did the contract!

It is as close to 100% as it is possible, because they had to cut the non 90-degrees-angles/curve by hand => I was in fact surprised how good it turned out!
They made the covers aswell (they said they did it twice because the first did not fit). Nice!
=> Total 380 USD (I believe a very good price!)

We are very satisfied and recommend them!

Directions: Located at Parque Lefevre.
Leaving Discovery-Center on Via Espana to your left turn right after the Burger-King, it is on the right side (The bus (e.g. direction Tocumen) stops after the Burger-King)
Tel. 211-4241

Casa Fina
Ferreteria, Centro de Herramientas, Plomerias,, Pintura, Electricida, Cocina
They have a lot which the big DoIts, Noveys etc do not carry (e.g. nylonfittings for hoses, big hoses, ...).
Directions: Via Espana, Las Sabana (Calle George Westerman)
Next to Friomax (Everything for refrigeration) on Via Espana lefthandside coming from Pricesmart to Discovery-Center (not far from the Colchoneria)

"The Bread Company" (Sort of german bakery)
(We did not manage to go there, yet!)
Located in Plaza Paitilla (Near Multicentro-Mall).
From Ave. Balboa, turn right at the Popeye's restaurant, and The Bread Company will be located on your left hand side, in front of the Banco General.
Telephone number is 399-4901
Hours are 7:00 am to 7:00 pm, Monday through Friday, and from 7:00 am until 6:00 pm on Saturdays, closed on Sundays.
German owners, but only a spanish website!?!

German and Austrian Sausages
Metzgerei Walter Maier Y DISEÑO; GOLDECK S.A. 
Calle 68 este, casa # 4, San Francisco, Ciudad de Panamá
Around the corner of "Casa del Carne" on Via Porras
(because the one-way-streets: turn at the Bar "Mes Amigos" into Calle 67, first left, left again, yellow house on the left side
The Leberkäse was a bit hard for my liking, but nicely flavored, we will try the sausages in the Las Perlas, Tel.: 226-8066, 6614-1571,

Um die Ecke gibt es ein Münchner Cafe/Restaurant “Villa Audebert” mit Stückchen, Kuchen und Stangenweißbrot. Stangenweißbrot und Croissants haben wir getestet: haben leider nicht überzeugt, Laugenbrezeln waren gut => ggf. ist der Rest besser?

Steinbock-Kneipe (Recommendation from another boat)
First Stop before Panama-Viejo
Udo (ex TO-Standortleiter)

Inflatables Doctor (Recommandation from another boat)
RIBs, dinghies etc., Hypalon and PV
232-0538 / 6617-0928

Fun-Gadgets(for bigger boats (not our size!))
Surfboard for no waves with electric power, © Dagmar und Christian Sahr