ende

Dec
31

Contadora, Las Perlas

We had an initially slow then slightly rough sail from Taboga to Contadora yesterday (strong trade winds and a current between 1 and 2 knots against us), but we caught two Bonitos and had a BBQ on Spruce in the evening. We won’t stay long here in Contadora–the anchorage is full with powerboats (20-30) and jetskis race by ruthlessly. At times Pitufa pitches violently–not because… Continue reading »

Dec
29

Holidays!

The last few days we’ve been terribly busy mounting new solar panels, running through chandleries, buying provisioning–something seems to be weird with the time in Panama, it flies by and the days are never long enough for everything we want to do. Today Christian’s sister arrived and we have a good excuse to have a break and spend some days off swimming (last time we… Continue reading »

Dec
24

Merry Christmas!

This year we didn’t get into a christmassy mood at all–Panama’s just too tropical for our associations of snow, red noses and stiff half-frozen fingers holding on to mugs of mulled wine… We’ll make an effort today by baking Christmas cookies, if that doesn’t help we’ll start singing carols We’ll spend a quiet Christmas eve aboard Pitufa, and maybe it’ll be cool enough in the… Continue reading »

Dec
22

Panama City

Today we ventured into Panama City for the first time and even though our quest for an evaporator (for the fridge) and electronic parts lead us to the non-touristy, less pretty parts of the city we’ve decided that we like it here. The bus system is very convenient (you have the choice between comfortable but awfully cold metro buses and loud, packed old schoolbuses) and… Continue reading »

Dec
18

New Photos

We just uploaded some photos of our canal transit and our time in Portobelo.

Dec
17

Pitufa in the Pacific!

On the 16th of December at 1 o’clock the gates of the last lock opened after a fortunately uneventful, smooth canal transit and we sailed out into the Pacific. A new chapter of our journey begins!

Dec
15

Panama canal procedures

Going through the Panama canal is quite a complicated procedure. First every boat needs 4 lines 125 feet long and as many tires as possible (as fenders). Then 4 linehandlers have to be on each boat (usually fellow cruisers) + the skipper. Our linehandlers from “Zenna” and “Tagtraeumer” will arrive tomorrow in the afternoon at Club Nautico. We’ll then go over to the Flats anchorage,… Continue reading »

Dec
15

Just another miserable day in Panama

At least for us just about everything’s complicated and a pain in Panama. Today it started pouring down as soon as we started filling up our diesel tanks (very convenient), then we discovered that our cruising permit (valid 1 year, costs 200 usd) accidentally got into the papers the port captain in Portobelo took from us on arrival there. We desperately made phone calls until… Continue reading »

Dec
12

Transit on Saturday!!

We’ve finally got a date for the canal transit: Saturday, 15.12.12. We’ll spend the rest of the week in Colon, doing shopping and getting the boat ready for our linehandlers. At the moment fitting 3 overnight guests into Pitufa seems quite a challenge, the forecabin’s stuffed with all kinds of things up the ceiling, but we’ll find space for all the stuff somewhere

Dec
12

Measured and almost ready for the canal!

Of course the preparations for the canal transit work out “Panamanian”–meaning not exactly smoothly. We sailed to Colon on Sunday for our appointment with the admeasurer at 8 on Monday. We waited all Monday morning, at 1 o’clock finally a pilot boat approached us with an admeasurer on board, but he didn’t have our papers with him (only our neighbours) and we were told to… Continue reading »

Dec
08

Finally some progress!

The sun’s out again (soon we’ll be complaining about the heat and empty water tanks ) and it seems our luck has turned as well. A fellow cruiser will come to our boat to weld the crack in the boom today, we’ve borrowed a welding machine from another boat and a generator from yet another. Spending time in a big anchorage like Portobelo feels like… Continue reading »

Dec
06

Panama’s grinding us down

Ever since we got to Panama life has become difficult. Before we got to Portobelo we made a short to-do list: repair refrigerator, weld boom, do provisioning, order electronic equipment, organise canal transit. Now we’ve almost been here a month, each day busy from dusk till dawn, but we’ve managed to accomplish hardly anything. Just to give you an idea: yesterday we had an appointment… Continue reading »