Posted by: Sailing Camelot | August 7, 2012

July 9th to 11th– Panama City, here we come!

 We leave Bahia Honda as smoothly as we entered it just a few days ago. It’s not yet exactly clear where along the way we’ll be stopping, the only undisputed point is that we’re heading to Panama City.

There are many opportunities to stop along the way if we need to, many safe places to hide in should the weather become unbearable or for whatever reason.

We have been pretty lucky with the weather so far even if the seas are a little choppy and it’s slow going on Camelot…

But as the day progresses the sky changes into an alarming color, I call it “Bruise”. We know it won’t be long before a heavy-duty downpour…

Luckily, just a short distance away there’s a small protected bay – Bahia Cebaco, where we can stop for the night. The anchor is barely in the water when the deluge starts.

 Boy, am I happy we are safely ensconced here! We spend a restful and uneventful night at anchor, trying hard to ignore the feisty lightning storm blasting away outside. I succeed by hiding my head under two pillows…

The morning finds us well rested and ready to resume our trip. We decide: damn the torpedoes, let’s get all the way to Panama City no matter what the weather. That’ll be about 40 hours…

We’re half expecting to be rained on heavily but lo and behold, not a drop falls on us the whole time!

We’re totally expecting a wild ride around Punta Mala, where winds, currents and heavy traffic come together to make everyone’s trip a short living hell. But again, we escape unscathed.

Fender Bender on the Ocean? No, not really… just exchanging pleasantries.

Too close for comfort, but nothing we can do about it!

Tuna Fishing Boat, complete with small Helicopter for spotting fish.

Yes, we see a lot more traffic and humongous freighters surrounding us on all sides, but the crossing so far has been one of the easiest and most peaceful to date. Only the last three hours before entering Panama City are somewhat uncomfortable, with choppy seas and a disagreeable current that slows us down considerably. It’s a small price to pay, compared to the horror stories I heard from other cruisers covering the same stretch of sea…

The Yellow Buoy! We’re getting close…

Our first view of the Panama City skyline

Anyway, we’re finally here!

It’s July 11th and we’re moored at the Balboa Yacht Club – just in front of the Bridge of the Americas and at the entrance of the Panama Canal on the Pacific Side.

Sunset over the Bridge of The Americas

My new neighbors behind us. The moorings are old tires anchored with train wheels…

Another stroke of luck for us to find a mooring this time of the year…

What can I say: the planets must have been aligned flawlessly, with luck on our side the whole way and for that I’m enormously grateful.

Panama City will be our home base until the first week of November, when we’ll transit the Canal and move on to the Caribbean Sea.

For now, a good, long rest and then on to explore the Urban Jungle…

Being in close proximity to the Canal entrance means… commute traffic!

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