Friday, July 10, 2009

Isla Santa Catalina to the Perlas Islands

Isla Santa Catalina is an island off of the village with the same name. Santa Catalina is a famous surfing area in Western Panama. The village itself was full of young surfer dudes from all over the world. Since the surf was so good the anchorage was very rolly and unsettled. We would not be spending much time here. When the tide was low a reef protected the anchorage, but when the tide went up we lost our reef and it's protection. Our first trip into shore to find the restaurant named Jamming Pizza was a good surf landing with no real problems. Leaving that evening was a little more eventful in the dark, but we only took on eight to ten inches of water in the dink. The next day when the surf was much higher we tried to land in a different location and swamped the dingy and both Helen and Joan (on Panchita) fell out and into the water. The dink was totally swamped, but didn't roll. It would have made a great video on what not to do! We did find Jamming Pizza at the end of a half mile muddy road. It was a cool place but they didn't open till 6:30pm and we didn't really want to have to walk back to the boat in the dark jungle. We ended up at a small beach front palapa by the dingy landing. Great food and a good price.
With such an uncomfortable anchorage we moved on to Isla Gobernadora. It was an open anchorage, but at least it was calm. The next morning we travel about 30 miles to Ensenada Naranjo. Naranjo is a very pretty and somewhat protected anchorage on the mainland of Panama. The water was clear. The fish were big, and the beach was inviting. We made one hike into the jungle looking for monkeys. At the end of the trail we found a herd of cows, a wild lemon tree, and mangoes. We kept hearing the monkeys but never saw them. It was nice to see the different terrain just a short walk away from the beach. Our next hop was an overnight passage to the Las Perlas Islands.

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