Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Leaving Linton for the second time

Leaving Isla Linton

After three weeks anchored behind Isla Linton we are ready to leave. I got my rebuilt autopilot back a few days ago and everything is working great again. We have had a great time here seemingly busy doing something everyday. Thanks to Owen and Betty on Hiatus, we were able to make several trips into Colon without have to take the two and one half hour bus ride. We did take the bus a couple of times and it makes a long day. These really are the only mode of transportation for most Panamanians and the buses will haul anything. The last bus we rode had a full size mattress in the back with everyone's groceries piled in the last three seats. We are glad to be back to depending on the boat instead of the local busses.
We had a great New Years on our boat with a couple of other boats, Nim Tai, Hiatus, And Renegade came over for pizza and New Year's. We actually found ourselves awake and still partying at midnight. That was a first for us in a long time. We also enjoyed a few great meals at the local cruisers restaurant and the French Restaurant in the next bay. At the local restaurant you bring your dingy right up to the break water, stern tie off on a buoy, and nose tie to a line. From there you can either grab a swing tire or rope then pull yourself out of your dingy about 5 ft from where you sit to eat. They serve Great Columbian food. Hans, the owner is from Holland, and his wife, the cook, is from Columbia, his 18yr old daughter is studying Law in Cartagena, and his math whiz 11 yr old son helps with the bills and serving meals. It is a real family enterprise.
Our plan was to leave for Providencia, Columbia on Sunday with a very short weather window. Sunday we woke up and decided instead to go to San Blas and make sure the autopilot work first. The weather window was only two 1/2 days long with a very cold, cold front moving in behind it. Temperatures in the LOW 70's, winds to 30 knots, and a lots of rain didn't really sound like fun. So here we are, back in the San Blas Islands where it is 82 to 90 every day with snorkeling and 40ft visibility just waiting to be enjoyed. Providencia can wait.
Our trip down from Linton was great. We had steady 15 knots of wind with a little lumpy 5 to 7 ft seas. It actually was the calmest we have seen so far. We had a great 9 hr sail only using the engine to leave and enter the anchorage. That is why we own sailboats! We used less than a gallon of gas!

Later we will describe our La La life in Kuna Yala…

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