There are two sides to cruising life.  One side, the dreamy side, is all rainbows, fair winds and seahorses. The other side is the prep, planning and work that goes into making the dream (and the next destination) possible.  One doesn’t exist without the other.

Now that we’ve transited the Panama Canal and we’re sitting in the Pacific Ocean, we have a long list of “to do’s” before we can go sailing off into the South Pacific sunset.

So, without further ado…click the play button and join us for some “typical” cruiser days.

And so, this is the other side of cruising life.  The seemingly simple errands and tasks that somehow eat up days that can quickly turn into weeks.  Luckily, we’ve got an extra fire burning under our backsides…a schedule!

I know we always say schedules are the enemy but, in this case, it’s our absolute positive motivation. Because spoiler alert, we have some very special guests joining us next week.  So stay tuned!

Please and Thank You

If you’ve been following along now for a while now you may have noticed us mention our Say Thanks page.  It’s a page dedicated to all the different ways you can help keep these videos and posts flowing.  If you enjoy our videos, find them helpful, entertaining or useful then please click over and check it out.  You’ll notice most ways don’t cost you a penny but make a big difference to us.  And for that, we thank you!

Tidbits from this episode

Mast work is seriously no fun in rocky waters…but it’s good heavy weather training.  If I ever have to go up the mast while at sea in an emergency, I’ll know to expect a wild ride.

Tides on the Pacific side of Panama are 18-20 feet, choose your dinghy placement carefully.  It’s crazy (and scary) to watch it all change so quickly.

crazy tides and dinghy docks in Panama City

crazy tides and dinghy docks in Panama City

crazy tides and dinghy docks in Panama City

Las Brisas anchorage does have a beautiful view of the city.  We lucked out with a few calm days and the huge bay is perfect for paddle boarding. But with dramatic tides come dramatic currents. I suggest paddling at slack tide.

stand up paddle boarding panama city

General, unsolicited life advice:  Ice cream makes everything better.

ice cream makes everything better

When In doubt, follow the cats lead.

cat nap in the captains chair

Sailing Report

To see our full map with interactive pins, click here: gonewiththewynns.com/map

panama city sailing map

  • Dates: 12/5 – 12/19/2017
  • Cell & WiFi:  Because we’re so close to the city, we had great cell reception all around.

Anchorages

The Island of Taboga has an adorable little town but the anchorage isn’t well protected and there is a lot of boat traffic. There are a few mooring balls but no docking options. We were allowed to drop each other off at the ferry dock but couldn’t tie the dinghy up, which made it challenging to explore the island.  There were plenty of pangas moored nearby, but they rarely moved.

taboga island anchorage panama

taboga island anchorage panama

There are two main anchorages that we found near Panama City.  Both are marked on Active Captain.

La Playita – A good place to drop the hook depending on what you need.  The weekly dinghy dock fee isn’t too bad if you plan on using the dock for the entire week.  Plus, if you plan on going into the city at night, it is the only safe place to leave the dinghy.  The boat traffic here can get hectic.  The marina has fishing boats coming in and out, plus there is a ferry that picks up and drops off throughout the day.  The worst wake comes from the pilot boats going to and from the panama canal.  In other words, be prepared for lots of wake action.  During our stay it was generally calm at night and not horribly unpleasant during the day…just a little annoying.

la playita anchorage panama city

Las Brisas de Amador – This seems to be the cruiser hang out.  We met lots of awesome peeps coming and going here.  The free public dock has lots of traffic. There’s sharp metal edges (i.e. tear a dinghy up), a bridge that crushes unsuspecting dinghy’s at high tide and you’re competing with the full-time liveaboards who think they own the dock.  It’s only safe to leave your dinghy during daylight hours and the local cruisers said the dinghy and engine must be locked to prevent theft.  We were told people who left their dinghy at night had parts or the whole boat stolen. We never had any issues but sometimes struggled to find a safe spot to tie up to on busy days.

Generally speaking we preferred the boat wake induced la Playita anchorage…at least during our stay.  The winds on Las Brisas side would often pick up from the north to northeast and create an unpleasant anchorage, and an extremely bouncy dinghy dock.

las brisas anchorage panama city

las brisas anchorage panama city

Sailing Specific Gear

Cameras Used to Capture This Video

Full Review Of All Our Camera Gear: gonewiththewynns.com/camera-gear-review-2017

Drone