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
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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.
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.
General, unsolicited life advice: Ice cream makes everything better.
When In doubt, follow the cats lead.
To see our full map with interactive pins, click here: gonewiththewynns.com/map
- Dates: 12/5 – 12/19/2017
- Cell & WiFi: Because we’re so close to the city, we had great cell reception all around.
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.
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.
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.
Sailing Specific Gear
- iPad Pro http://amzn.to/2d9Oopf Sailing Apps Used:
- Iridium Go and Predict Wind for weather and communications: bit.ly/PredictWindIridium
- Quatix 5 Watches: https://www.gonewiththewynns.com/product/quatix-5-marine-watch
Cameras Used to Capture This Video
Full Review Of All Our Camera Gear: gonewiththewynns.com/camera-gear-review-2017
- Sony A7ii: com/product/sony-a7ii
- Rode Mic: https://bhpho.to/2hUNFA8
- Sony 24 – 70mm f4 lens: com/product/sony-24-70
- Sony RX (small pocket cam Jason tested the mic muffs on): gonewiththewynns.com/product/productsony-dsc-rx100m-iii-cyber-shot-digital-still-camera
- Micro Muff (the furry eyebrows Jason tested to help block the wind for better sound on our Sony RX): http://bit.ly/2FPqDC9
- Gorilla Tripod: http://amzn.to/2A0zwIa