Wednesday, 8 April 2015

4/2015 Las Perlas

Hi from Clare,                                                                           Tuesday 7th April 2015

Thankfully Andrew has been back on Eye Candy for one week now. The good news is that his mother's health is improving daily. Probably a slow road to full recovery but her spirit is strong.


ESCAPE
We eventually left Panama City on Sunday after a few more trips into the bustling city for boat parts and last minute provisions. Our desire to leave Panama City and return to our sailing life was so strong, we decided that what we didn't have, we would do without.


"Walking Street", Panama City
PERFECT PEACE
We are now anchored off the Island of Contadora in the Las Perlas Islands, some thirty miles from Panama. It is terrific to be back on the water enjoying wonderful sunsets, snorkelling, exploring the island and meeting up with cruising friends.
Andrew is just about over his jet lag and we are enjoying reconnecting with the cruising community via the various radio nets. We talk to the friends we transited the Canal with in early April as they are now down in the Galapagos. We will have to wait for the next weather window before setting off on this 1000 mile leg. At present there is absolutely no wind for at least the next week. However we are not complaining as conditions are perfect where we are with sunny days and warm nights. The sea temperature has improved and is currently 26 degrees.


Beaches on Contadora Is.

SO WHAT'S NEXT
We will slowly make our way down the Las Perlas islands and enjoy life before setting off to Galapagos.
love Candy xx

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Thursday, 19 March 2015

3/2015 La Playita


Hi from Clare                                            Wednesday 18th March 2015

No3 La Playita

Well our latest news is that Andrew is flying to Hobart tomorrow as his mother is seriously ill in hospital. We have put Eye Candy in La Playita Marina and I am staying here. Andrew will be away for two weeks returning to the boat at the end of the month.

SINCE WE LAST WROTE
We have been anchored on the Pacific side of the Panama Canal near Panama City. It is a woeful anchorage at the entrance of the Canal. The constant traffic causes a lot of wake making the yachts roll and buck around. Not the best conditions when provisioning the boat as it is necessary to hang on while walking around below. Packing things away under couches and floorboards is a balancing act. The shopping in Panama City is good but far from convenient. We have made numerous trips to various supermarkets before finding what we wanted. Each time we get back to the boat I am exhausted.

Price Smart bulk store

When in Australia I bought a Vacuum Packer and so I am busy sucking the life out of everything. I am hoping this will eliminate weevils in the oats, flour, nuts, rice etc. It is a constant battle as they come in one thing and then spread like crazy. At the moment we are bug free, I'm planning on keeping it that way. I am also blanching and vacuum packing some fresh vegetables in an attempt to prolong life and save space in the fridge.

Andrew is busy fitting another Solar Panel. There is not as much sunlight here in the Pacific as there was in the Med. The sun goes down here around 6pm as opposed to the Med's sunset at 8.30pm. We fortunately found exactly what we wanted. The new 65 watt panel has the same technology as we already have and it fits perfectly between the two existing 85 watt panels on the arch.

NOT ALL WORK AND NO PLAY
We had a great night out with about fifty cruising friends at the local wood fired pizza place. The pizzas were absolutely delicious with thin crispy crusts and plenty of topping.
The deal for the night was $1 beer. We all sat together and I looked down the table at one stage and all I could see was beer bottles, almost no room for pizza; but cold beer after a hot day is always pretty tempting.

Andrew and Maurice (Cativa)
Pizza night and $1 beers

Mark, Maria, Maurice. Clare and Sue
The water temperature has dropped from 30 degrees in the Caribbean to 20 degrees in the Pacific. It's a bit of a shock but it should improve as we travel west. The daily air temperature is around 30 degrees and is quite pleasant on the water as there is a good breeze. It is much hotter in the city but fortunately all the buses and taxis are air conditioned. Panama City has some really classy shopping centres and modern housing. It also has some desperately poor areas which are not at all safe. The housing is very dilapidated and covered in graffiti. The local school in the area is surrounded by high fences with razor wire on top and all the doors and windows were heavily bared. I guess they have experienced break ins.

The local people are pleasant but the service is pathetic. It is not unusual to be left waiting in shops while the staff completely ignore you and continue with a private conversation. The thing that cracks me up the most is in the supermarkets there are bench seats in front of the deli and meat counters. So take a number and sit down because nothing going to happen in a hurry. Just about every Cruiser here has a story about poor service and broken promises. It's such a shame really as the opportunities are endless and the local people could do with the money.

SO WHAT'S NEXT
I will have plenty to do while Andrew is away and I think the time will pass quickly. I don't envy the amount of hours Andrew will spend travelling but family comes first and our love and prayers are with Andrew's Mum Jo.

Love Candy xx

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