Panama to Costa Rica, December 2010
Blue Sky in the Flamenco anchroage in Panama City.  It rained most afternoons over the city.  Where we were anchored we would usually be spared.
Mike and Paul getting shuttled in by Jim.  They were the managers of the Saldanha Bay Yacht Club in South Africa, and have since "retired.|.  They made our stay there very welcoming. Currently they are delivering a catamaran to Tahiti. 
Phoebe and Drake know how to make friends quickly.  from left; McKenzie, Phoebe, Drake, Sam, Gunnar, Ashley and Emily.  McKenzie and Gunnar were on holiday with their parents.  The three girls are on s/v Seaparents.
For a few days we noticed local divers delivering empty 55 gallon drums to a spot in the anchorage.  They were using them to float a container that had rolled into the sea.   Talk about fouling your anchor.
There was a large cruising community in Panama City, and one of the long termers organzied a Thanksgiving dinner at a local restaurant.  All the children had an arts and crafts day and made 30 place mats for the dinner.  Doug a friend and their mom, Brady, hold up two of the designs.  The restaurant outdid themselves, Turkey, pototoes, yams, vegetables, bread etc, etc.  It has been a few years since we have had a true Thanksgiving dinner, and it was wonderful. 
Drake celebrated his 11th birthday in Panama City.  We spent the day at a huge shopping mall, so he could spend all his money on Legos. We treated him to McDonald's then went to see the new Harry Porter movie (in English.) Jelle and Flora, from Holland, off s/v Libis, were vary creative and made him a Happy Birthday sign out of candy.  We  been with them on and off since Curacao.  During the evening we got together with our friends off s/v Seaparents and headed to the Balboa Yacht Club for Karaoke. 
One could not help but notice the manequins at the mall.  Very proportioned, plus we never saw any Panamanians that actually looked like Pamela Anderson. Can't figure out who their target market is? 
Sam, Ashely, Emily from s/v Seaparents, Phoebe and |Zinnia from s/v Pacific Bliss.
Before we left Panama City we had the great fortune to reunite with friends that we thought we had said good-bye to.  Finn and Sam from s/v Bonaire and Zinnia and Cosmo from s/v Pacific Bliss.  The later were in Colon to do the Ad-measure process before heading back to the San Blas for the holidays.  Zinnia and Cosmo had a sleep over on Blue Sky for two nights.  Mom, Liz dropped them off and did her Christmas shopping, and dad, Colin, picked them up.  We enjoyed swapping stories and catching up.  One of the highlights of cruising is the people you meet and spend time with.  Some you feel you have known all your life.  The hard part is saying good-bye and going your seperate ways.  The relationships you make are special and you know these people will be life-long friends. 
Saying farewell to our new friends. Troy, Brady, Ashley, Sam and Emily, s/v Seaparents, dinghy past us as we sail out of Panama.  Stephanie, Finn and Sam, s/v Bonaire, come to bid us farewell.
Blue Sky was underway again.  After a brief stop at Isla Taboga, we did a day trip down to Isla Otoque.  It was lovely to be back in a secluded anchorage enjoying the sunset.  The next day we headed out for our rounding of Punta Mala, otherwise known as Bad point.  Timing our arrival at slack tide made for a peaceful trip around this point.  The current flows past and wraps around the headland, and the winds usually blow in the opposite direction.  Once again our preparation paid off, as you can see how calm it was below.
Rounding Punta Mala we did not have enough day light to safely anchor in Benao, so we chose to sail over night.  The skies were clear and it was very peaceful.  The following morning we dropped anchor at Isla Cebaco.  The children enjoyed swimming in the fresh water of the rivers and running on the beach.  The tides were large, above is low tide and to the right shows high tide.  A barge, the mothership, is moored in the bay and caters to the Sport Fishing boats, they offer moorings, fuel and cold beers.   M/V Stalker pulled in to re-fuel before heading off to Panama City.  Phoebe is posing with Charles, who, very generously gave her and Drake t-shirts.  He demonstrated to us how they fly fish for Marlin, and showed us the hand-made flies. 
Ashore a bar and small hotel were under construction.  We had the pleasure to meet Cliff, in the picture on the right. He is the owner and in charge of the landmovers, and heavy equipment.
Cliff lives in Panama City, however, is originally from Houston, TX.  Jim had customers, when we lived in Houston, that Cliff also knew.  Once again, it is a small world.  Cliff took us on a walk along the beach and showed us the pottery shards from the local indians, some of which date way back.  We also enjoyed a hike up a river searching for gold. 
From Cebaco, we had a half day sail to Rosario Bay.  Having the anchorage all to ourselves, it was fun to explore all the different beaches. 
In Rosario, at high tide, there is an estuary that you can access.  We explored by dinghy, seeing toucans, herons, monkeys in the trees, and various other types of birds.
Following a mangrove path at the back of the estuary we were surprised to find a large river flooding into the lagoon.  It was an amazing sight, one which we had never experienced. 

After a peaceful night we did another half day trip to
Isla Secas.  The water was clear and we were able to swim and clean the bottom of Blue Sky before continuing on to Golfito, Costa Rica. This privately owned island, has a group of unique tents for their exclusive guests to rent out.

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From Isla Secas we did a full day to Golfito, Costa Rica.