Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Isla Gamez: Nice Rest Day, Off to Panama Canal Tomorrow Morning

We are anchored off tiny Isla Gamez, next door to the larger Isla Partida just off the coast of Panama.

Today was a rest day. We arrived here early in the morning after an overnight sail (motor) in near windless, calm conditions from Golfito. We anchored and then jumped in the water to swim to a nice little beach.

I decided to climb to the high point of the island which is only about a quarter mile long. It was a nice hike through jungle vegetation, thick enough that I got turned around on my way back and ended up circumnavigating the hill top. When I finally got back to the beach from my hike, I found Roy, John and Kim bashing coconuts on rocks to open them up for a snack. The only thing wrong with the scene, from my perspective, is that they were wearing clothes and not communicating by grunting. When offered some coconut meat, I accepted it and ate it like a gentleman.

Tomorrow we head off to the Panama Canal. We're taking the direct offshore route to avoid fishing lines and having to weave through the islands that lie closer to the coast. Sailing time is about 2 1/2 days, but I would like to make a brief stop at the tiny offshore island of Montuosa. We tried to go there when in the neighborhood back in 2016, but the weather conditions were bad - strong headwinds, big waves. From the photographs I have seen, the island look like it belongs way out in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, not less than 50 miles off the coast of Panama. By spending the afternoon there and perhaps another rest stop further on, we can time our arrival into the shipping lanes to the canal entrance to occur during the day, rather than at night. That will be safer, for sure.

When we get to the canal entrance, the plan is to pick up a mooring outside the Balboa Yacht Club. Then we start the process of getting in line for our canal transit.

Time when sailing is a very dynamic dimension. Sometimes it passes slowly, sometimes quickly, most often one just loses track of it, save for when your watch starts and ends. Right now, I find it hard to believe that Intermezzo will have reached the Panama Canal in just a few more days. Although we've travelled a long distance on this leg, the canal still seems along way away to me. (You can see the track of Intermezzo's journey and current position at

Even more unbelievable is that we will soon be sailing in a different ocean.