Sunday, April 14, 2019

Panama City: We're Here

Intermezzo is berthed in a slip at Marina Flamenco outside of Panama City.

We're here. Right next to the Pacific entrance of the Panama Canal. What a trip.

The weather was actually close to the gentle and calm conditions forecasted and we had an easy trip from Isla Otoque to the marina.

At both Isla Gamez and Isla Otoque, I noticed many trees with lots of large white flowers but no leaves. It looked a bit strange to me, but I marked it down to unfamiliar, unusual tropical vegetation. When Roy returned from shore yesterday, he reported that the white flowers were actually baby pelicans. Hundreds of them, just sitting in the branches of the trees, little fuzzy birds. They must be able to fly into the trees, but their feathers haven't developed to let them godive into the water and catch fish yet. So they sit in the trees waiting for their parents to come feed them.

It's amazing how many ships are anchored around the entrance to the canal, I figure many dozens. We had to dodge a few moving ships as we crossed the shipping lanes and then weave our way through the anchored ships to get to the entrance to the marina. The AIS (Automatic Identification System) really helped by alerting us to potentially dangerous ships and plotting their vectors and potential collision zones. However, as we drew closer to the anchorage, I had to set the display to show only dangerous targets, otherwise the display was so cluttered that I couldn't see any of the navigational aids.

We sailed 1,154 nautical miles from Puerto Chiapas over the past 12 days. Total distance sailed for The Voyage so far is 2,443 nm since leaving La Paz on January 8.  That's like crossing the Atlantic Ocean.

We celebrated our arrival with a nice dinner at a marina restaurant, a generous treat from John.

Tomorrow we meet our ship agent and begin the process of getting in line for our canal transit.

I'll post some picture from Leg 3 of The Voyage when I have a faster internet connection.