Welcome to the Maunie of Ardwall blog

This is the blog of Maunie of Ardwall. After a six-year adventure sailing from Dartmouth to Australia, we are now back in Britain.

Thursday, 4 April 2013

Mainland Panama

Since we arrived in the Caribbean back in December, the wind has been a constant feature. The trade winds have blown consistently and briskly so we have become accustomed to the whistle in the rigging and the movement of the boat so it came as quite a novelty to have calm descend on us yesterday.
We left the San Blas islands at 8.30 and had a very pleasant reach westwards (Gallinago and Maunie flew their cruising chute spinnakers) until the breeze dropped away and we had to start engines. Our slow sailing speed meant that our original destination, a bay near the town of Portobello, would have been reached in darkness so we diverted to an amazing spot called Green Turtle Bay where, 15 years ago, a Panamanian business man started excavating a space for a marina in a mangrove-filled headland. This project moved very slowly but the first boats were admitted last year and the place is still very much work-in-progress (no toilets or showers yet), managed by an affable German yachtsman called Yogi. It's a pretty special place, though the number of very tame Swallows flying around the boats indicates the even bigger number of biting insects, so mesh screens were quickly fitted to all open hatches. We ate well at newly-built beach bar / restaurant last night.
Today we plan to head on about 30 miles to Shelter Bay near Colon, ready for the Panama Canal.

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