Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Off to Las Perlas, the Pearl Islands

Getting ready for a crew change: Ron leaves from Panama,
Vicky and Peter leave from Las Perlas where Jack, Larry
and our son Nick will join us for the sail to Galapagos.
It was time to continue west! The leg from Panama City to the Archipelago de Las Perlas, consisting of more than 220 islands and islets, was not a “race” so we left when we felt like it. There was no wind for half of the trip. In fact, the Pacific was like glass near the harbor and for a couple of hours out. Then we picked up enough wind to unfurl the sails. We had a nice gentle sail with Vicky and Peter still on board. Ron had headed back home from Panama City. Las Perlas is about 45 miles southeast of Panama City, still in the Gulf of Panama.

Our view from the anchorage.
Our destination was the Island of Contadora, which was the island where they counted the pearls found here in the early days. Even though this is the most developed island in the group, there isn’t much there but it is one of the few inhabited islands in the group of islands. It is only 750 acres. That is smaller than Pointe aux Barques! The fleet that left earlier had time to visit several other islands before the rendezvous on the south side of the island near Hotel Romantica.

We needed to be there as we had crew scheduled for arrival on three different days. Of course, between the airlines and the Panamanian government, none of them showed up when expected. There was not much to do on the island so it was a time to relax some and read a good book. Actually the down time felt good.

Nick, Jack and Larry finally joined us for the trip to the Galapagos. Vicky and Peter took the ferry back to the mainland to meet their daughters for more exploring in Panama. The current was very strong so we did not swim off the boat. The crew that did swim at several beaches had a run in with jellyfish and had a number of stings.

There are a couple of hotels on Contadora and it could be a very peaceful place to visit for a vacation if you are into sun and sand. Personally, I would take the beaches of Saint Bart or Hawaii over this one. Our big purchase was fishing lures to see if we could improve our luck.

What you see is what you get! Not much here!
Since I have been interested in human behavior through my 23 years of coaching and training, I have found the people watching very interesting when it comes to food and drink! Obviously, there are those who have no limits on libation so they are in a state of non-existence when at anchor or on shore. I guess my “drug” of choice is Coca Cola – pretty benign compared to the flow of beer and rum. So it leads to good people watching!

Dennis at the Prize Giving Event. None for us!
There are a few who can’t seem to control their consumption of food. This has become a frustration because they go through the buffet lines multiple times – even eating while standing over the buffet – before everyone has made it though once.  The caterers usually run out of food and some of us don’t even get our meal. Visually, you can identify the ones who are the indulgent! Maybe that is why we are losing weight! I find it annoying that they are so out of touch with their own behavior and don’t realize others are missing out on what they have paid for in their Rally fees.

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