The Bay of Shame.

Trip Start Oct 06, 2004
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Panama  ,
Monday, January 10, 2005

I guess we've been the entertainment of the week for the other boats sheltering around Linton Island. We the Ignorant Ones. They the pro sailors, or Pro Ones as we call them. We sunbathing on the deck, day in and day out. Unheard of for the Pro Ones, staying at sea for weeks or months at the time. Shade is what you seek then. We the Ignorant Ones, breezing around in our bathtub sized dinghy between the sailboat and surrounding islands, barely floating. Great fun for the Pro Ones. Or when we decided to escape the cabin fever and have a pasta feast on Linton Island. The island turned out to be a protected research area and aggressive Spider monkeys stole our food (obviously been fed by humans before). Hilarious for the Pro Ones.

After six days we have all had enough, we decide to leave our tranquil spot on the most windy day so far and head in the direction of San Blas. Only to return an hour later with the tail between our legs. Soaked in water from the "skyscraper sized" waves. The Pro Ones rolling around on the deck laughing their brains out. Steve suggest we anchor up and hide well into what he calls "The Bay of Shame." Far out of sight of the Pro Ones and their fun seeking binoculars.

The weather doesn't improve, so Lisa and Ben decide to leave the boat on the seventh day, taking a bus back to Panama City (after all it's only a four hours bus ride from the mainland) and instead fly to Cartagena from there. Steve and I decide to wait one more day, hoping for the best. Later in the afternoon, Steve and I decide to leave on the eight day unless the weather improves drastically. We've had enough of the boat life. Mara talks to the Coast Guard in the evening and it doesn't sound promising. Weather wise it's the wrong time of the year and there's no improvements in sight. In addition there's rumors about Tsunami impacts from South-East Asia, although I am not sure I buy into that. Captain Roberto heads off the next morning, our eight day on Lady Kiss, to check other weather sources. When he returns he shakes his head and says Wednesday morning at the earliest. That's two more days sleeping in the muggy bed next to the foul smelling fridge, so we tell the crew that we will also return to Panama City. Richard however has no intentions to leave, he promise to stay until the boat arrives in Cartagena. The captains take it well, and we pay them 40% of the total price for food and lodging. They do however try to make us stay, by promising us that they will try to sail later that afternoon. But we have made up our minds, and are certain that it will take them at least another seven days at the minimum to reach Cartagena.

We receive an e-mail from both Mara and Richard, they tell us that they made it to Cartagena seven days or so after we left the boat. They don't say much about the weather, but we speak to some Canadian girls who left around the same time. Apparently it was very rough, involving 100% green faces for 48 hours straight. And their boat was 70 foot and not the 44 foot Lady Kiss. So in the end I'm kind of happy that I left the boat, although it sort of feels like a defeat. Well, well.

By leaving the boat I also miss out on the beautiful San Blas archipelago. One of the few must sees I had for Central America. I can still fly there from Panama City, but decide to skip it. I have spent too much time on the boat, as well as money, and just want to get out of Panama. I can always come back I decide. A new continent is awaiting me and I am really exited about the first stop. "Locombia here I come!"
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