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Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Isla Pedro Gonzales

After a bit of a bumpy afternoon on Sunday with wind chop from the south, we decided to up anchor yesterday morning to pay another visit to lovely Isla Pedro Gonzales, a mere six nm away. Seeing it again has confirmed our opinion that this is one of the prettiest anchorages in the Perlas islands. It's comfortable as well because we are visiting during ideal conditions of very little breeze, and we're protected from winds coming out of the southern quadrant. There are two other sail boats in the anchorage, and a group of eight men who come in by panga and work during the week. We're not sure what they're up to since they do a lot of sitting in the shade of the palm trees lining the white sand beach. Every once in awhile they spend about 20 minutes clearing dead palm fronds and adding them to a couple of piles back in among the trees. The area they're cleaning up would make a lovely setting for a house. It looks as though either there once was a house on the site, or someone is getting ready to build one. We saw a stone path, carefully collected palm trees sprouting from coconuts, and a smoothed dirt area with hibiscus and a flowering tree planted next to it.

When we visited in January we anchored off the smaller beach to the NW where someone had been clearing the mangroves. Now we see what looks like a small construction site mobile unit and two square canopy tents. And the small shack we could see over on the big beach is gone, with only short foundation stumps marking the spot. Marcel, the panga driver ferrying the workers to and from the village around the point, says a hotel is going up. Whatever is going on, this continues to be the most pristine bay we've seen in Panama, completely free of garbage.

After a cloudy day threatening rain yesterday we woke to clear skies this morning. Thunderheads build during the day over the mainland and drift through the sky giving us occasional breaks of shade, but otherwise it's very hot (mid 80s in the cabin, so it's broiling outside in the sun). The water is 79 degrees but I felt some chilly spots when I cleaned the waterline yesterday. The no-see-ums are active here, but we're taking all the usual steps to try and keep them out of the boat - mosquito coils, fine mesh netting for screens, and long sleeves, light pants, and socks when we can stand it (this morning I decided I'd rather be bitten in a bathing suit than sweat in all that clothing - and that was at 7:30 AM!). Ziggy sleeps hard during the heat of the day, and comes out to chase bugs when the sun is setting. We left the anchor light off last night (as did the other boats) since it's a big bug attractor.

So far we are very happy to hang here and wait for our weather window to the Galapagos in a week or so.

Linda and John