We left our boat at Linton Bay Marina to go to Panama City to pick up Devan. When we returned, the winds were really strong and we were very grateful we opted to get a slip. The wind delayed us for days! When you are stuck somewhere, you just have to make the best of it.
I forgot to mention this story before. As we left the San Blas to go to Puerto Lindo, we passed this wrecked ferry. It is huge and so sad to see. There is another boat wrecked in the picture on the same reef and there was a third… As I stated before, Hurricane Otto caught Panama by complete surprise and caused extensive damage. A catamaran was blown to the reef and the huge waves picked it up and tossed it well onto the reef. The owner of the catamaran also owned the ferry. He went and got the ferry to pull the catamaran off the reef. In the process, the wind and waves overpowered the ferry and washed it well onto the reef as well. I mean, it went seriously hard aground. At some point the catamaran was removed but this ferry was a complete loss. Lesson to be learned? Don’t be caught in a hurricane? Or maybe, better to lose one boat than two? Terrible.
Then, as we were exploring around Linton Bay, we saw this wrecked sailboat. It looks like it was there longer than Hurricane Otto, but we didn’t get the story on it. It just breaks my heart to see people’s dreams in tatters.
We drove back from Panama City with our son, Devan. I skipped over our stay in Panama City since most of it centered around visiting the Panama Canal and I feel I covered it pretty extensively already, if out of order. Anyway, while there, Steve from Slow Flight bought a new outboard, which filled most of the trunk — along with the gas tank that comes with it. We bought a few boat things and I bought provisions for while Devan was visiting. On top of that we had our overnight bags and Devan’s luggage in that small pimped out and lowered car. Now it was more like a clown car. Needless to say, we were scraping bottom on the bad roads and speed bumps. We returned to find the wind blowing like crazy! Everyone from the anchorages was trying to get into the marina but it filled up fast. We watched two boats go aground while trying to enter the marina and helped them off using Steve’s dinghy complete with new outboard. What a break in period it had! It was more protected onshore, so we decided to walk around.
All along the road, we saw leaf cutter ants busy at work. They are so interesting to watch.
There are four different ants in their colony: the queen, good-sized ants that cut and carry the leafs, big soldier ants with huge heads that protect the workers, and tiny ants that prepare the leaves as they are being carried back to the ant colony.
The ants infested a tree and cut apart the leaves. The goal was to cut off a piece and carry it back down the branch. Many were successful as we watched, but a few fell with the leaf when it was cut through. These ants tumbled to the ground and seemed disoriented. Once the leaf was dropped, we never saw one pick it back up. So, I guess it was back to the drawing board.
The trail we studied was 1/4-1/2 a mile long, but we’ve seen longer. They go far and wide for their leaves. Maybe their instincts keep them from clearing all the leaves close to home?
As I said, I think they are very interesting. This video isn’t great as I had my long distance lens on the camera.
I have no clue what this bird is, but I saw a lot of them flying around. Pretty little birds.
We decided to go explore by dinghy and have lunch in town. We were idiots. Even though the water was calm inside the marina, the waves were insane in the bay. Steve took Devan on a thrill ride that Dave and I chickened out on. The bay is an obstacle course of reefs and big breaking waves are just bad. We did make it to a restaurant, though.
Once we wiped the bat crap off the table and chairs, we sat down to eat. Yeah, in the states that would never fly. In the countries we visit, we just can’t worry about stuff like that. Anyway, the little brown bats were really cute. They only slept on Brazil’s flag. The restaurant called them their friends because they eat the mosquitoes. I agree. We didn’t get sick, so it’s all good.
As we explored more by walking, we came across a boy with a young pet raccoon. It was so adorable and the boy seemed to enjoy it. The raccoon wore a collar and leash. Cute as it was, I don’t recommend anyone keep a pet raccoon. Not unless you like your house trashed.
This little guy was a handful and didn’t sit still for a minute. I was exhausted just watching the boy handle it.
Dave tried to get near the raccoon to pet it, but the raccoon wasn’t having it. “No,” the boy warned, so we kept our distance. We hoped to see the howler monkeys we’ve been hearing, but we didn’t see any.
Exploring by foot was too limited and we still didn’t have a weather window to head east back to the San Blas, so we hopped on a public bus to Portobelo for the day. The passengers were entertained by Spanish music videos. Yay.
We arrived hungry and wanted to try out Captain Jack’s. We ordered Thai food and beers. Well, except for Devan. He has an odd drinking problem: he only drinks water. That would be okay if he could handle his water…
But look. He obviously can’t handle his water. I don’t know how he is going to survive living amongst cruisers for three weeks! Haha! After lunch we strolled around and revisited some places we’ve already seen. For instance, Devan’s visit would not have been complete without seeing the Black Christ…
Or the fort. Everyone has to see the forts. However, Devan tried out his Captain Morgan pose, but it’s just not the same if you don’t actually drink the rum. I tease, but honestly, we’re glad our son has healthier life habits than we do. Maybe some of it will rub off on us. We took a taxi back to the marina and prepared to head out as the winds were expected to calm down. Hooray! Back to the San Blas at last.