Tag Archives: linton bay

Panamarina Anchorage

Isla Linton and Panamarina

There is not much to do in Linton Bay.  No trails to hike, no beaches to explore, and only a few islands close enough to visit by dinghy.  We walked around the very small village of Puerto Lindo, in about 10 minutes and didn’t see much beyond the small huts where people lived.  So, it was time to visit the remaining two areas:  Isla Linton and Panamarina.

Panamarina is small marina just around the corner from Linton Bay Marina where we were anchored.  It lies in a protected mangrove creek and offers moorings and haul out services. So, we hopped in Sweetie and headed toward the area where there is an inlet that takes you directly through the mangroves.  Before you get to the inlet you have to navigate around a reef, which lucky for us was easy to spot with the early morning sun.

The inlet opening was pretty wide with huge mangroves on either side.  It is amazing to see how the roots of the mangroves intertwined with one another to form a strong barrier able to withstand strong storms.

As you continue down the river, the inlet becomes narrower and the mangroves stretch overhead meeting in the center to create a magnificent canopy.  It was so pretty hearing the birds sing and come to life as we moved through their neighborhood.

Beautiful canopy of trees on the way to Panamarina

Beautiful canopy of trees on the way to Panamarina

We weren’t going very fast because we weren’t in a hurry and we did not know how deep the inlet was, so we just enjoyed the ride.

The inlet deposited us into a bay where more than a dozen boats were moored.  We checked out the boats and made our way to the dinghy dock.

Panamarina mooring field.  Photo courtesy of Panamarina website.

Panamarina mooring field. Photo courtesy of Panamarina website.

Ashore, there are two yards.  A short term working yard and long-term storage yard.  Unfortunately, everything was closed as it was Sunday and Christmas Eve.  But it did afford us the opportunity to walk around the property.  Next to the office is a restaurant / bar with a pretty decent looking menu.  It also appears that they have several services available to cruisers such as mechanical, electrical, canvas, and carpentry.

After we returned from Panamarina, we went to visit Isla Linton.  This island is uninhabited except for several monkey families that live in the hills.  The monkeys usually come down to the dock in the afternoon and have invaded the abandoned house near the beach.  We were told that they appear to be friendly at first, but they quickly get agitated when they realize you intend to move on.

When we visited the island it was late morning, early afternoon so we were not expecting a monkey encounter.  We pulled our dinghy onto the tiny beach just in front of the abandoned house.

Abandoned house on Isla Linton

Abandoned house on Isla Linton

There is a lot of brush, weeds, and overgrowth here so it makes it challenging to navigate the shore. But, I found a small worn path and headed to the house where I wanted to find a monkey.  Just one, to take a photo.  The house had a retched smell and was littered with waste, no monkeys – just an old alligator hide tacked onto the wall.

Alligator skin tacked on to wall.

Alligator skin tacked on to wall.

Not much to see on this spec of land, so we took a few shots, howled for the monkeys, and left when our call was not returned.

Matt hiding from me

Matt hiding from me

Exploring Wins and Losses:

  • No monkey
  • Alligator Skin
  • Cool services at Panamarina
Celebrating Christmas Eve with Barry

Christmas in Linton Bay

It is always a bit strange celebrating Christmas in the islands as it doesn’t quite like feel like Christmas.  And yet, we have spent the last 7 Christmas’s away from the mainland.  The temperature is hot, the skies are blue, the water is clear, and there is no hustle and bustle.  No malls or shopping, no big parties or white elephants.  It’s merely a small gathering or private celebration.

Yet, I still find that I bring some of my traditions with me each year.  I have a small Christmas locker where I store my limited decorations; a wooden tree with a few ornaments and miniature lights, holiday hats, and a few odds and ends.  In addition to displaying my meager holiday collection, I do a cookie baking day.

Christmas Towels: Who do they belong too?

Christmas Towels: Who do they belong too?

Cookie Baking Day is a tradition started by my grandmother where we would all gather in her kitchen and make a variety of cookies for the family.  Once I moved to Texas I carried on the tradition with my friends which was the highlight of the season for me.  On the boat, its very hard to have more than one person in the galley so I tend to make a few batches of cookies myself and share them with other cruisers.  Not the really the same, but it allows me to enjoy the gift giving.

Originally, we were going to head back to San Blas for the holidays, but several cruisers decided to have a potluck on Christmas Eve in Linton Bay.  There is a large building, in mid-construction that has been designated the future marina headquarters.  But, funding has run out and it is now used as a gathering space out of the sun.  Fernanda on “Allegra” organized the potluck, brought a small tree, an extension cord for the lights, and arranged tables and chairs for everyone.  There was a wonderful selection of food, sweets, and beverages.

Matt and I on Christmas Eve

Matt and I on Christmas Eve

Christmas morning was quiet and relaxing, we had xmas tunes playing, ate some cookies, and lounged a bit.  By mid-day we were feeling antsy and decided to head to shore to go for a walk. But, as we approached the dock we noticed a lively group gathered around a BBQ.  Another boat hosted this Christmas day celebration with burgers, shrimp skewers, sides, cookies, beer, and music. It was a sparkling celebration with people from Germany, Sweden, London, Spain, and America.

Celebrating Christmas Eve with Barry

Celebrating Christmas Eve with Barry

Matt and I retired back to the boat where he made another batch of pulled pork from the pork shoulder we acquired at the fresh market in Colon.  It was equally fabulous and tasty and a wonderful Christmas dinner.  About an hour later, friends from “Wandering Rose” stopped by to share a toddy and spread some more holiday cheer.

HOLIDAY CHEER CHECK LIST:

  • Good Friends
  • Beer
  • Holiday Music
  • Funny Hats
  • Christmas Tree
Dinghy Dock at Linton Bay

Sailing to Linton Bay

We had been “off the grid” for 12 days. It doesn’t sound that long, but try not watching TV, listening to the radio, or being online (no chats, texts, emails, news updates, Instagram, Facebook, nothing). As romantic as it might sound, it was really hard. There are a few options to get some wifi, but they all included leaving the San Blas islands. We could do a downwind run to Carti, broad reach to El Provenir, or beam reach to Linton Bay.  Linton Bay won out. But first we had to say farewell to Wayne who was being picked up from Carti.

We were all up early awaiting Wayne’s panga ride which was scheduled to arrive at 730am. They arrived promptly and carried our Wayne away.

Wayne leaving in a panga...heading home.

Wayne leaving in a panga…heading home.

We took this opportunity to do laundry, clean up the port side of the boat, and catch up on some laziness. We wasted the day away, but we did make a plan to head to Linton Bay to get fuel, provision, and find a sim card. Always good to have a plan.

The next morning we got up early, checked out the weather report, and discovered that 2 other sailboats that we knew were heading to Linton Bay as well. We deflated and stowed the SUPs, put the bean bags below, and readied the boat for her 45 mile day.

The winds were blowing pretty strong at 25-30 knots and a squall was predicted so we double reefed the main and the jib. The first few hours were great as we sailed along at 8-9 knots, beam reach, and 2-3 meter waves. As the winds slowed we shook the jib out completely and surfed the odd rogue waves that periodically gave us a bit of a push. The waves stayed big with some cresting at 4 meters, rocking the boat in an odd pattern, but the wind stayed strong enough for us to sail.

It was not the best ride with the funky winds, but it was good to have the sails up and the boat moving with canvas. We were escorted by a rather large pod of exceptionally big dolphins. They were a frisky bunch, showing off their best lords of leaping skills. Kept us entertained for well over a half an hour.

We arrived into Linton Bay around 1600 with the sun low in the sky and reefs all around us. We carefully motored into the bay and found a spot to drop the hook in 10 meters of water. Pretty deep water for us as we like to have 7 to 1 scope on our chain. We have 100 meters of chain, so it is doable, just a little out of our comfort zone. As we were anchoring, our friends Dave and Mary from “Wandering Rose” welcomed us with a frenzied wave.

Linton Bay Marina with haul out equipment in background with orange straps.

Linton Bay Marina with haul out equipment in background with orange straps.

We were finally able to get a signal off the GoogleFi phone so I checked emails, attended to some business and answered a few urgent requests. We decided it would be best to go ashore to get some intel so we dropped Sweetie in the water and headed ashore.

A quick stop at “Wandering Rose” provided some good information on the local pub, internet access, trash, and bus schedule. We headed up to the “bar” which is not much more than a floating barge with some chairs, tables, grill, and cooler. None the less, it had wifi.

Linton Bay Bar in front and marina office that ran out of money mid-construction.

Linton Bay Bar in front and marina office that ran out of money mid-construction.

Dinghy dock or panga dock.

Dinghy dock or panga dock.

We saddled up to the bar, ordered Matt a $1 beer and clicked away. Some other friends from “La Vie” arrived and gave us more information on local towns, provisioning, and safety. Not long after, Barry from “White Shadow and “Adventures of an Old Sea Dog” joined us.  Evidently, the bar was low on beer, had no food, and little ice.  So the bartender shut up shop, told us to lock up and left.  A party in Panama for sure.

This funny painting was in a lovely gallery.

This funny painting was in a lovely gallery.

This cracked me up - branding at its best

This cracked me up – branding at its best

MARKETING AT ITS BEST:

Love that the local stores carry some American brands.  And of course cheaper brands of the same cereal…wonder about the taste and quality?