We finally cut our ties with the San Blas islands. It was difficult to raise that anchor and head out of the swimming pool. SV Runner blew a conch horn as we motored out and off towards parts unknown, yet again. We’ll miss it. We’ll miss all of it, but the world still calls.

It was a short motor over to the East Lemons which put us 10 miles closer to Panamarina, our destination. We overnighted there and headed out with the first light the next day. It was a fifty mile trip with wind right in our face the whole way. Possibly the last westerly winds of the season but at least the seas were very calm. I had to finally put the last of our diesel in a jerry jug into the tank and even then we made it on fumes. Our last fill up was in Mexico!

Despite our early leaving, we weren’t going to make it until around 5pm and I heavily debated dropping anchor at Linton bay and waiting for broad day light the next day to make our way into Panamarina which is said to have a tricky entrance.

Dani gave me a glass of wine to steel my nerves and we pushed on the extra mile and went for it.

The marina entrance was indeed narrow but well marked and we tied up to a buoy when we made it in, safe, snug, and happy. This is the boatyard we plan to do all of our final prep in before we make our way to the Pacific. It is a neat little yard and I think it will work out just fine for our purposes. (Bottom paint. Rig check. New bilge pumps. etc)

So when we get here… We want to get off the boat. We want to see land again, glorious land. We went on “land” maybe 5 times in the past four months and then it was all beaches. The San Blas had a mangrove and sea air smell, but this place with the mountains so close was full of exotic smells. The air was a positive fug of flower perfumes and we could hear monkeys calling. I was bouncing with energy to go. And then I realized that I needed a pair of shoes.

“Dani, where are my shoes?”

And then her response which shall live in infamy, “I don’t know where our shoes are.”

Some of you may remember Dani’s shoe problem. The unthinkable had occurred. We didn’t even know where our shoes were. Did we even have shoes anymore? My God, how the mighty have fallen.

Then we got into a discussion about the shoes. We found sandals, but real shoes? Who knows.

Eventually we found the sandals and made our way to land. We hiked to a little (and I mean little) township next door to the marina, had a beer, and Dani communed with nature (sort of).

The place we found to have the beer, which incidentally also has trapped ostriches, was a gringo joint in the middle of “no where”. But that was okay with us. It was nice to sit on something that didn’t rock and enjoy the beer and watch the locals make it out for the dusk fishing.

The walk there and back is beautiful as well. It’s through the Portobello National park. But it was grueling. My feet complained about the sandals. My poor little feet have calluses more suited to fins than sandals now!

Back at the marina… With blistered feet.

We timed our arrival for the opening of the renowned restaurant. As of yet, I haven’t discovered if it actually has a name. It’s just, “The Panamarina restaurant” amongst cruisers. Oh well. It had a bar. It had Xmas decor. It was third world but it was an honest to God eatery.

I ordered the whole menu. Or maybe it felt like it. I ordered a steak, a cheeseburger, a meat lasagna, and a desert. I ate french fries. My tongue tasted red meat again! The staff joked that they’d have to put my name on the wall for having eaten it all.

We rowed home stiff and blistered and full to bursting with both food and memories.