Anchored off Porvenir now (8pm local time). Checked out with the harbor master here to get our "Zarpe", the exit document we need to check into our next port of call. Planning to go to Portobello tomorrow (about 55nm), anchor there over the holidays, and then continue to Colon. The squalls and rain we had the last two weeks are finally forecast to move off to the west but starting Wedneday seas are forecast to become bigger (>10ft NE swell from strong tradewinds in the Eastern and Central Caribbean). Hence we want to get out of their way tomorrow.
08 - In Panama
.. in very small increments. Have moved a full 12nm today to a new anchorage that everyone refers to as the "Swimming Pool" in the Cayas Hollandes. Conveniently, there seems to be re-use of names for individual islands between the different island groups. So we are again anchored off an island named Banedup. Originally, we had planned to go to Coco Banderos today (a full 5 nm further!), but we reckon we have a higher chance of intercepting the fruit & veggie boat here (if it does indeed come ...).
While we knew that food supplies are not easy to come by in most of the San Blas Islands, things turned out to be even more scarce than we had expected. Other boaters who have been in the area for while told us that a skiff with some fruits and veggies comes through the more frequented anchorages approximately once a week. However, by the time we arrived here a week ago, everyone was already eagerly awaiting the elusive fruit & veggie boat but there was no sign of it.
Some real tropical downpours in our anchorage today, as squalls associated with a tropical wave just NE of here move through. A very welcome replenishment of our fresh water supply after collecting more than 20 gallons in half an hour and enough to spare to do some laundry. Also a chance to catch up on schoolwork and some house-keeping. Things should get drier again by Sunday.
Changed location today from Porvenir to the Eastern Lemon Cays (a whole 5.5 nm away!). Beautiful palce, surrounded by a few small palm-treed islands and some reefs. Also fewer boats around than in the Lemon Cays. Luckily though, some with kids and Nicky already had his first expedition with the kids from Zest a few hours after we dropped the hook. Now hoping for a supply boat that apparently comnes through the islands once a week in order to replenish our fresh food supplies. Stay tuned...