Day 136, Year 1: Contadora, Las Perlas Islands
Date: Thursday, March 2, 2006
Weather: Clear Blue Skies
Air Temperature: 79 degrees F
Water Temperature: 69 degrees F and Rising Slowly
Location: Contadora, Las Perlas Islands, Panama

We awoke to the sound of birds and clear blue skies. It is really lovely here and very quiet during the week. They say that is not the case on the weekends when the people from Panama City that own homes here come to enjoy their weekend homes. But today, it was perfect. The mooring at the Balboa Yacht Club was great, but there were probably a hundred or so boats there. And you could tell that you were on the edge of a big city. This morning I felt like I was out in the country compared to where we have been. It is a good feeling to get out here where the pace of things is a little slower.

There are a couple of things here that I should mention. One is the tide here. There is a 17 to 20 tide differential. Much more than we have been seeing in the Caribbean. Also, the water temperature is once again rising, although slowly. I guess the cold waters of the Humboldt Current have decided to go elsewhere. And then there are the pelicans. There are so many of them. They fly in group of 5 to 25 and have a fascinating flight pattern. They fly in formation and the pelican in the front leads the group up in the air and back down. They look like an undulating wave in the sky. There are also many frigate birds. They soar more like hawks. I cannot think of many times when I have seen so many birds – except perhaps the geese on the Chesapeake Bay.

We spent the first part of the morning listening to the Panama Pacific Net where other sailors headed our way check in and where there is a daily weather report. We then went to shore and explored the island by foot. There are some beautiful homes and a couple of resort hotels, but not much else. There are a couple of mini supermarkets and one gas pump. People have cars and heavy equipment on the island, but we don’t find a working pier. Not sure how they get things here, but since they will be arriving tomorrow afternoon for the weekend, maybe we will find out.

We will stay here tomorrow and move to another island on Saturday. We will be leaving the Las Perlas by mid or late next week headed for the Galapagos. I am spending free time during the day reading and researching the wildlife we will experience there. I can’t wait.

060302 Day 136 Panama–Walk on Contadora, Las Perlas
Day 137, Year 1: Preparing Windbird for Crossing to Galapagos
Day 135, Year 1: Voyage of Windbird Phase II