Ahoy! This is our first real blog post at OceanDiaries.com. We are happy to get the blog going.
We are all super excited to sail to the Galapagos island and cross the Pacific Ocean again. We’ve been in Panama for 2 years now ( Markus & Cathy) and our experiences in Panama has not been the best the last 6 month. (I can get in to that another time)
Yesterday was our exit date out of Panama, after a looong time of waiting and preparing..unfortunately with no luck. We are stuck! Here’s why…
So yesterday we where just about to fill up with water and fuel by the marina we are anchored at, La Playita. We’d already booked a time last week to go in to the dock and fill up. So just to make sure I called them on the VHF-radio 15 minutes before to confirm and they tell me that it’s not possible as it’s carnival and too much movement on the dock and that they can not help us until Wednesday. So I try the other marina, Flamenco, and they tell us to come in at 14.00! So we kept our hope that we would be able to leave. As long as we get our gas bottles filled as well, because we need that to be able to cook during the passage.
Gaya and I jump in a taxi to get our gas bottles filled, as we ran out of gas two days ago. I already made a phone call to check if they had the bottles at a store and they had confirmed it. So I call our taxi guy, he and his wife picks us up and takes us there. We arrive to the shop and tell them that we need to change the old bottle to a new one that is filled up and that we want one extra bottle. They tell us that they don’t have it! “How can you not have it? I just called you one hour ago and you told me that you did have them!”
The lady made some phone calls and we found out that they do have the bottles in another store far away! So as we didn´t have a choice, we went! We were super lucky that it’s carnival and the traffic in the City was actually pleasant! NO getting stuck in traffic! It’s like a miracle in Panama City. I love Carnival for only this reason.!:)
At the end of three hours in the taxi, we had two filled gas bottles, three wine bottles, some beer and lemon juice! GOOD TO GO!
We lifted the anchor and head to Flamenco Marina to fill up with water and fuel and Markus went to do the check out of the country.
While Marcus did the check out, Gaya and I were scrubbing the boat like crazy, filled up with 100 gallons of water and 50 gallons of fuel – all in only 30 min! The boat gets soooo dirty with all the ash that flies around in the City.
After 30 min Markus had still not come back, and the guy’s from the marina where getting inpatient as they wanted to go partying as it’s carnival. So I go running after him to see what’s going on. I meet him and he tells me that we are not aloud to leave the country as we don’t have a MARITIME VISA! And that the office is closed and we can’t leave until Wednesday!!!!
We couldn’t belive it! We where ready, the day we’ve been waiting for for soooo long!
I’m the kind of girl that does not give up on the first go, so I tell Markus that we should try to go to the other immigration office in Balboa Yacht club and see what they tell us there. So we take a taxi as soon as we anchored and go to the yacht club. The guy there was super nice but told us the same thing, that if you leave with boat you need the maritime visa. We where STUCK!
The only thing we could do is go back to the boat, Markus had a beer, Gaya a lemonade and I a Fanta and we watched the Panama Skyline.
Cathy and Gaya