Oh how beautiful Panama is

29. July 2010, Thursday
9° 33' 16" N, 79° 39' 21" W

Two days of solitude in the Cayos de Albuquerque were enough to recover from the stress of civilization in San Andres.
Beautiful diving and snorkeling in an intact coral world, which made us sweat a lot when entering and leaving because of the lack of detailed maps.
At a fantastic 15 knots we sailed upwind towards Panama.
Already in the first hour under sail a beautiful tuna has invited to dinner.
Up to here everything was perfect.
But then the wind often shifted and the current came from the wrong direction.
So we had to change our destination three times on the first day.
Then after about 7 hours the wind died down completely and only the high swell reminded us of how nice it was before.
The meter-high swell caused Odin to bang from side to side under the engine.
Mike, who in the days before had distinguished himself almost as a solo entertainer, quietly and palely withdrew to his cabin and was never seen again. (However, this could not free him from his duty at the night watch, to which we pulled him from his bunk to have.)
We motored non-stop for almost 50 hours - all in all not a nice crossing.

But it was all the nicer to arrive in the bay to which the change of plan led us.
Portobelo this beautiful piece of land was discovered in 1502 by Columbus.
From then on, her story was checkered and bloody.
Gold-hungry conquistators and pirates like Captain Morgan or Sir Francis Drake were up to their bloody mischief here.
Overgrown fortresses and old cannons everywhere, silent witnesses of the bloody past and certainly an ideal location for Hollywood films.
In the jungle behind the fortifications, howler monkeys loudly claim their territory and colorful parrots fly from tree to tree.
The air almost vomits with fertility, it rains lightly several times a day and the three of us – uts, Mike and I – think of a book title by Janosch “Oh, how beautiful is Panama”.