Sailed – or more accurately, motored, due to a severe lack of wind – into Panama yesterday, 27th May. We arrived at Flamenco Island Marina late afternoon, with excellent views of the skyscrapers of the modern Panama City, the entrance to the canal under the Bridge of the Americas, and the dozens of anchored container and tanker ships waiting to traverse the canal.
Now I’m at my Airbnb apartment I’m sharing with my fellow Garmin RTWer Bill Lyons in the old town (Casco Viejo) with wine, dinner and after consuming many rum cocktails from the nearby Pedro Mandingo Rum Bar (I’m a bit drunk). The old town is a lively district of old buildings and tourist attractions, which only a few years ago was a rather dangerous gangland area. Nowadays it’s a trendy area with bars, shops and many apartments/hotels.
We’re only here for three days, with the transit of the canal to start very early on the 30th May, followed by a couple of days on the Atlantic side and next race start – northwards through the Caribbean to New York – on 3rd June. Only a few weeks now left till our glorious return to the UK!
Oh and I am now the proud owner of a Panama hat. Well, I had to. Not sorry.