Adventure Sail to Panama


Isla Grande, Panama


October 26th - 28th, 2007

The next morning we weighed anchor for Colón, approximately 75 miles to our West.  As we were offshore, the wind and waves continued to build.  We were battered by the oncoming swells, some reaching as high as 15 feet and the wind gusted up to 40 knots at times.  The seas were somewhat confused and it was a rough ride to say the least.  We were only making 4.5 knots, and decided we’d had enough as we neared Isla Grande.  There were many squalls in the distance and the swells were not getting any better!   We pulled in to the sheltered anchorage between the mainland and Isla Grande in the early evening hours.  The wind was still howling, but the anchorage was rather calm.

Isla Grande is a beautiful and charming little place – the anchorage is between the island and the mainland, so from the boat we had both shorelines as our scenery.  There were many brightly painted hotels, restaurants, bars and private houses on both sides of the shore, all looking like tropical colored gems against the lush green background of the steep mountains that rose out of the ocean. This area is renowned as a vacation spot for well to do Panamanians.  We saw water taxi’s cruising by at all hours of the day and night bringing people over from the mainland to Isla Grande and then back again.  We read in the guidebooks about a couple of great places on Isla Grande so we lowered the dink and headed in for some dinner. 

We beached the dinghy and took a walk through town.   We came across one of the local bars that was in the guide book and the author had raved about it.  The place was called “Pupi’s” and was a local Rastafarian bar, a veritable shrine to Bob Marley and one heck of a bar.  They had drinks made from fresh squeezed juices and any kind of liquor you could imagine.  Pupi poured us some drinks, and we picked up a new term -  “Pupi style” or STIFF!   We had met a couple of cruisers at Pupi’s and spent some time getting to know them.  Don had traveled around the world on his Cal 34 and Brian was a friend helping him out for a few weeks and getting a free working vacation. 

There were several open air restaurants right on the water - we looked around, chose one and ordered some, shrimp, langostino & Red Snapper.  We relaxed in the cool night air, ate and chatted with our newfound friends.  We got a lot of information about Bocas Del Toro and Portobelo from Don. 

The next day, Saturday, was very rainy and squally.  Mike & Capt Mark took the dinghy and headed west about 2 miles in the raging wind and swells to get a jerry can of diesel.  Sure enough there was a place to get fuel in the adjacent village, and Mike and Mark returned victorious from what proved to be a rather exciting dinghy trip.  They decided to wait until the next day to go back for another 6 gallons as the conditions were becoming even worse than earlier in the day.

Sunday things had died down a bit and by 8am we saw Don & Brian had already headed out to sea on Merinda the Cal 34.  Just a short while later they were back inside the anchorage and as they passed us they yelled over that their alternator belt had broken.  They also said the waves had calmed down a bit offshore.  After fixing the alternator belt, Don and Brian again headed East to San Blas and it wasn’t long after, we pulled up Stray Cat’s anchor and continued our journey West.

At the entrance of Isla Grande it looked like Mountain peaks rising up from the sea

Capt Mark & Stu chillin' at Pupi's

Mike & Don from Merinda talkin' shop at Pupi's

Pupi had "Legend" a Bob Marley documentary playing on the tv and it was fantastic

Pupi's boat

Pupi's was a really cool open air bar right on Isla Grande

Some definite Bob Marley influence - they had a helluvan artist do this mural!

Kate with the latest Kuna purchase on her head, a Mola headband, she needs to start saying No Mas Molas!

One of the tables at Pupi's made from a huge tree and varnished

Pupi himself with Kate behind the bar

Pupi said it was getting cold, so he put his dreadlocks on, you can see a very stocked bar behind him

Isla Grande

Isla Grande is on the left and the mainland is on the right this is the view as we were leaving facing East

There was a nice break here at surfer's beach 

Isla Cabra - just across the inlet from Isla Grande

Another bungalow in paradise on Isla Grande

Isla Cabra

Yellow Bananas - Start Eating!! The island to the right was Isla Linton and is uninhabited except for a few families of monkeys that were introduced by a local a long time ago

The road from the mainland

Mike navigating the old fashioned way, the Chart plotter has a mind of it's own 


<--- Click Here to go back -     - Click Here to keep sailin' --->





Who made me?

I'm beautiful and amazing, 

but how did it all happen?

What's the Secret??

It's pretty simple.  YOU are RESPONSIBLE for YOU !!!

The Keys to Happiness

True happiness can't be bought.

Find out why.

Screensavers by Mike and Kate

Experience interesting and beautiful places, 

right from your home or office!

Email Us







Site Designed by Tomorrow Web Designs Need a Web Site?  Contact Us.

Beaufort, NC







































































beaufort nc - beaufort north carolina - bahamas sailing vacation - bahamas catamaran charter - tomorrow web designs - disc golf basket - cape lookout weddings - flying disc hunter - ladder golf - cincinnati oh real estate - beaufort nc real estate - build a pool table plans - build a ping pong table plans - build a disc golf basket - how to build  - morehead city nc - morehead city north carolina - san blas sailing vacation - bocas del toro sailing vacation - beaufort inn