Pedro Gonzalez anchorageI traded some slightly soft ‘fake’ werther’s original sweets for a friendship bracelet made by a 7 year old boy. With help from his younger brother. Mum said the boys were full of joy at the prospect of finding a boat with a supply of sweets. Even if the sweets were a bit old and dodgy.

They came over as a pair in the family dinghy. Big boy driving. Small boy clutching the bracelet. The trade was made. Just so sweet. The message that came via Mum when they got back to their boat said, ‘thank you sooooo much!! – two happy faces – better than Xmas – you were their angel today – thank you’.  So I’ve turned into aging hippy, sporting my new trade around my ankle. It’s has three colourful beads and I painted my toe nails the same blue as one of the beads to show it off. 😀

Wet season has officially arrived. Yesterday a blow came through the anchorage for a couple of hours with associated rain and wind. Everyone here held firm at anchor which is reassuring as we were all sat on a lee shore (meaning the wind was blowing towards the shore so if an anchor failed, that’s the direction you’d go). I wore a waterproof for the first time, in a long time as we sat in the cockpit keeping an eye on things. A round of chocolate cake helped us pass the time. Dave in fact described the cake as a necessity.

Wet season means humidity. Hot sticky dampness pervaded after the blow had departed. Not great for….sleeping, drying laundry or general comfort levels. Better get used to it. It’s here for a fair while.

Other news. After 3 attempts, the mend on the seam of my inflatable paddle board seems to be holding. It’s not the prettiest mend but that’s irrelevant. Eliminating escaping air sits above removing excessive black two part cement on the necessity list. This means we can head off together again on a board each. (how sweet I hear you say). We came back in the dark last night after a social gathering. It was quite serene paddling quietly in the pitch under the stars.

As clampdown is still current in Panama, we get visits from local guys in pangas, trying to secure any income possible, selling fish, provisions and fuel. A couple of decent sized fish cost around $5 which we’re happy to pay if we haven’t caught anything ourselves. We’ve also currently got a stash of avocados. Think we paid $2 for 8 so pretty reasonable when they come delivered to your boat. Avocados are green and green is good! We will mostly be eating fish and avocados for a while.




I wouldn’t consider myself to be a ‘mojo’ kind of person. But whatever it is, it’s felt like mine went walkabout for a few miserable days. Miserable for me, but also for Dave. Sorry mister. Can’t have been fun having a mojoless wife in a small space.


I just felt swamped, contained, restricted. My head was in conflict. The dichotomy of ‘sod it, let’s just go” against “its irresponsible and disrespectful” turning up in a country that isn’t your own and expect to be accepted in when their borders are officially closed. Our particular situation here in Panama, when we’d hoped to mid Pacific by now, felt endless to me.


My tried and tested solution when feeling confined is simple. Get out and walk. Space, hills, freedom, a goodly stomp provides a head clearing medicine which necessitates no chemical infusion. Thing is, this option is not currently available to us. No walking for Helen.


However. My mojo is back. I needed a change of scene. A change in energy. Something different. So for the last week or so we’ve been journeying around Las Perlas islands. It’s been great. Some cruising in company, some on our own. It’s been just what I needed. We’ve made a point of sailing everywhere. Uninhabited islands have meant we’ve been able to get ashore. Activities in the mix have included crocodile spotting, extreme frisbee, spear fishing, body surfing, card games, hull scrubbing and water making for a couple of other boats who’ve unfortunately had water-maker problems.


We’re currently anchored off San Jose island. There’s a posh resort here. (Hacienda del Mar Hotel – San José Island, Las Perlas, Panama if you want to look it up). At present, rain lashes, thunder rolls and lightning sparks. This maybe the start of the wet season. It’s 9.30 in the morning and the lack of light makes it feels like 4pm on a November day in the UK.


I said to Dave, it’s not really a sailing day. It’s a movie day he replied. I think we should remove the drain pipe that goes from the sink to the outside. It needs cleaning as it is starting to smell in the heat, was my response. His look said it all. It’s a pig of a job. Limited accessibility means skin removing positions to access the jubilee clips. Movies or pipe removal and cleaning? I wonder which will win out?