three hulls, two people, one trip around the world…

Las Perlas Islands

For New Year’s Eve and the New Year’s quarantine, we had retreated to Taboga. Under normal circumstances, this is a well-visited excursion island for Panamacity. Now we were almost alone. The water was much clearer than in the two bays near Amador.

New Year’s Eve was rather quiet. In the afternoon, there was loud music on shore and on a neighbouring yacht for a while, but the number of people kept within limits. Later, Susi sent us an article from an online newspaper reporting a wild party on a yacht in our bay. However, the film did not match what we had seen and our boat was not in the background either. Makes you wonder about the quality of reporting. There were a few small fireworks before 6 pm, and the curfew started at 7 pm.

We toasted to the New Year at German midnight. It was only 6 p.m. here, but this way we could go to bed at Sailor’s midnight and slept beautifully at the local midnight.

Ship on ship. That way you can also bring your boat home.

The change of scenery did us good. We returned to Panama City after quarantine, but it is psychologically difficult to get back into the regime of only being allowed ashore for 2 hours every other day and only for shopping.

So we didn’t stay long and left again in the direction of Las Perlas. That was very nice, there was little wind at first, then it freshened up.

After a 10 month break we were under sail again !!!!!!!!

After all, 10.4 kn maximum speed. Shortly before we arrived at the first island of the Las Perlas, an area of rain moved in, the wind became quite strong and we had to quickly take the sails down. It worked well without any problems. The last few hundred metres to the anchorage we motored. Everything is working again 🙂

We choose the anchorages according to mobile phone coverage. The islands are still part of the provinces where curfew applies. Not all people abide by it, but as a guest in the country you should behave properly.

For our onward journey we need a visa for the USA. Although you can enter the country for 90 days with an ESTA, this is only possible if one arrives on certain ships and you run the risk of being sent back if you don’t have the visa when clearing in. If you want to do everything properly, you need a visa. This is valid for 10 years and allows one to enter the country with a private yacht for 6 months at a time. We should have known that when we were still in Germany. But as borderless Europeans, we didn’t think about such things back then. It took me a whole day to fill out the questionnaires for us. The embassy in Panama is not actually responsible for us either, but when asked, at least they didn’t refuse to let us apply. Another form you have to click through. Without paying the fee in advance, you can’t submit the form at all. You can’t pay by credit card and depositing directly at the bank is difficult due to curfews and the fact that you have to print out the special deposit slip beforehand. So we activated our British debit card, which worked. Just have to exchange the money twice. The result was, of course, that no appointments are possible at the moment. I didn’t necessarily expect that there were any, as the embassy is closed until 15 January, but maybe there will be appointments from the 16th? Once again, we have to wait and see and ask again from time to time.

Honestly, our lives were supposed to become calmer and determined by fewer formalities. That hasn’t been so easy since Corona. But that is probably complaining at a very high level. First of all, we are happy to have sailed again!

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