Started Sailing in Las Perlas Islands in Panama

Sailing and Motoring to Isla Otoque, Panama

(December 21, 2020) Truth to be told for the last couple of months, I got addicted to political news on YouTube Videos. It was easy to do. Spending many hours watching videos made me feel bad. I don’t need to know the tips or cooking recipes suggested by an Artificial Intelligent Search Engine. My head ran in a cycle of happy and unhappy during the COVID Pandemic. As there is no choice, I have been learning “Waiting” for a better tomorrow, are vaccines a solution? Governments will let us know someday? In the meantime, I made fresh ginger/lemon tea, ate well, slept enough, and forced myself to adopt a non-stressful lifestyle.

On December 18th, we finally left the marina to sail in the Pacific Ocean, not to South Pacific but to the enchanted islands in Panama Pacific. We stopped over near Isla Otoque and Isla Bona, about 22 miles east from the Vista Mar Marina. No Internet but lots of birds singing, uninterrupted nature sounds. Wow… Our cats were busy all night running on the deck. Next day, we sailed to Isla Contadora, Northern side of the Las Perlas Archipelago.

LonelyPlanet says there are about 1400 islands in Panama (combined Caribbean Side and Pacific Side). Wiki site says there are “a group of around 39 islands and 100 islets (many of them small and uninhabited)” in Las Perlas Islands, Pearl Island! ( “The name comes from the abundance of pearls that existed in the area during the period of Spanish rule; in this area, the famous Pilgrim Pearl was found, owned by Felipe II and which was also owned by actress Elizabeth Taylor until her death in 2011.” The northernmost island is about 30 miles from the Panama City.

Christmas is approaching! New COVID cases are increasing in Panama. The country announced 82 hours of complete lockdown during the Christmas weekend (7pm on the 24th to 5am on the 28th) and also New Year’s weekend. In addition, women can go grocery shopping on the 21st, 23rd, 28th and 30th. Men only on the 22nd, 24th, 29th, and 31st until January 4th 2021 at 5am. It is like a return to the “Bad Old Days” during the first lockdowns here in Panama. We are so happy to be away from all the hustle and bustle of city life, it is much more relaxing being on the boat with fewer cares and day to day worries.

We don’t know which uninhabited island we will be staying at, or visiting. Today, we plan to sail/motor from Isla Contadora to Isla Chafera. Our plan is to keep going south until we run out of islands. We don’t know where our SimCard (internet) will work again. For now, we want to wish our families and friends the best with never ending dreams and a strong immune system.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year 2021! Love, Kay and John

Isla Bona, Panama
Fishermen at Dawn, Isla Otoque, Panama
A sailboat anchored by Isla Bartolome, Las Perlas, Panama
Nice houses and Beach in Isla Contadora, Las Perlas, Panama
S/V Bad Bunny at Isla Contadora Mooring Field, Las Perlas, Panama. Structure on the left is old beam for Contadora Marina Used to be (?).
A plane approaching the Contadora Island Airport. We were on a mooring ball too close to the runway and were told the next day to move to another one. With COVID, we thought the airport was not so active but it was active during our stay. Isla Contadora, Las Perlas, Panama

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