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Still Growing

High rise condominium construction seems to be ever-expanding though we aren't sure they are all selling. This view is from the Amador Causeway (Eleanor Linkkila photo).

Diablo Rojo in Balboa

Ancient American schoolbuses are re-born as "red devils" in Panamá City. They are color coded according the the route they serve, though most have additional elaborate decorations (Eleanor Linkkila photo).


One of the oldest cities in Panamá is fortified Portobelo, the port used to funnel all of the plundered gold from South America back to Europe.

Island Supply Ship

Portobelo´s protected waters are used by island supply vessels servicing the islands and bays that are unconnected by roads to the rest of Panamá

Black Christ

Each year pilgrims visit Portobelo to worship during the feast of the Black Christ (Eleanor Linkkila photo).

Molas in El Valle

About an hour and a half from Panamá City is the sleepy town of El Valle set in the valley of an extinct caldera. Dad (Peter Linkkila) is hamming it up for a magazine back home in CT that publishes photos of its readers in exotic locales (Eleanor Linkkila photo).


Our kitty - el gato supremo - enjoyed life in Panamá City. The activity around continuously entertained him.

Rembrandt at Museo Canal Interoceanic

An exhibit of etchings by Rembrandt was presented at the Interoceanic Canal Museum in Casco Viejo which gave us a perfect excuse to tour this old part of town.

Inside the Museum

We weren't allowed photos except for in the stairwell of this magnificent old building.

Fresnel Lens

Also in this stairwell was the enormous Fresnel lens that was used in the lighthouse (farol) at Isla Grande on the Caribbean shores of Panamá


Much of Casco Viejo remains in ruins but a renaissance has driven up real estate and many lovely homes are evident.

Social Life

Most restaurants in Casco Viejo are marketing to tourists and others of means. We did find a local place serving luscious cafeteria type fare with definite hints of Caribbean spice.


Being of Spanish colonial origins many renovated homes sport beautiful ironwork.


Flowers flourish in Panamá´s tropical climate, enhancing the lovely architecture.

Trinkets for the Folks Back Home

A few souvenir shops in Casco Viejo offer tasteful works by Panamanían artisans - at elevated prices.


Walking along we found something we might be able to afford, though once renovated this house will sell for around $1 million dollars.

Young Cruisers

Of our group - Philip of Cynosure, Bob of Horizons, Joe of Panacea and Casey and Jamie of Santa Magdalena - we only got a photo of the "Santa Magdalena Kids". They are standing on what remains of the wall originally built to protect the city during the privateering epoch.

Cadets in the Rigging!

This magnificent Mexican tall ship had all pennants flying with their sailors in dress whites standing on the yards as they proceeded up the canal to the Panamanian navy base.

Tito's Cats

The Balboa Yacht Club has two railways for pulling boats needing maintenance. Tito runs the show and has done so for over 50 years. At last count, Tito was feeding eight cats; this kitty is Tigre, one of Tito's favorites.

Rainy Season Sunset

By mid-May rainy season has arrived in Panamá, bringing cloudy cool weather and afternoon rains and beautiful sunsets over the Bridge of the Americas.

Carina Underway Again!

After months of struggling with Carina's engine, we found mechanic Kenny Breazeale who helped to get us going once more. Kenny and Philip smile as they enjoy a motor boat ride to Isla Taboga.

Leonides' Home

Leonides, an 87 year old Panamanian, occupies this house on the beach of Isla Pedro Gonzales. He boasted that he has two younger wives (47 and 76), 17 children and 72(!) grandchildren. Leonide is definitely NOT a poster child for population control.

A Closer View

Isla Pedro Gonzales

A typical Panamanian fishing boat is beached in front of Leonides' house.

Storm Approaching

On our second day at Pedro Gonzales, Tropical Dance, with Dan and Reylyn aboard, joined us at Don Bernardo.

Joe's Needlefish

Our friend Joe, of the sailing vessel Panacea, joined us in Isla Pedro Gonzales. He and Philip trolled for supper and Joe boated this mature Mexican Needlefish.

Pink Cloud Over Don Bernardo

This strange cloud appeared just before we experienced a severe thunder storm (note the storm clouds moving in on the right side of the photo). We watched from Carina's stern as lightning struck and damaged the French-flagged catamaran, Tam-Tam, shortly after this picture was taken.

Bananas on the Beach

Philip inspects these bananas or, more likely, plantains that were growing close to the beach on Isla Pedro Gonzales

Towering Cumulus

Rainy season in Panama: these types of storm clouds presaged rain, lighting and thunder.

Philip at Isla Espiritu Santo

Leslie's attempts to get grouchy Philip to smile for this photo failed. Philip wasn't impressed with this anchorage despite many glowing recommendations.

Waterspout Over Isla Del Rey

We sailed into this severe storm cell near Isla Del Rey while trying to move to another anchorage. In this photo, several waterspouts (dangerous tornados at sea) are beginning to form. Winds in this storm exceeded 30 knots with slashing rain that severely reduced visibility.

Water Spout!

This photo - which gives you a much better idea of the intensity of these little tornados - was taken by Pat and Maryann of Sailor's Dream in the Caribbean

Storm Approaching Isla Contadora

This photo shows how quickly storm cells move across the water. We beat this one and were safely anchored at Isla Contadora when it struck.

Hut on the "Nude" Beach

We watched last year as the producers of the "reality" show, Survivors, redecorated this hut for the photo shoot. This misty photo was taken across the crystal clear water on the south side of Isla Contadora as a morning storm cloud began to dissipate.


Summer (what we call summer but what Panamanians call winter) is humpback season in Las Perlas. This slick was caused by a momma and calf that swam within a boat length of Carina!

Nice Kids - Roman & Shadow

While anchored at Pedro Gonzales these teens came by fishing with a hand line and though shy, accepted a glass of Tang and later a gift of a small spinning rod.


These fishermen came in one day to clean their catch of 12' hammerhead sharks and offered us a gift of a huge red snapper. Not able to take beer (they were working), they relished the chocolate we gave them.

A Hard Day at the Beach

Cruisers are resourceful folks and exchange ideas, experiences and skills - though Philippe isn't opening up a salon anytime soon!


There were a surprising number of boats in Islas Las Perlas during the summer of 2008. And, of course, when there are boats together in an anchorage, a potluck is a must.


Panama is the land of orchids and this variety was everywhere during the late rainy season.

Old Growth

There remain in Las Perlas some remnants of old growth forest.

Lifesaving Skills

Sherry of Soggy Paws showed Philip a primative technique to take the husk off a coconut without tools, allowing us to eat should we be stranded on a tropical island.

Husk be Gone

After a dozen or more whacks the husk finally gave and the coconut emerged. Though not completely mature, itt did yield quite a bit of succulent meat.


We anchored just off this mansion at Contadora with an elevator serving the lower floors and dock. We were later told this had been Christian Dior's home, now willed to a former employee.

Another Tough Day at the Office

Isleta de la Cruz within Ensenada Don Bernardo has a set of stairs leading from the water to the crest of the island. This proved a great place for haircuts, too. (Photo by Susea McGearhart, Moody Blues)


Bacio is our nesting dinghy and is a great little boat to get around in. (Photo by Susea McGearhart, Moody Blues)

Don Bernardo Anchorage

The anchorage is quite spacious and well protected from SW swell, though wouldn't be a good place to park during dry season northerlies. (Photo by Susea McGearhart, Moody Blues)

Life is Grand

There's little that's better than a relaxing walk along a deserted beach. (Photo by Susea McGearhart, Moody Blues)

Back in the City Again

Cruisers joke that Panama is the "Emerald City" where all things are possible. From the Flamenco anchorage it certainly looks the part...

In the Spirit of Christmas

Handsome Jake posed patiently as we snapped a Christmas portrait.

Christmas 2008

Frank Nitte (Windsong) served us turkey and ham at the Christmas potluck held under the bohio at the Balboa Yacht Club.

Eggnog and Rum!

Mike (Walrus) and Timo (Pipe Dream) motored around on Christmas morning in La Playita anchorage dispensing eggnog laced with rum.

Making Merry

We joined 40 other cruisers and friends at the (closed) Balboa YC for a Christmas potluck.