From a distance we see how a dark grey mass lifts from the water. A huge sea animal surrounded by white foam breaches the water surface and decends into to the Pacific Ocean with a huge splash. A Whale! We alter course to meet the creature from up close but even before doing so I see another black-grey giant slide through the water in front of us. And another, and another. Next to us, in front of us and behind us we see whales swimming. We stop the boat in order to enjoy these animals.
When we left in the morning, we did not expect to see whales that fast. But our departure was, like the weeks before, rather hectic as a result of the never ending to do lists. because of this at departure we are rather distracted and leave low key. Heavily loaded and with a hull full of seaweed we wave goodbye to the couple of boats which are left at anchor. We are first bound for the Las Perlas islands, some 35 Miles south west of Panama city
On our way to the Las Perlas we are running rather slow as a result of the weeds on the bottom of the boat. With not more than 4 knots we make our way south while the Pacifc shows us the wonders she has in store. The whales give us 15 minutes to enjoy them from a distance while they glide along. And in the hours which follow we see more sealife than in tje year before. We see hundreds of rays, pelicans, dolphins, sharks, seaturtles and schools of fish; one species after another. The Ocean is teaming with life. It is overwhelming.
The Las Perlas
The Las Perlas islands are largely uninhabited with dense vegetation and home to thousands of Pelicans which stain the trees white with their excrements. In three days we stop at four islands and use the stop overs to clean the hull and check out the islands. The final day a local lad from a small village helps us to dispose of our garbage and fill up the water tank to the brim. Next month we will have to make do with the water we have on board.
Thousands of lights in the water
The first island after we leave Las Perlas we motor on a sea as flat as a mirror. We glide along groups of rays as far as the eye can see which seem to fly throug the water and jump out of the water. The sunset is as impressive but the most beautifull comes when the sun makes way for the stars. The phosphorescent water lights up and when a group of dolphins joins us. We lie down on the foredeck and enjoy the sparkling lights under water in the shape of the dolphins which ride our lumenescent bow wave. We can hear them breathing. Magic. The first night on the Pacific was special, we are very curious to see what follows. Still 4000 miles to go.