At 11am we all board the cat and after the bed allocation and a quick briefing it was time to set sail. We knew we had a long sail ahead of us we were told anywhere between 32hrs and 48hrs depending on the wind and the seas. The first 15mins was fine and then we hit the rough seas, I asked Fritz the captain is this rough and he confirmed no this is the best it's been all year and we had chosen the best week so far this year. Keeping that in the back on my head for those next 37hrs made me feel a bit better. The sailing during the day was nice but when night hit it was time to dose up on motion sickness tablets and try to sleep through the night. Surprisingly we did pretty well but a few on the boat did not have the best night sleep. The people that didn't get sea sick had to get up and do night shift, if they saw any lights or the auto pilot beeped they would have to wake Fritz up. I was one of the sick ones but Junior got up and did his shift. While on shift he thought it would be a good idea to read but later ended up feeding the fish.
The next day was all sailing and we were due to arrive in the San Blas islands at around midnight. I was going to stay up but then thought it was just going to be dark once we arrived so I headed to bed.
The next morning was an early rise for everyone, I think we were all very excited, like Christmas. As soon as we got up we jumped into the beautiful Caribbean sea and it was amazing. We grabbed some snorkeling gear and went to check out what was going on underneath while we waited for breakfast. After breakfast it was back in the sea to check out some fish and reefs. There was plenty of snorkeling stuff for everyone which was good. That night we anchored in between 2 beautiful islands had an amazing dinner and then played cards all night long.
The next day after another beautiful breakfast we set sail to check out a few more of the islands. It was amazing spending the days swimming with spotted blue rays, eating great food and just chilling out with great company.
After 5 days we ended up in Panama, Portobello which is the immigration town. We had a few problems with immigration as they were trying to get us to pay for a visa to enter the country. After about 2 hours it was time to catch a bus to Panama City. First we had to catch this old American school bus which they had painted crazy and had put a huge stereo system, this bus was going to get us to Colon. The first bus came past and it was jammed packed with school kids. We tried to get on but then figured out no chance, so we all jumped off but 1 (Bebe from Bulgaria) as soon as the bus drove away she then realised that no one else was on it. The last thing we heard her say was "What have you done to me?"! Poor girl. She did later end up in Panama City safely which was great to hear.
We waited for the next bus which was way better so we all piled in. It was about 2 hours to Colon in this chicken bus with the loudest Panamanian music pumping out and then we had to catch another bus to Panama city and then from the bus station to a hostel. We finally arrived about 6 hours after getting off the boat. We found a great hostel and ended up catching up with a few from the boat for dinner that night which ended up been Burger King (Hungry Jacks for everyone in Perth).
In Panama City of course the most popular thing to do is to visit the Panama Canal. We caught a taxi out there check out the museum and then waiting for a ship to arrive at the lock. It was actually really interesting to see. For a large cargo ship it can cost up to $250,000. Also the largest ship that's able to go through is 33 metres as the lock is only 34 metres wide! Panama City itself is crazy. Very very American with Dunkin Doughnuts, Burger King, Hard Rock Cafe, Hooters etc everywhere. There are so many high rises and so so so much money every car apart from beaten up old taxis are Mercs, Audis or Beemers. Only 8% of Panama’s annual income is from the Canal and we guess the rest is from the banking.