We left Bahia Honda for Isla Catalina and ended up at Isla Cebaco instead. Once again, the wind piped up preventing us from heading northbound to Isla Catalina. We decided not to fight it and headed to Isla Cebaco. I'm glad we did because we ran into a great family on SV Windrose that we had met last cruising season. There is not much to Isla Cebaco. There is no civilization on land, but there is a barge that offers ice, beer, soda, wifi, and diesel. It's not exactly cheap, but in the middle of nowhere an ice cold Coke is pretty amazing. We waited here for a few days until we had a good weather window to head to Bahia Benao, then on to the notorious Punta Mala.,,
|The supply barge|
We did an overnight sail to Bahia Benao to wait for a good weather window around Punta Mala and into Panama City. By now, we expected to get our butts kicked every time we pulled anchor and set sail to a new destination. The kicking continued as we encountered inconsistent gusting winds coming from exactly where we needed to go. Sailing the Pacific Panama coast proved to be very challenging.
As we arrived at Bahia Benao we were faced with a decision to rush and leave the next day for a mediocre weather window around Punta Mala or wait another 7 days for a potentially better window. We decided to wait. This allowed us to re-provision in Pedasi, a cute town a 20 mile bus ride away. We also toured a tuna research center, surfed, and had too many happy hours and pizzas.
The wind does howl through the anchorage, however, there is little chop and it is very comfortable. The dinghy landing on the beach looks intimidating, but it is very doable on the east end of the beach.
Playa Benao is an up and coming surfer town with a lot of potential. We truly enjoyed our time there and can see it developing even more as a major tourist destination.