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Updated May 2014 Includes Panama coast, San Blas Islands, Providencia Colombia, Bocas del Toro Panama all  taken in 2013. (What can I say but sorry, we're a little slow about getting photos posted.)

Mar 2013 Panama - The King Mackerel caught off the coast of Escudo De Veraguas. Notice the smaller fish the Mackerel spit up. Apparently he was feeding when the lure passed close by and he could not resist one more tasty bite.

Mar 2013 Panama-It's a little hard to see but this is the fort at the mouth of the Rio Chagras. (Laura almost ran us aground while taking this photo during a zigzag we were making to get past sandbars at the entrance. Capt. Jim was on the bow watching diligently for shallows. With a panicked look, he turned and shouted, "Laura, what's our depth?" which she immediately interpreted as "Pay attention, wench!" and made a minor course adjustment and all was well.)

Motoring up the Rio Chagras is much like the Rio Dulce in Guatemala but on a smaller scale. We heard howler monkeys and saw toucans.

A Howler Monkey inspecting the intruders as we walked through the jungle on our way to see the dam and locks. They are not big monkeys but they certainly have a big sound.

A large ship with it's pilot boat lined up waiting to enter one of the canal locks.

May 2013 Canal Caribbean Side - The Panama Canal with ships in the locks. Amazing sight being so close to these huge vessels. The traffic is from small towns along the coast north of the Rio Chagres. They have to come here to cross the locks and get to Colon and beyond to the other side of Panama-Panama City on the Pacific side.

Mar 2013 Portobelo Panama - A sailing cruise ship at anchor in the richly historic town of Portobelo just east of the Panama Canal.

Portobelo anchorage on a cloudy and blustery day. When we were here 4 years ago, there were less than a dozen boats. This year over 70.

Apr 2013 Turtle Bay Panama-Shoes, especially flip-flops, are prevalent on many islands. Of course you can never find a matching pair.

This beach is near Turtle Cay Marina. Notice all the trash that has washed up on the beach. I guess most beaches in the world would look like this if nobody were around to keep the beaches clean. This is not the worst we have seen. Itís very sad.

This is whatís left of a Man-O-War jellyfish. This one washed up in heavy surf. They are very colorful and very poisonous. They have a large purple and pink air-filled bladder that floats above the water that is pushed by wind and waves to move them around in the sea with the lethal tentacles strung out below the water.

The mega yacht Nirvana in the San Blas Islands. Notice the helicopter arriving to land on the yacht. What could be so important?????

Apr 2013 SanBlas Islands Panama-A Lionfish Laura speared. These fish are not native to this part of the world and allegedly spread to the Caribbean after a hurricane destroyed an aquarium. They are harmful to the Caribbean environment as they feed voraciously and have few enemies. We are encouraged to kill these fish whenever possible. Once you get rid of the nasty stinging spines, you can filet like most other fish and they are quite good; the meat is light, white and flaky.

A fisherman scaling a bonefish for us. Many of the boats in the same anchorage bought these large fish and we all tried different ways of cooking them. They are a popular sport fish for fly fishermen, but will not be overfished for food. Yes, the name tells it all.

An Ulu (wooden canoe) with two native Kuna women filled with driftwood. Many of the Kunaís cook over wood fires. The bread they make, little torpedo shaped loaves, is very delicious. They cost .15 to .25 cents each depending on the size.

Some of the small but beautiful islands in a small group called the East Lemmons. Notice the small wood huts where the Indians live. They sometimes take turns living on these further outlying islands for months at a time and certain groups are more enterprising than others: some having restaurants even resorts or Molas, trinkets, fish or bread for sale. There is even one island dedicated to growing bananas and other fruit that arenít normally found on most of the islands. If nothing else, they might have coconuts and you can usually buy one for $1 or less.

Laura took this photo of a school of Squid while snorkeling one afternoon. They are very curious and hover almost motionless just out of reach. They will squirt ink and bolt away if startled.

The mainland of Panama with one of the San Blas islands in the foreground.

May '13 San Blas Panama-We occasionally have gecko that some way make it aboard Nilaya. We currently have two of these creatures. Laura sometimes feeds them a piece of fruit. This one is eating watermelon (sandia) and sipping whatís left of a cerveza. Heís very fond of beer and has no brand preference that we know of.

San Blas-A boat came by with some smoked fish that we decided to try. It was quite good.

Providencia June 2013 Ė There are many activities around the island that we enjoy. Here is an arena soccer game. We usually found these happening at night.

Boats zigzag across the bay during the catboat races during Carnival week.

Dancers Ė One week there was a Cultural Fair. Here young costumed dancers entertain the crowd with dances from days gone by.

One crew member on each sailboat is tasked with bailing water out of the boat because it heels over so much. Many boats capsize, the crew sets it upright, bails and starts off again, usually. If not, they get rescued and towed by a launch.

Everyone is cruising the streets on the eve of Carnival Weekend, just after the Cultural Fair Week.

Waiting to get wet. Little did we know how wet we would get. After a boat parade of the beauty queen contestants around the bay, the water fight started where the boats start zipping past each other trying to spray other boat passengers with wake water. They also would back up to each other with their large outboards tilted for maximum spraying effect, which they did to us on our poor little sitting duck sailboat, all because we spritzed them with a few sprinkles from our washdown pump. It was fun but I don't think we'll participate in the future unless we could have a fire hose stream of water otherwise we just can't compete.

There were many informative talks during the cultural fair regarding medicinal plants. We got together with other cruisers who attended and toured some local farms that are growing the plants.

Providencia June 2013 Jim had a birthday while we were in Providencia so friends got together for pizza. Little did he know that the real party was a few days later at a friendís house where we had a huge picnic with BBQ seafood, salads, and more. It was a big surprise and answered a lot of worrying questions Jim was having about strange things Laura was doing. Including getting $150 from the ATM - Laura told Jim she needed cash for something to drink (he wasn't expected to check the bank account so soon!), but was really to buy food and supplies for his surprise party.

One of the presenters at the cultural fair was Jim! He had a slide show to explain why the boaters like to come to Providencia, at least from our point of view.

Providencia June 2013- After surviving itís bout, men remove the spurs from a fighting cock.

June 2013 Providencia Island, Colombia Jockey warms up his horse riding it to the starting line for the race. Video of Carnival Providencia horse race on You Tube = http://youtu.be/SLAabGqhGZM

Providencia Colombia June 2013- Parking lot fills up for the festivities during Carnival.

Canal July 2013 - A large ship passed us that was coming through the canal from the Caribbean side. The British Navy Ė Note the uniform shorts.

Panama Canal July 2013 - When friends Jay and Marilyn came to visit, we met them in Panama City and went on a Canal Tour Boat. As you enter the canal, the Bridge of Americas spans the entrance to the Panama Canal on the Pacific side.

Panama Canal Pacific Side July 2013 - This huge ship holds thousands of cars. They call this a RO RO (row row) short for Roll on - Roll off. To get a perspective of the size, notice the people standing in the opening at the bow.

Panama Canal July 2013 Cargo Ship Ė Stacks and stacks of containers. This is not the largest of the container ships. Note that only the lower rows of containers are secured to the boat. If the seas get heavy enough to sway the stacks, they would rather the containers fall off rather than sink the boat. If they do fall off, they are supposed to sink but there have been instances where other ships have hit partially submerged containers, but it is rare thanks goodness!

Bocas-Almirante Bay July 2013 Sunset over the mainland of Panama, Caribbean side. Red sky at night, sailorís delight!

Bocas July2013 - Friends Jay and Marilyn came from the States to visit for a few days so itís time to raise the party flags!

Bocas July 2013 We anchored near a small beach with a few cabanas offering cool beverages and the typical loud music on the stereo. These are not your normal beach chairs so we wondered what defunct hotel or cafe they scrounged them from.

Bocas del Toro Panama July 2013 A pretty green Anemone among lots of sea life spotted while snorkeling. Snorkeling inside the bays is not as great as say the beautiful islands of the Guna Yala San Blas, but it's still enjoyable.