While we were anchored in Manuel Antonio cove we took turns scrubbing the water line of the boat. We really need a bottom paint job to keep the growth off, but in the meantime it just means a little sweat labor. Unfortunately we are growing our own little tropical reef below us. As Mike was scraping the algae off, little larval crabs were floating away. When we got back to the boat Mike thought he had water in his ear that he couldn't get out. Turns out it was a little crab and it had found a new home. Now if that had been me, I would have fully freaked out and probably stuck a fork in my ear to get it out. Instead Mike calmly asked me to try and pull him out. We eventually irrigated his ear with Witch Hazel and the crab floated out. It's always something out here! So far, knock on wood, I haven't had to put my EMT skills to much use. A few scrapes, a light sprain for Porter (only he could fall into the deep end of an empty swimming pool), and a few cases of swimmers ear. So far so good!
We also stoped at Isla Cano, another national park on our way south. Again, we couldn't stop, we couldn't dive with our own gear and we couldn't get permission to land on the island from the island. We were supposed to get permission ahead of time from the mainland. Officially we didn't anchor, but we did take turns jumping in and snorkeling off the rocks. Reef fish are getting more colorful and we are starting to see different kinds of coral. Zander was hoping to see some reef sharks, supposedly this island is second only to Coco's Island as a dive spot. We would have loved to have gone diving here, but we would have had to hire a boat from the mainland and dive with a dive master at $150 each. Kind of defeats the purpose of having your own boat, dive compressor and dive master on board. It was a nice stop anyway and break from our passage to Panama.
I would certainly return to Costa Rica, but not by boat. It is expensive, the winds are super strong in the north and almost non existent in the south, the parks are incredibly popular and the clearing in and out of the country was a nightmare. Mike spent almost two whole days clearing out in Punta Arenas, including 4 trips to the bank, 11 government buildings and a lot of waiting in lines (on occasion an official would coincidentally become available just after a televised soccer game finished up). On a tangent, they do love their soccer here and Porter is popular anytime he wears his Barcelona jersey. National pride runs deep, but Lionel Messi seems to transcend lines of national patriotism. Messi is a God everywhere we go.
We arrived early this morning and anchored off our first official Panamanian Island. We dropped the hook just 16 miles shy of our desired anchorage of Parque Isla Seco. After 30 hours at sea the wind increased to over 20 knots right on the nose. Normally that wouldn't stop us, but we were tired, it was 5 am and when we looked at the speed decrease to 3 knots per hour we just didn't want to beat into it for another 4 hours. Instead we tucked into a quiet little cove off of Isla Partida and we seem to have the place to ourselves. After the kids finish their homework we will probably explore a little and then poke back out and see if we can cover the last few miles before sundown.