Friday, October 1, 2021

Panama Again!


Linton Bay Marina restaurant, Panama.  Lots of cruisers hang out here.

Portobello ruins

Captain Steve fixing things on Aspen...

Portobello anchorage from the fort

Local bus in Panama with plenty of hp!

The unique Black Christ - Portobello, Panama

Maria walking the Spanish ruins in Portobello, Panama

Captain Steve on guard duty in Portobello, Panama

Nombre de Dios, Panama.  Once the richest city on Earth.

Nombre de Dios, Panama

Aspen, before going back into the water at Shelter Bay Marina Boatyard, Panama

Houston Airport - It has to be the most unfriendly place to catch a flight!  There are no places to sit at the gates, except at the restaurants where you order food on the iPads. The airport is very modern and probably how the future looks for air travel.

Aspen back in the water at Shelter Bay Marina, Panama - yea!

S/Y Aspen – October 1, 2021 – Log #174

Aspen Position: 09 degrees 22’ N, 079 degrees 57’ W

Shelter Bay Marina, Colon, Panama


Panama, land of sweltering heat, humidity, the Panama Canal and best of all, where Aspen was waiting for our return.  Panama is where we are now.

With Aspen on land for only three months in the Panamanian jungle, we discovered there was a lot to clean when we got her back into the water.  Luckily Maria was here to take control of the nasty process for making Aspen look pristine once again.  Of course Steve helped when he could, so it was a team effort.  Most of Aspen’s systems worked, luckily, and grocery provisioning is still ongoing for the voyage ahead.

We always have time to play so it isn’t all work work and more work on Aspen. 

Visiting Nombre de Dios was simply amazing.  This is where Columbus landed in 1501 on his fourth voyage and named the Bay where he rode out a ferocious storm, and his fleet survived: Nombre de Dios (In the Name of God!). 

Gold and silver from the conquered Inca Empire transited through this once richest town in all of the Americas (Nombre de Dios), in the early 1500’s, where the stolen loot was loaded onto Spanish galleons bound for Spain. 

But after 10 years, this main route from Panama City, was abandoned because the Bay of Nombre de Dios was indefensible.  

The Spanish then moved their gold and silver base to nearby Portobello.  Portobello then became the wealthiest city in the world, as history recorded.  Richest city until the likes of Captain Henry Morgan, Sir Francis Drake and British privateers (pirates) constantly attacked the town, while burning and looting everything in sight.  Harassing the Spanish became a cause célèbre for the British that resulted in this area being named The Spanish Main.

Exploring Panama is not for the faint of heart.  We’ve posted a video showing how things operate and the traffic we must negotiate to get anywhere in Panama.  Even though it is a movie, there isn’t a lot of movement!  Traffic here makes rush hour back home look like a walk in the park…

This Saturday, tomorrow Oct. 2nd, we are scheduled to transit the famous Panama Canal, from the warm Caribbean waters to the mighty Pacific Ocean.  Peaceful, if only the Pacific would live up to its’ name!

Transiting the Panama Canal will take us two days.

If you want to watch Aspen and crew transit the Panama Canal, here is the link for the camera at Gatun locks that we should transit tomorrow, Saturday, about 4 pm (Central Time).

Then on the second day, this Sunday, we should be in the Miraflores Locks and in camera range around 11 am (Central Time).

We will also have our Garmin tracker working so you can see when we approach the various locks:


Sail on, sail on Aspen…


Fair winds,

Steve and Maria

PS -

1. Our updated sailing book, Voyage Into Hell, is available at (

2. And the new addition for the book, Leadville Trail 100; History of the Leadville Trail 100 Mile Running Race is also available at (


  1. Hi Cpt Steve and Maria. Our first year married we lived in Panamá city. Good memories, enjoyed your mini travelogue about it. The traffic was legendary in 1974, too. The traffic cops controlled the intersections with hands and body movement. Portobello hasn’t changed much. Enjoy the travels! Dan & Anne

  2. Hi Steve! I’m trying to contact you, I’m on Easter island. If you can write back to me will be great.