Have you ever had one of those moments when someone helped you without any prompting and left you feeling pretty darn relieved? Well, something just like that happened to us when we were anchored outside of Green Turtle Cay Marina. We had just left the San Blas, and the tradewinds and the accompanying six to nine foot seas were blasting. Our plan was to pick up fuel at the marina so that our tanks would be topped up before going through the canal, preferably after spending the night in the anchorage.
Unfortunately, that particular anchorage was not as tranquil as the last time we dropped the hook here on our way to the San Blas. In fact, there were some pretty big rollers coming through, an uncomfortable way to spend an evening for those of you who haven’t experienced the joys of sleeping while bouncing before. But we weren’t too troubled. It’s just one night, and we’d experienced WAY worse.
But then we saw this man who was standing on the marina breakwater with a Rottweiler motioning for us to come inside. This man was Yogi, the manager of Green Turtle and a fixture in this area of Panama after working for years at Isla Elephante in the San Blas. Before we knew it, we were ensconced in a slip and enjoying all the privileges that being attached to land has to offer – mainly the ability to take a walk without having wet, salt-ridden shorts from the dinghy ride.
And we got two nights in the marina sans charge. If you purchase diesel from them, which we did, you get a free night, and if you’re a first-time customer, which we were, you get a free night as well. It was an odd – and pleasant - marina experience, not only to not be overcharged but to not be charged period. The marina is steadily growing, adding amenities like restrooms and showers, as well as haulout facilities. Yogi said that they hope to have the haulout up and running by March, meaning that Shelter Bay, the only marina on this side of Panama with a haulout yard, would finally have some competition. (Currently, Shelter Bay’s prices are so high that we are forgoing a bottom job until we get to someplace more reasonable - like back on planet Earth.)
We don't stay in marinas often, but we thought we'd give Green Turtle a shout out because of their excellent hospitality.