You know it's time to leave a country when your courtesy flag looks like this.
Panama sheltered us for seven long months, through the rainy season and into the dry. We met incredible people, spent three months luxuriating in the San Blas, searched for elusive forest creatures, ate lots of fish, wandered through the ruins of Spanish forts and American ones, snorkled through some of the best reefs on the planet and took Bettie back through the Panama Canal, a highlight of our trip for me.
But, of course, there were some things we didn't like - the rainy season, getting overcharged, grumpy locals and the bland food to name a few. Of course, not all the locals were grumpy, but rarely was anyone overtly friendly, especially if we were trying to, heaven forbid, purchase something. And not all the food was completely tasteless, but overall local Panamanian cuisine consists of chicken and rice, repeat. Though I will admit, they do make a darn fine hot sauce.
I never would have guessed that we would spend such a long time in one country, but the truth is Panama has a lot going on, a ton of coastline to explore and islands to visit. You could spend years there and never see it all.
Our last peek at Panama were the Islas Secas where we spent three days swimming, boat scrubbing, fishing and loving a gorgeous anchorage off of Isla Cavada. Vlad shot me two fish, and he got to swim with a rather curious sea snake, a highlight of the trip for him. On our last day, we moved to another island in the Secas and spent the afternoon on the beach, picking up coconuts and eating lunch with a couple other cruisers, our only human contact in two weeks. The water was perfect, the beach a dream. I can't think of a better goodbye to Panama.