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Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Friendly Isla Contadora Cruiser Competition - Beach Bocce Ball


All too often we don’t know a soul in our anchorage and that’s if we’re not the only boat anchored.   While we love the solitude, sometimes it gets kinda lonely and we crave some good social connection. 
 
We’re anchored a stone’s throw from this beautiful
Isla Contadora beach, surrounded by the clearest
 water we’ve seen since Florida’s Dry Tortugas.
Thus, we were tickled when the friendly folks Jody & Stephen from Blue Pelican, another Pearson, sailed into “our” Ilsa Contadora anchorage. 
 
Jody first rescued us when we were desperate for an internet-based weather report in Panama’s Shelter Bay marina.  We’d arrived just after the office closed, which meant no local Wi-Fi password for internet.  Jody kindly let us log onto her system in the marina library to check the forecast.  We had little time to get to know each other, as Jody and Stephen were a day away from passing through Panama Canal – about a week before we planned to. 



Bocce ball explanation begins….
Players, left to right, Stephen of Blue Pelican,
Randy and his wife Dawn of Nirvana Now,
Jody of Blue Pelican, and my hubby, Wayne
(and me, not pictured because as usual, I’m taking the photo).

Yet I was so sure we’d meet again, I loaned Jody our treasured copy of “The Curve of Time” a true story of a single mother who cruised in the Pacific Northwest with her five children on a small sailboat back in the late 1920s.  It’s an area we cruised and plan to return to, and the book was given to us by an Ellen Anderson, a friend we cruised with there.

Indeed, not long after we completed our Panama Canal Caribbean to Pacific transit, and anchored in Panama City’s La Playita, Jody and Stephen dinghied up to welcome us with a flask of ready-made G&T to drink.  We drank to that!  We also appreciated their excellent Panama City provisioning and transportation advice.  They tipped us off to Fred, the cruiser-friendly English-speaking taxi driver, who we found tremendously helpful in our resupplying efforts.




At Las Perlas’ Ilsa Contadora, Jody & Stephen instigated a game of Bocce Ball and sundowners on the beach, inviting their frequent buddy boaters, Dawn and Randy of Nirvana Now and us.  “Bring something to drink,” Jody suggested.  “Curry afterward, at Blue Pelican.”


Impressive array of bocce balls, considering the one  we were
 aiming for was pinned below the pink and green pair at the top. 
Alas, our team was the green team.
As the sun dipped down, we gathered on the beach and got the (bocce) balls rollin’.  It was a good spirited game, and we enjoyed ourselves even if we lost, 3-0.  Bocce is the perfect cruiser past-time.  The game’s simple, it’s hard to be too competitive playing a game most of us never or rarely played before, and all it takes is a little space. Thanks to a barnacle cut on my right index fingertip from cleaning our hull, I even tossed left-handed no more poorly than I would’ve with my dominant hand.



Dawn’s toss is so lighting fast, she’s a blur of motion.  Or so it seems.

 



Jody’s impressive and stylish bocce ball form. 
She was one of the better shots.  Really.  Usually, anyway.
 
Funniest shot of the day….
Jody’s ball ricocheted from a ball, to the
 tree branch, nestling in a driftwood trunk. 
She was, justifiably, quite proud of it!
Randy and Stephen look on, studiously, whilst someone else winds up for their lob. 
 
Jody’s curry was fantastic but yummy as it was, it placed a distant second to great conversations and the forging of new friendships.  We’re typically not good social initiators; as a result we’re especially grateful when another cruiser takes the lead and welcomes us into the fold.
Blue Pelican and Nirvana Now are leaving around when we are, though their plan is to bypass the Galapagos and head straight for the Marquesas.  We hope to catch up with them again when we get to the Marquesas.

Location Location

We loved our Las Perlas anchorage (N08.37.393 W79.01.870) off Isla Contadora and its idyllic beach. Thankfully, we were able to get our v-drive to cooperate and, as of March 2nd, we were humming along at 6+ knots to the Galapagos.  NO7.19.703.  W79.22.200.  We estimate it will take us about 10 - 14 days, sailing 1,000 miles 24/7.  Today, March 4th, we entered Lat N04 - Galapagos is @ the equator (0).