We left the Secas at about 10am. The wind as usual was about 2 knots from the SW, so we motored most of the 20 miles. Toward noon an onshore breeze developed and we were mostly sailing for a little while.
The guidebook mentioned that cruisers favored the Punta Jurel anchorage at Isla Parida. There is a small resort there that welcomed cruisers. So that is where we planned to stop. But on our way in, we passed close to Isla Gamez, and that looked just beautiful.
We went on in to Punta Jurel, and put the anchor down for lunch (we were starving by then). Either the resort is no longer functioning, or it is in sleep mode for rainy season. The beach looked junky (buckets and things scattered about) and not like it was being maintained as a resort. We could see one building in the trees with a guy sitting on the porch, but no other signs of life.
The anchorage itself was OK, but nothing special. So after a quick crew conference, we voted unanimously to go back out and anchor off Isla Gamez (only about a mile away).
This turned out to be a beautiful anchorage--the best so far on the Pacific side of Panama, in our opinion. Nice holding in heavy sand, a gorgeous beach with palm trees ashore, some wind to keep us cool, and very little swell. I could have stayed here for a week or more.
There were a couple of local boats picnicing at the beach on Sunday when we arrived, but they were gone by sundown. We had the whole place to ourselves all day Monday. We swam into the beach and found some coconuts. We burned our trash at low tide on the beach. There is supposed to be good snorkeling here, but again rainy season has rendered the water very cloudy, with only about 8 foot visibility. So we didn't even bother.
We got the usual evening heavy rain, with a little wind. But we were sheltered and secure. A very nice anchorage (this time of year).