San Blas, Panama

New country, so strange again to arrive somewhere new.  It took two nights and a day to get here, we have decided that whenever we sail the first 2 nights are the hardest, so we are both wiped!  So nice to be in clean water, so strange to not have any language skills (still working on that).  We made it to porvenir and have cleared in… I think that is becoming rapidly the most expensive part of our trip by far.  We’ve already had two canoes come and try to sell us Molas and fish…Hopefully we’ll be visiting lots of smaller islands where people actually live.  Seems that there is a $5.00 charge to visit each island on top of our clearing in fee… yikes.

The guides talk about parrots and monkeys, hope to see some!  Other than that, the immigration office was amazing, a window out to the sea and a palm tree, tropical paradise for sure.  Sounds like people here have a good quality of life too, hopefully I’ll slow down after a good nap and be able to relax and enjoy the slower pace of life.


A proper weekend, so lovely to have a break. We are enjoying our anchorage away from everyone else. I woke up this morning to watch the sunrise and a kuna canoe sailing past… It was beautiful! Last night two Kuna Indians using very strange small pieces of lumber paddled over to the yacht, Phil said, funny looks like they should have an outboard, and they did, with some difficulty we realized they had run out of gas, so Phil gave them some of ours and we got a fish in return, I filleted my first little guy!  He was pretty small, only good for an appetizer, but a delicious one at that. 

Delicious dinner on the bbq and a good breeze. Today, I’m going snorkelling, trying to get odd jobs done, like going through the food cupboard (found a moldy box of dried pasta, how is that possible), cleaned out the cockpit (found ANOTHER dead flying fish, gross) and sorted through a few other things, tonight, oiling some of the teak but most importantly, SNORKELLING!!! And hopefully visiting a deserted island!

Feb 3, 2011

We have been to three anchorages so far, and I think it is safe to say we both miss “home” our deserted island near sugar island.  We picked up anchor on Tuesday after a blowy, windy and grey few days.  It was so great to have a secure anchorage to wait that out and also a good lesson for me to remember that it is the weather that decides when and where we are going, not us (a humbling experience for miss Type A).  So, anchors up we headed past Green Island (sounded lovely in the cruising guide but was a parking lot filled with 21 boats) an up to Cocos Banderos, another lovely spot, not as sheltered and not as many boats to look for Bruce and Marcelle, didn’t see them, hoping htat they were tucked away somewhere safe and sound for the windy weather.

We headed down wind to Rio Diablo, a more modern village to our East.  Such a different place and how much things are beginning to open my eyes for the many different ways people live.  This modern village had women that didn’t wear traditional dress, cell phones, satellite tv, electricity, it also had no running water or indoor plumbing.  Bathrooms were small rooms on stilts above the ocean, not sure what people who lived inland did. I met some lovely little kids, lots of them shyly saying Ola as we walked past.  Stopped at a small shop, kind of, a thatch hut, with a counter and bought a few delicious tomatoes.   To collect water for washing and drinking they had to paddle their canoes across a stretch of fairly sheltered water toward Rio Diablo, if they had an engine they got the poles out and poled across the sandbar, once in the river it was probably at least a 20 minute paddle far enough upstream to collect clean water.  We had a hilarious time trying to pole our flimsy little origami boat over the mud, the paddles had holes in them where they pin together and those filled with mud, splattering both of us with each paddle. 

The river was magical, so many birds, the sounds were incredible and the peace after being in the village with the generator and the sounds of people.  The thing that was most amazing about it was the smell. Oh I wish I could bottle it, it smelled like Magic… flowers, fresh, clean, pure.  Trying to capture what the river did for our souls is impossible.  We met a man filling his buckets for home, the canoe was full and he was having his bath he told us with a grin. 

The only not amazing thing about the river was the bugs. I have no idea what bit me, I know that Phil has a few bites but my legs are COVERED and I don’t think I have ever itched this hard since I had chickenpox.  I wake myself up scratching, I haven’t realized I’m cheating until I realize I’m rubbing my legs against something slightly scratchy, oh the itch… So glad I was wearing a long sleeved shirt, I don’t think I will ever go without bugspray on a river again! 

So now we are at our newest deserted island, Going for another swim in the cloudy, cool windy weather. For a tropical paradise I feel like everything is in grey. Hopefully we will go to a traditional village and another river before we have to leave for Colon.  I’m falling in love with the Atlantic more and more every day.
I will miss it here

Leave a Reply.