We had a great conch fritter feast aboard Soggy Paws (SP) before Ty left. We bought 8 big conchs, and 4 HUGE crabs for $25. A feast for 7 of us. Ty was tan and quite relaxed when he boarded the commuter flight for Panama City. We were asked to move Infini, as our mast was an obstacle for the once a day flight. We thought we were clear, but I guess we didn't factor in a chance for pilot error.
We had a wonderful dinghy trip up the Rio Diablo with SP yesterday. A great jungle river...no pollution!...the Kuna's have burial grounds along it, and small areas where they harvest bananas, yucca, or corn. The wildlife watching is great. We had to portage over shallow areas, and go around logs/trees in the way. We cooled off floating down a short area of shallow rapids...and found a 90' vine to swing out on Tarzan style. All was great until the vine broke on Ty's second turn! It brought back memories of the Weeki Wachi.
at 8:11 AM
We motored the 6 miles to W. Coco Bandero Cays, following Soggy Paws; cloudy skies, in light intermittent rain. The black rain squalls have been missing us- we could use a heavy downpour to fill the tanks. This is another group of scenic islands, with towering palm trees, white sand beaches and crystal clear water. We hope the weather clears to explore the wrecks and reefs in the area...many within swimming distance from the boat. Yesterday Ty put scuba gear on to scrape the barnacles and scrub the bottom of Infini with a brush. We've been keeping up with the water line growth...but any time spent in marinas and harbors is hard on boat bottoms. We've had a few afternoon volleyball games while at the Swimming Pool--the net is strung between two very tall palms. A big danger is falling coconuts...one fell directly on a straw hat...thank goodness it wasn't on the owner's head at the time!
at 7:52 AM
We're anchored in what the cruisers call the "swimming pool" here in the Eastern Holandes Islands. The water (10ft) is so clear you can see the fish swim by, and 'barbecue island' as the gathering place is a popular hang out for cruisers. We snorkeled "the caves" yesterday (a series of rock ledges, or grottos which communicate with each other). I never seem to tire of swimming among the many incredible things to see...different corals, anenomes, tropical fish, etc. Ty & Michael went to a wreck to try to shoot some dinner. No luck yet. Soggy Paws has been to these places and led us and another dinghy using their hand held GPS.
The names of the islands are a tongue twister. Banedup, Ukupsuit Tupu, Miriadiadup, Nuinudup, Uchutupu Pippi, and 300+ more!
We've spent a night at the East and West Lemons, only 8miles from here. Short day hops to the next group or reef area to explore. We'll be slowly working our way to Nargana, where Ty flies out next week.
at 1:53 PM
Our first anchorage in the San Blas Islands of Kuna Yala is Chichime. We've been visited by the local Kuna Indians coming out in their ulu's, one selling lobster, another mola's, and even fresh fruit and veggies this am. We were visited by master mola maker 'Venancio'--his work is collected worldwide. He will 'sign' (sew) his name on if you ask.
We previously spent two nights at Isla Linton, meeting up with our friends on Soggy Paws who are picking up their daughter & her boyfriend...and hopefully joining us back here in the San Blas. Ty met the sloths. I'll have to post pictures when we get internet. The bilge hose has been changed, the rode to the Danforth anchor has been switched out....it's time to get the dinghy in and go snorkeling. This is really a picturesque area with many small islands, some with grass huts, white sandy beaches, and palm trees. Over 340 to explore!
at 3:26 PM
We've been officially slothed....we visited 'Summer Place', a beautiful home close to the dinghy dock in town, owned by Roger & Bennie. (Ex cruisers)
They've got 3 spoiled sloths now living with them (from infants) as 'pets', the youngest just a year old. They are the strangest creatures, only because they're so foreign to me! They don't shed, don't smell, are potty trained, move very slowly, don't make a lot of noise, and like to hug! What can be better than that? We'll post some pictures when we get internet access.
We took a day road trip to Panama City with Owen & Betty from 'Hiatus'...they keep a car in Puerto Lindo. The 2½ hr. drive is an adventure in itself. It is always so nice to go to a big city with someone who knows the lay of the land. We got a case of Perkins oil filters...M's a happy camper!
We're heading toward Colon; will keep the boat a few nights at the PCYC (Panama Canal Yacht Club) while we meet Ty in the city.
at 4:07 PM