Monday, January 25, 2010

Ahhhh, San Blas

We have arrived in Paradise, Kuna Yala, the San Blas Islands in Panama. For anyone who has Google Earth, our position is N09.35.010, W078.40.409, anchored at Banedup in the Eastern Holandes, Kaimou Group, San Blas Islands, Panama.

We finally left Cartegena on Sunday morning, January 10th. Should have had at least the prop cleaned before we left, after spending two weeks in that filthy anchorage. Only averaged 2-3 knots going out the channel under motor. Sailed to the Rosarios, and after a very, very challenging day, finally anchored around 3 p.m. (Dennis was looking at Winnebago brochures!) We were not thrilled with the Rosarios. Reefs all over, extremely challenging navigating, jellyfish and way, way too many boatboys. The same boat came over three times to ask me if I wanted a papaya the size of a basketball! No!! But, I bought one just to keep everyone else away!

Terrible anchorage. Two inches of sand over a Walmart parking lot, and then tons of coral reefs thrown in. We held for three days in pretty high winds, and then when the wind died on the fourth day we dragged. Re-anchored, then dragged again at 8 at night. Oh yeah, that's fun re-anchoring in the dark. Left the next day for San Bernardos and that was heaven! For two days we were the only boat there - yes, solitude! Local boats went by and waved, but no one bothered us. Shared the anchorage for another two days and then pulled up anchor at 4 a.m. on Monday, January 18th to head to the San Blas.

San Bernardos

We decided to skip Isla Pinos and head directly to the Eastern Holandes to catch up with our friends Dan and Jaime on Nereia who are heading back to the States. We plotted a route to go around the northern end of San Bernardos, and 35 hours later we were anchored next to Nereia. It wasn't a bad sail overall. We had 12-15 knots of wind, rollers of 6-8 feet, but they were spaced far apart. It just wasn't a good sail for Dennis as he got queasy at night, which made my watches really long since he felt better when he slept. Dan and Jaime met us in the dinghy at the cut to come into the anchorage and guide us in. Then, in typical Nereia fashion, Jaime made pasta soup, Dan made bread, and they brought both over with a bottle of wine to celebrate being together again after two years.

Nereia, Audrey Paige and Uhane at anchor in the Hollandes

It's been wonderful catching up with Nereia, seeing Harry and Elaine on Zydeco again, Jeff and Una on Dragonfly, Steve and Vicky on True Companions, Stefan on Sawadi, and Gary and Linda on Rainbowrider just pulled in tonight. Hoping to meet up with Frank and Gretchen on Infinity next week. We met Brian and Debbie on Uhane through Nereia and, wow, does Debbie have talent. She paints better than we could even take photos! Absolutely amazing! Their blog is Check out her photo page to see her paintings.

Dinner aboard Rainbowrider

Have decided we'll be here in the San Blas for the next couple of years! So many islands, beautiful water and friendly people.

HEAVEN!! ~~_/)~~

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