We have been running between Colombia and Panama as crazy for a little bit over a month, so it was time for a change of scenery. Esa and Heidi arrived to our boat on the 25th of July after a 26-hour flight from their home country Finland.
Esa contacted us a couple of months ago via our website and we made up the plan to sail together in the San Blas Islands for a week. It´s always a bit tricky to make plans so far away in the future but we did well this time. Bay Dreamer came back from Colombia just a day before they arrived and we had to work pretty hard to get her ready in just a day.
Katrin is a hard worker so everything runs a little bit faster than usual. Meanwhile me and Anna went on a food shopping run, Katrin took the bus into Panama City to get some parts for the boat. Just minutes after we got back to the boat with all the food Esa and Heidi showed up in Portobelo.
We sailed over night from Portobelo to Isla Provenir in the San Blas were we have to do our internal clearance. We had pretty strong winds against us and Heidi got a small taste of how seasickness feels.
Because were are not on a tight schedule this time we have the opportunity to check out places we haven’t been to before- NO STRESS TIME!!
Just next to Provenir there is a small island called Wichbuhuala. We took our dingy here and a happy guy with the nick name “Happy Cat” let us tie up at his small dock. This island is pretty well populated compared to others and you will find small basic houses everywhere you go, you are actually walking in peoples backyards.
I really felt like a super-tourist when we were running around with our cameras 10 a ‘clock in the morning. Even if Wichbuhuala seems to be one of the main Islands in the area it is still VERY small and you will not be able to walk around unseen and pretend that you are the invisible man.
People were friendly but I got the feeling they preferred me NOT walking around in their backyard (wish I can understand). The place is very clean and tidy and on the island you will find a bakery where they also sell toothpaste and coffee, two small kiosks, one church, a school and also a place where you can buy diesel and water.
The Lemmon Cays, N09.32.71 W078.53.94
Just 2,5 miles east of Provenir you will find a group of islands called the Lemon Cays. I found it really tricky to enter these islands, many shallow areas, reefs and also a shipwreck right by one of the entrances that put me on full alert.
There are three entrances that leads into the center of the islands and the anchorage. We aborted our first approach of the southern entrance on the western side. I could not see a clear path and when Esa noticed that we only had 2 meters of water under us we made the decision to try out the entrance on the eastern side. That entrance was also really shallow but the water was a lot calmer wish makes it easier to see the reef. (The position for the eastern entrance: N09.32.46 W078.54.04)
You will find four small islands surrounding the anchorage and you find reefs with good snorkeling all over the place.
After we dropped our anchor we went on a exploration-dingy-tour to three of the islands. My favorite island is for sure Kagandup. The big boss on the Island is called Anizeto and is a truly happy guy with a big smile. The island super clean and had at least 3 small beaches to go with the many palm-trees and the four small huts. After having a fresh coconut served by the chief himself we left the island and went over to another island called Isla Elefante.
You wont get the “palm-tree-coconut-paradise-feeling” on this island but what you DO GET is a cold beer next to a beach volleyball-net and a pair of stupid big speakers. I also got the impression that this is a good place to buy diesel and gasoline.
Our dear friends Svetlana and Mirek came in yesterday afternoon with their boat S/Y Perle and dropped anchor just next to us. We used to sail almost side-by-side for over a month but it was almost two weeks sense we saw each other the last time. Mirek had his 2054th birthday two days ago so Anna and me wishes him CONGRATS for being one of the oldest man alive!!!
Over and out