Monthly Archives: June 2014

Panama! 6/30

Just a quick update to let everyone know that we made it out of Providencia after only 6 weeks, and are now safely tied up to the dock at the Bocas Yacht Club and Marina in Bocas Del Toro, Panama.
We kept waiting for a decent weather window to make the trip at first just to the island of San Andres only 60 miles away. The weather centers kept predicting 8′ seas and bigger,  so we didn’t leave. Finally the sea prediction went down to only 6 feet, so we decided to make a run for it. Because we were in Providencia for 6 weeks already, we decided to go straight through to Panama. Most of the trip was great.  The winds on the beam. The seas somewhat behind us. In good company with two other boats. (Jasdip & Sylvester) Everything was great… Until the second night. We got caught in the middle of a serious thunder-storm. The good Lord was looking out for us though, and somehow we didn’t get struck by lighting. Sylvester, who was close by, lost all their electronics temporarily after a strike.  Any way we made it, and have now been in Panama for a week.

The weather delay in Providencia gave us the opportunity to stay through most of Carnival. I have some pictures and will tell more about it in the next post.

Some pictures from Providencia, Columbia

The end of the trail

The end of the trail

Kylan is showing us the view.

Kylan is showing us the view.

Bus stop for the school kids.

Bus stop for the school kids.

Closer view. There are many of these with varying themes and shapes.

Closer view. There are many of these with varying themes and shapes.

Local cattle ranch.

Local cattle ranch.

The back of Morgan's head rock

The back of Morgan’s head rock

Just another day (week) in Paradise

Due to the weather, we are stuck in Providencia for over 4 weeks. Darn the luck. This island is clean has some great snorkeling and is fairly affordable compared to Honduras. We have been delayed because the seas have been over 6 feet since we’ve been ready to go, and we’re trying to plan voyages in seas smaller than that.  I think we are finally learning that since we don’t have much of a schedule, it’s better to wait for better weather. We will be leaving here the first day the seas calm down enough to make the trip somewhat comfortably, but until then we will continue to enjoy this place. It’s only about 60 miles to the next place, but thirty miles from land is a long ways if something breaks.

The island is about 4.5 by 2.5 miles big. You can circumnavigate the main island by vehicle in about 35 minutes. There is a smaller island connected only by a wooden foot bridge. This is the famous pirate Captain Morgans reign. There is a fort on there that he used to defend his booty and the island. A paved trail goes half way around the island ending at a cannon on one side and at a rock that looks somewhat like his head on the other. Anna and I have been walking this path every morning with our friends from Jasdip who missed their weather window to San Andres to stay here and hang with us.

There are not terribly many things to do here, so we have done most of them at least once. We were told that some Saturdays they have horse races on the beach, and we finally made it to one. I guess you can call it a horse race. A one horse at a time race. They held the Miss Providencia contest while we’ve been here and so I attended. Like the horse race it was a bit of a let down. Carnival is here in another week and based on our experiences so far, if we’re still here, I’m not expecting much. I don’t mean to knock it. It is a small island. It’s just, because of the hype, I just expected more.

The crew from Jasdip and half of Sylvester did a hike with us up to El Pico. It is the highest point on the island and requires a somewhat strenuous hike over some rough terrain. It was worth it. The view from the top was incredible. A 360 degree panoramic view of the entire main island and a lot of the surrounding cays. Along the way we saw blue lizards, green lizards, many other lizards, snakes and heard frogs that instead of the croaking or the usual rib-it, made a sound that resembled the pop you hear when you pop your finger out of your mouth, or maybe a water bubble popping. Needless to say it was unlike any other frogs I have ever heard.

In the meantime we rented a mule. Not the four-legged kind that eats grass, but the four-wheeled kind that runs on gas. A golf cart on steroids really. Anyway, the crew from Sylvester and us took off to explore every road we could go on. We even went on some that maybe we shouldn’t have. The mule also provided Kylan the opportunity for driving lessons. I don’t believe driver’s licenses are required here. Kylan did a stellar job driving us around even with all the crazy drivers, road construction, and four critics on board he had to deal with.

One evening Anna and I and two other couples decided to go to a popular reggae party spot. This required renting a moto-taxi. It’s exactly as it sounds. A motor cycle taxi. Anna, me and the driver piled on the back of the cycle and headed off around to the other side of the island. Our driver went the short way while the other drivers took off the other. They obviously knew what was up. After about 15 minutes of driving, we almost made it to the turn off to the club only to find the road was closed due to the annual migration of the Black Crab. This is a species of crab that lives in the hills and comes down once a year to the sea to mate and lay their eggs. Because the road circles the entire island, the crabs have to cross it. This was their night and they close the road so to save the species. Literally thousands of these crabs come down from the hills, do their thing on the beach and head back up again.  I’m ok with that. It’s just that now our driver had to turn around and we spent another 30 minutes squeezed on the back of this motor cycle in the dark racing around the island on a Friday night. I did pretty good though, I only yelled out once to look out.

Lots of other things to tell about, but I’ll save it for another time.

It’s now been a month and were still here. Oh well, just another day in paradise.