Archive for: ‘February 2013’

Bastiamento Hikes

February 28, 2013 Posted by Deb

We will probably not succeed in covering the trails on this island. They’re everywhere.

PuntaLava

We hung a right at the Punta Lava beach bar and walked until we couldn’t find any more beach. We came back on the official route and had mud up to our knees. Very nice hike though. The names of the beaches are different depending on whether you use signs, talk to gringos, or talk to the locals. They were North, Turtle, Playa Larga, and Cayman and we were the only people there most of the day.

DebTreeTangle_BeachHike

There’s an old guy with a house on the beach about half way down, holding out against the Bastiamento Property Development Company. We asked him if he sold beer, forgetting that the first thing you do is exchange names. He corrected that little mistake, laughed, and said he walks in for beer. He will eventually lose his property fight but he’s damn entertaining now. There is a great snorkeling site right off his house so we will return.

HikeBeach_ChuckDeb

 

HikeBeachDebBack

 

HikeBeach

Dew

February 21, 2013 Posted by Deb

We were last able to buy real Mountain Dew in Curacao, the Dew in Santa Marta was made in Columbia and they modified the formula. We had a stash on board that used to tilt the boat and we rationed the cans to make it to the end of May and our flight back to the U.S. We hadn’t checked the last major stash for around six or seven hundred miles of sailing. It was toast, empty cans floating in a small ocean of Dew. The stuff even ate through some paint cans. Looks like Chuck gets one can every 10 days now.

Dead Dews

Dead Dews

Rana Azul and The Gap

February 17, 2013 Posted by Deb

Rana Azul

We heard radio chatter about friends headed for a little bar over on the Panama mainland named Rana Azul or Blue Frog for a swap meet, booze, and food. We were headed the opposite direction (Cayos Zapatillos) and decided to spin the boat and check it out. We dodged coral and took two narrow cuts and ended up off Cindy’s house near Finisterre, and Nilaya (a Bayfield 36 exactly like our old boat). Cindy pumps out the best Wi-Fi we’ve come across and she does not bother with security. We never met her. Wonderful anchorage.

Cindy's Anchorage, A Bayfield 36. Just Like Our Old Boat

Cindy’s Anchorage: A Bayfield 36. Just Like Our Old Boat

We stopped by Ernie’s with the dink for gas and left an hour or so and several drinks later. He is a Panamanian that did around 40 years in the U.S. from investment banking to chef and now runs a small tienda on Laguna Poros. He’s much happier.

The swap meet was a major success and we sampled wood burning stone oven pizza for the third time. The first was Palmar’s on Red Frog beach and the second was Los Secretos in Bahia Honda. Seems like a trend.

Gathering at Rana Azul (Or Swap Meet at the Blue Fog)

Gathering at Rana Azul (Or Swap Meet at the Blue Frog)

Panama: Proud of Its Pretty Frogs

Panama: Proud of Its Pretty Frogs

Eco Hike on a Farm in Poros Lagoon

Interesting place. The locals still work the property and keep up the trails but the owner died and it was sold. No local knows who the new owners are, they have not been around, and all activity seems to have ceased other than a little trail work. The buildings are in good shape but beginning to show wear. It appeared to be a hostel or eco cabins with agriculture, research and furniture making on the side.

Eco Dorms

Eco Dorms

Research Station

Research Station

Deb, Kay and Mike Covering Ground

Deb, Kay and Mike Covering Ground

Workshop Waiting for New Owners

Workshop Waiting for New Owners

Trespassing on Holy G

Trespassing on Holy Ground

Home Tree

Home Tree

Nobody Is Going To Take Your Order

Nobody Is Going To Take Your Order

The Gap

We didn’t pay much attention to the Gap because it looked like one of those “Why would you go there on purpose” places with lots of reefs, coral patches, mangroves and very thin water. We asked around and got lots of advice including “go slow” and “go on a sunny day.” We went slow but it clouded up. We got in less than five feet of water several times and did a bunch of U-turns.

Entering the Gap

Entering the Gap

Sorry Jolene and Cindy, Here's San Cristobal With No Cassie, No Richard, No Castles

Sorry Jolene and Cindy, Here’s San Cristobal With No Cassie, No Richard, No Castles

Multitasking in the Gap

Multitasking in the Gap

We stopped at Crawl Cay because we saw another Privilege 435 there, the Austrian boat Windance III. It turned out they knew our boat and the former owner very well. We exchanged boat stories, partied and they left the next morning for the Panama Canal and Australia. He did give me a file of his attempts at translating the French circuitry into English … cool.

Off for Food

Off For Food

Fresh Fish on the Menu

Fresh Fish on the Menu

Deb Wanted to say "Cheee" Just Like Hayden

Deb Wanted to say “Cheee” Just Like Hayden

Carnival at Red Frog Beach

Carnival at Red Frog Beach

Ngöbe Indian Caves

February 10, 2013 Posted by Deb

Everybody said we had to take the cave trip.

Cynergy, Neytiri, and a honeymooning couple we met arranged for a private tour ($4 each plus tip) and we took the long option. We dinked about 15 minutes across the bay, turned our tillers over to the local Ngöbe Indians, did a mile or so of mangroves, and then we took on the cave. The entertainment for the trip was Sara, the honeymooner, and her screams and attempts to dodge the cave bats. She plugged her ears, shielded her eyes, and crouched down low to the water but we think she attracted them. They are harmless and only hit people by accident.

Mangroves to the Cave with the Honeymooners and Jon from Cynergy

Mangroves to the Cave with the Honeymooners and Jon from Cynergy

Hiking to the Cave

Hiking to the Cave

You Want to Go In Where?

You Want Us To Go In Where?

NgobeCaveTall

NgobeCaveChuckWater

NgobeCaveDebSwim

NgobeCaveDebOut

Wizard Beach and Bastimentos Town

February 7, 2013 Posted by Deb

We had to keep up on our mud hiking in case we run into Hunter, Devi, Wayne, or Jean again. We took off with Kay and Mike on Finisterre for a two-hour hike to a non-tourist town at the far end of the island. We got to Wizard beach but then followed a sign that pointed inland. A couple of young Indian farmers showed us the way to town through at least ten farms and several muddy creeks. The hike was over 3 hours. We know there is a better way but the farm route was kind of cool as well. We had lunch, a few beers, then  cheated and grabbed a water taxi home.

Wizard Beach Hike

Wizard Beach Hike

Food, Beer and a Water Taxi in Bastimentos Town

Food, Beer and a Water Taxi in Bastimentos Town

Taxi Home

Taxi Home

Red Frog Beach Tent City

February 3, 2013 Posted by Deb

We like checking out how other people set themselves up in these countries. The whole area caters to the backpacking crowd and surfers (a bit redundant). Hostels are everywhere but one of the more unique living arrangements was the tent city off Red Frog Beach. We even found a not young couple from White Bear Lake, MN, staying in one of the tents. The restaurant/bar named Palmar near the tents has been showing off their new wood fired pizza oven and we give it a thumbs up. A bunch of cruisers were there on Saturday and we brought the average age up about 20 years.

Palmar Bar

Palmar Bar

Busy Day for a Surfer Dude

Pizza and Lounge Area at Palmar

Busy Day for a Surfer Dude

Busy Day for a Surfer Dude

Luxury Accommodations

Luxury Accommodations

Pizza Party at Palmar

Pizza Party at Palmar

Main Street in Tent City

Main Street in Tent City

Bocas Del Toro

February 1, 2013 Posted by Deb

We came in on a beautiful sunny day which was a welcome relief from the rain every hour at our stops along the way at Escudo Verguas and Laguna de Bluefield. We took the north anchorage off the town in about 4 feet 8 inches of water (a good 2 inches under the keels) and settled in. We focused on the basics, namely where to leave a dinghy, where to put garbage, and where to steal internet. We also got our first job offer from a restaurant desperate for catamarans to splash tourists.

Timing a Swell To Go Ashore

Timing a Swell To Go Ashore

Rock Formations at Escudo Veraguas

Rock Formations at Escudo Veraguas

Rain and Sun in the Morning at Blulefield

Rain and Sun in the Morning at Laguna Bluefield

Laguna Bluefield Point

Laguna Bluefield Point

After two days off Bocas Town we found the San Blas/Santa Marta crowd in and anchored off Red Frog Marina. They were gearing up for the Super Bowl and told us to get over there. They sent us 10 waypoints to get in and we used zero … just eyeballed it. Red Frog Marina beckoned with brand new facilities including hot showers, water, electricity, and great access to the beach, bars, bikinis, hikes, zip lines, and caves. So we took a slip and have been living in air conditioned luxury for over a week now.

Coming Into Bocas Del Toro

Coming Into Bocas Del Toro

Best Restaurant in Town

Best Restaurant in Town

Our Neighborhood

Our Neighborhood

Dock to Shore

Path to Red Frog Marina

Watercolor Time with Kay from Finisterre

Watercolor Time with Kay from Finisterre

Red Frog Beach

Red Frog Beach

A Rare Shot of Punta Lava Bar Without a Crowd

A Rare Shot of Punta Lava Bar Without a Crowd