Then my little sister Flavia arrives with the water taxi an comes on board in Banedup.
And even though she is tired with the jet lag and a sleepless night in the hostel in Panama city, the first day on board is full with activities.
First thing into the water snorkeling in the small coral garden behind the ship, then we buy some lobsters, snorkel again, have something to eat, repair the surfboard, open a coconut, check out possible surf spots and enjoy the sundowner in the bar on the neighbor island. Once the sun is gone the exhaustion comes quickly and 12 hours later a new day starts…
We cut down a bit in the speed, have a long lunch trying to eat everything that is in the lobster legs and have the tails from the grill in the evening. In between Flavi tries the wave on the outer reef but has to fight quite a bit with the strong current that is out there…
The next day we check out the snorkeling spot around the wreck of dog island, a very picturesque place, but quite full with tourists.
Then we sail half to downwind with 25 knots and 5 meter waves to Puerto Lindo, really a fast ride and we are happy to find shelter in the bay behind Isla Linton and visit Hans´restaurant for a change.
In order to get diesel and gasoline we go with our canisters to the new station in the Linton bay marina, where we get lucky and also find a good vegetable truck.
In order to get our kitchen gas stocked up again we first walk 45 min to la Guaira, but there the shop is closed. so we take the next bus to Portobello where we find a lot of things in the Chinese market and hardware store.
On Friday morning we bring Flavi to the 5 am bus, she has a long ride ahead to Santa Catalina, a surf spot on the pacific side.
The following day we also take the 6 am bus, the target is to have bought almost everything, when my parents Heide and Pete arrive from Panama City.
Any way it was a good idea to get up early, because after 9 am, the supermarkets are overcrowded, just like everywhere else on a 24 of December…
We get all the goods, suitcases and ourselves with two dinghy rides onto She San and start to clear away the stuff as good as possible. It almost feels like christmas, since half of my parents baggage is for us… so many presents from the whole family, lot of stuff we ordered or they brought for us…
We clear up the ship, have a quick lunch and start off the short ride against the wind to reach the Turtle Cay Marina just before sundown. With all that action it is a bit difficult to get a christmas feeling, but we enjoy the evening anyway.
The next day we fight the other 35 miles against the wind and some 3-4 meter high waves, nothing for really sensitive stomachs.
Also I have to suffer from a slight nausea, but mainly because of the total of 7 fish who decide to bite this day, and they all want to be cleaned and put into the fridge soon after…
The next days we have carpaccio of tuna for lunch and tuna and cera from the grill for dinner 😉
In San Blas we anchor again on our favorite spot in Banedup, next to tourist island and coral garden. The sight is a bit turbid, the current is strong but still we enjoy the snorkeling a lot.
After two days we move west to the Coco Bandeiro Cays, here the swell is a lot stronger but luckily our guests do not mind the shaking of the ship.
Then, going further north to the East Holandes Cays we find back our quite place in the south of
Caobos Cay, which is called the “hot tub” we find out later. Here we enjoy the snorkeling in the adjacent coral garden and around the sand islet. One would never believe that my mom`s shoulder had a surgery only short time ago, she swims like a fish and enjoys it a lot.
The end of the year we have a peaceful dinner on board and go to bed just 15 min before midnight – we are not used to staying up that long any more ;-).
On new years day we go for some more snorkeling and make an island visit to Tiadup, where we buy a mola and a Guna leg bracelet.
For the next anchorage we go to the West Holandes next to Waisaladup, an impressive place.
While we are lying in a long peaceful swell coming from the southwest we watch the northeasterly waves break on the outer reef just in front of us and the turquoise water between the two islands.
The fish are plentiful and the whole day long there is a lot of fish jumping next to the boat. Good place to try to catch some fish and in deed, Reto manages to get two small cero for the grill.
In addition to the colourful reef also the island is worth a visit and after an extensive walk all around we are rewarded with a cool beer at Otilio`s.
For a change we pay the Carti islands a short visit and are welcomed by a rather pertinent old lady who, once boarded on our boat, does not go away before we purchase anything from her. In the end I see that I have to buy something because otherwise she would stay with us the whole day…
Then we visit Carti Sugdup, stroll through the village and visit the Guna museum. In the end I happily stock up our vegetable and fruit supplies in the practical store with the own dinghy dock.
We move back to Banedup and enjoy the last day together with our visitors snorkeling next to the wreck on dog island.
At 9 am it is still quite peaceful, then it does quickly fill up with day tourists. We pay a fee of 3 $ / per person, well, I profit and take a good sweet water shower ;-). We walk around the island and find it nice, but good to be able to go away after an hour…
And much too soon it seems, my parents have to leave and we have no idea of when we will meet again. We remain on the “empty” boat and feel sad and lonely.
But hey, it doesn’t make sense to be sad like this in paradise! We throw ourselves into the necessary work in the boat, clearing up and getting rid of the new areas of mold, there is always a lot to do..
We go back to West Holandes and plan to enjoy a few more days here, before heading back to Puerto Lindo. There we plan to take a few days for visiting the country and going hiking, before we then slowly move our She San towards the pacific…