Friday, January 02, 2009
December 11, we leave for San Andres. This is a short run of about 30 miles and we anchored by 1 pm in the harbour. We had stopped here on our way down to Bocas Del Toro about 1.5 years ago, so it was not new. Rene came out to the boat and we arranged to do out check-in later that day.
We rented a golf cart to tour the island and this is a great way to see it. You can take your time and it does not take a tank of gas. Of special interest were the blue lizards. We looked high and low for them, found a green one (the female) and then finally one of the blue males. They are not real bright blue but I believe that they are molting and when that is complete, the true colour will appear. Of course during our tour, Santa hats were worn by all – Byron, Denise, Gary and Kaija.
The folks here in San Andres decorate the city and there are many tourists here for the holidays.
Just before Christmas, s/v Dragon Fly – Rick and Cindy joined us in the anchorage.
A gift exchange and dinner were planned and a good time was had by all. Even Doc had his usual place under the table waiting on his share.
The weather has not been on our side and finally on December 6, 2008 we head out towards Albuquerque Cayos. This will be an overnight trip and all is ready.
On arriving in the Cayos, after several squalls and motor sailing almost the entire trip, we arrive. There is a new commandant here and new procedures. We are hailed on channel 16 and asked to report into the island. The military has a base here. Sometimes army sometimes Marines. This time – marines. They are swimming to our boat before the dinghy is down. Wilson is the one in charge and asks Gary and Byron to go in and show papers. No problems, just a formality.
Over the next few days, the marines are going diving and fishing with Gary and Byron, catching all kinds of fish. They especially enjoy parrot fish and as they did not have spear guns, and we did, their supply was greatly increased. They also checked our anchors and helped us move when the weather changed. They were perfect hosts and showed us the island with the many amenities that they had. Gym, fresh water swimming-showering area and the beautifully cleaned and lined paths were only a few of the things we saw.
Well we are on our way. The final provisioning has been taken care of and we are set to go for two months. We left Colon, November 2, 2008 and decided to stage out of Isla Linton. The angle is better and it is a nicer place to sit and wait for weather.
We met some new friends and were reacquainted with some old ones.
We listened to music by Yoel on s/v Brahms as he played his grand piano. Yes, he has a piano on board his boat and it was actually sent down from Toronto. Yoel has a brother living in Canada and during this time his mother was visiting from Israel.
After listening to beautiful music, what could be better than a pizza? Betty and Owen on s/v Hiatus offered to drive us to their favourite place and we enjoyed a great pizza and a wonderful drive on the mainland of this area of Panama. It is something that we do not always see as we are out on the water.
By now it is Thanksgiving ( American ) and we are still waiting on weather. As we had planned, we had turkey. Dinner was on South of Reality, Denise and Byron. We first met them on their honeymoon in Luperon, Dominican Republic in 2005. Denise was able to find a special Mola for this occasion.
As always, we have unexpected visitors. The little birds come to visit and this time one had a broken wing, rested with us for a short time. One evening just before sunset, Doc and all are coming back from his walk and see this “ball” in the water. On closer inspection, it turns out to be a very large and dead puffer fish. The monkeys were up to their usual tricks. Kaija decided to show Denise how to feed them without incident, but that was not what the monkey had in mind. The monkey noticed that Kaija was only giving one piece at a time from her bag, and that was just not good enough. A short battle for the bag took place, and the monkey won.