Monday, July 26, 2010

Bocas del Toro, Panama

I am in Bocas del Toro, anchored just north of the town. This place is a real gringo ¨paradise¨... I hung out with Ray Jason, a former contributor to Latitude 38, in Cartagena and he told me that in the past ten years, Bocas was his favorite cruising ground. I had to come check it out even though it took a gruelling five days from Portobelo which is a distance of 152 miles. I finally gave up and motored the last 30. There really is no wind in this area...

I will hang out here for a bit and most likely head back to the San Blas islands by way of Portobelo again. The San Blas deserve more than the several days I spent there...

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

San Blas bound

Leave tonight or in the morning. Pelican will have four in total aboard... Rob, Demis, Julia and myself. We will head for the western end of the San Blas which is where most of the other boats will be.

The business of shuttling backpackers across the ¨gap¨ and also spending a couple of days in the San Blas is quite something... Technically it is illegal to do. Adverts posted on the Club Nautico bulletin board are torn down regularly by the management. Internet forums for backpackers are filled with horror stories. I´ve met quite a few of the full time backpacker skippers and some are real pieces of work. How hard is it to buy the cheapest forty footer in Florida, cross the Caribbean once and start motor sailing back and forth cramming as many bodies as can fit aboard? The egos of some of the skippers are way out of proportion... It is easy to be the big fish if the pond is small enough and most of the backpackers are clueless when it comes to reading boats... I will recoup the exorbitant check in costs and get my fuel paid for so it is all good for me.

I should be in Portobelo or maybe in Carti for a bit. If not, I will head to Bocas del Toro and do another long break.