Photo of the only restaurant in town. Hey don't knock it, we ate here one night. We placed our order that afternoon. We asked if they would have enough to feed our group of 6 and they said "yes" no problem, however some of us might get a mix of crab and seafood.. We all thought, no problem. That evening while looking for a chair, I asked to see the kitchen and they proudly showed me around. It was well organized and very clean considering the state of the whole island. There turned out to be a total of 11 that showed up for dinner and most had ordered a medium size lobster. I was first to be served in our group and I before me was set the very biggest and tastiest lobster they caught that night (I shared it with Mark "Reach" who happened to be sitting beside me).. We all ate separately, as it was cooked then served and Steve and Charlie were finally served last (about an hour and a half later) but least ... They received something.. It was mostly cabbage with the juice of seafood..(scratch the last but not least bit!).
Isla Tigre Feb 21st 2011
This is a photo of where one would stay if you chose not to sleep on the boat. $10 US/night.. Bring your own camping mattress. There is an outside shower and toilet overlooking the ocean view. Most Kunna toilets are built over the ocean.
Isla Tigre Feb 21st 2011
This photo sums up the conflict of traditional ways verses the modern world of today.. and you can't help but notice the height of Steve in the background.
Isla Tigre Feb 21st 2011
One dance reminded me of my Country Scottish Dancing days with mum, called The Eight-some Reel.
Isla Tigre Feb 21st 2011
photo.. Waiting .. one of the dancers/musicians
These girls are the same age.
As the story we were told... Feb 21, 1925, on Isla Tigre, two people were killed, a Panamanian policeman and one Kuna whom worked for the police.
Today they are actors, but this is the typical dress of the women on Isla Tigre.
March/30/2011, isla Tigre, San Blas, Panama
Today we were allowed to take photos. On Isla Tigre, their colour is red.. In this photo, the typical dress of the Kuna men, with red shirt and tie. Along side is the typical dress of the girls.
March/30/2011, Isla Tigre, San Blas, Panama
...not the only ones waiting for the show to begin.
Isla Tigre Feb 21st 2011
March/30/2011, Isla Tigre, San Blas, Panama
I have added a few blogs (with photos). This one is of our trip on Feb 21st 2011 to Isla Tigre for the celebration of the Kuna Revolution... several photos to follow
Feb 21st 2011 - Photo of Charlie, Liz and Steve standing outside the congresso watching the events unfold as the Kuna village of Isla Tigre prepare to start the reenactment of the Kuna Revolution.
Snorkeling with a companion
As I swam along, I noticed a 10 Inch yellow and brown striped fish with a unusual flat head following me. I pointed it out to Sylvain who recognized it as a whitefin sharksucker. At first I was concerned as to the whereabouts of the shark that the fish had previously been attached too, but soon I was preoccupied with a fish that had taken me as it's companion. It would swim under my chest and try to attach itself to my shirt. With my goggles on I would lose track of it because of the tunnel vision and would think the fish was gone, but then it would bump up against my chest trying to attach itself to me or would snatch the loose skin from my ear lobes cased by a recent sunburn. It made it hard to concentrate on the the spear fishing.
I spot a good size snapper (fish) swimming in and out from under a ledge about 20 feet down. My companion and I dove through hundreds of colorful feeder fish as we descended toward the ledge. On the way down I spot an eagle ray drifting by out of the corner of my eye.. As we approach the ledge the the snapper makes its swing out from under the ledge and I take my shot. Its a miss. As I head for the surface, my companion takes another bite at my ear. It's more about the journey than the snapper. I hope my companion doesn't swim up the leg of my bathing!
San Blas.. Kuna Yala
We haven't written anything for a while .. Sun, isolated islands, white sand beaches, coconut trees, rum and beer (available sometimes), fresh fruit and veggies (available sometimes), crab, lobster and conch (season closed for the month of March & April and May), snorkeling every day and sundowner's at night..
Life is too good!
We rely on the fishing efforts of the Kuna's and Lion's Paw as we travel from one island to another (usually a whole 5-10 miles apart)... and our canned goods... thank goodness the Whitby 42 has HUGE Storage. We still have cans from Vero beach 2009...lol
I'm making bread every week and have been referred to by other cruisers for my advise and tutelage... maybe I should buy a bakery?
Anyway, this is on the fly.. we'll try and write more next time..
February/6/2011, San Blas Islands
Photo of Filefish we saw while snorkelling.. a very thin bodied and different looking fish..
After clearing in we spent a few days in the Chichime Cays and now we are back at the first island Naguarchirdup, West Lemmons to get internet again.
This morning on the SSB radio (same radio that hams use) we heard that the other island (that is further SE of here) will not have internet until the end of the month... and that's in Panama time, so who knows when the internet will be available there. We plan to head further south-east to explore the islands that we've heard are supposed to be more remote and more like the San Blas Islands that Steve's read and dreamed about before leaving. So far we've had veggie boats, internet and a calling channel 72 that is just a little reminiscent of Georgetown, Bahamas, Grenada and Cartagena, Colombia. Of course it has been very convenient to buy veggies like lettuce, spring onions, onions, potatoes, green peppers, cucumber, tomatoes, zucchini, pineapples, oranges and grapefruit. So much for having to provision thinking that we'd be so isolated for such luxuries.
After the Superbowl game today, we are heading to the Hollandaise Cays.. Yup they've organized the Kuna bar and have planned a Superbowl Party half-time.... My suggestion to all whom are planning to come this ways, do it soon, before the Kuna decide to put up high rises.
I've updated the blog and photos.. If interested please read down..
Hello's and Good-byes
"Moana" and "Vanilla" left yesterday for Linton, both wanting to re-provision and pick up boat parts. Unfortunately Vanilla's windlass quit the other day and Sylvain's been working on his bi-ceps winching and pulling up his chain and anchor himself.
Since I'm the one on our boat that has taken up the job of anchoring, I hope that doesn't happen to us. We have 200 feet of 5/8 inch chain (~310 pounds) and a Delta anchor that is beefy enough to hold this 14 Ton boat (that would be its naked weight, so who knows what it really weights with all the crap we have on board).
One night, Phil on "Cynosure" entertained us with his vast knowledge and love of Ecuador and South America, a place he's lived and explored for the last decade. It certainly conjures up the idea, that perhaps we shall go through the Panama canal one day to explore the other side of this continent. The majority of the boats in this part of Panama are heading for the canal and many have joked with us that we should follow. I just hold my breath, knowing how plans can change so easily aboard "Lion's Paw" however, Steve and I both know that we are not seasoned enough for a Pacific crossing...not yet anyway!
Dave and dog Tiger "Bijou Vert La Mer" called us on the VHF this morning to ask about Chichime's anchorage. He was heading our way. We met Dave in Santa Marta, Colombia when he organized a gathering for the boats in the marina. Before leaving Santa Marta, we encouraged him to tie off the paddle to his windvane steering (having shared the story of nearly loosing our paddle from our Monitor windvane steering if not for the rope that Steve used to tie it off with). It seems that Dave had taken our advise and is thankful that he did. On his passage to Panama, he experienced a similar situation and when he arrived to Colon, he had to have it welded back on, but at least he had the paddle.
How to buy Mola's
February/2/2011, Chichime Cays, Kuna Yala, Panama
Above is a photo of my first mola.
Today, I re-read "how to buy a mola". There's a whole list of "what to look for" in an old guide I purchased from "Slow Poke", another Whitby 42, who's owners, back then, had returned to Canada after a seven year voyage (the guide is quite useless otherwise). According to the guide it seems I may have negotiated and purchased a fairly good Mola. My first Mola has four layers of cloth and the right colour cloth (orange, black and burgundy are the traditional ones). The stitching is fairly even and invisible (you should not be able to see any stitching, the thread matching exactly the colour of the cloth and the back should show the reverse image of the design) and the geometric shapes (curves and triangles usually harder and more expensive) should be fairly even in width.
If you come to the San Blas Islands for a visit, you can negotiate your own deal. It's fun. However, Steve wonders why anyone would want a Mola and wonders what I'm going to do with it. Anyone want a Mola?
Cayos Chichime, Kuna Yala
February/1/2011, Cayos Chichime, Kuna Yala
Photo of Guy, France, Lise, Sylvain (Vicky) and us on the beach of the Chichime Cays.
The next morning after breakfast, we headed to "N'orthern Lights" to ask how their evening transpired and was told, "He was a very strange man!". We hope to have them embellish further when we meet up later. We were introduced to their son and daughter-in-law whom had just arrived that morning from Edmonton minus one bag (their flight from Edmonton had been delayed). Phil had decided to head to the West Lemmons (to wait for the arrival of luggage) and since we had just come from there, we shared what we knew about the "buoyed" entrance and they assured us they would send an email with details of flying to the San Blas (staying in Panama city etc). With a promise to keep in touch and share some fun in the H2O, we headed back to Lion's Paw.
As we pulled anchor, Bill came over to ask where we were heading and promised the same.
When we entered the Cayos Chichime anchorage, it was overcast (so much for entering with good light). We joined "Vanilla", "Moana" as well as "Cynosure" and about 12 other boats. As I write this, the boys are out trying to catch dinner... No worries yet. I have canned goods and a freezer with a few cuts of meat left. We have enough supplies (and a water maker) and hope to survive for a few months before we have to go to Colon to re-provision, but it would be nice to have some fish.
Hola ..around here is pronounced Mola!
January/31/2011, Nalunega, Kuna Yala, Panama
Photo of women selling mola's from their dugout.
"Firefly" Bill and Mandi swung by and introduced themselves shortly after they arrived. They were on their way to take a look through the village of Nalunega. We thought it was a brilliant idea and decided to chase after them once we had finished our late lunch. As we approached the island we noticed two dinghies on a small beach, pulled ours along side and headed down the only path into the village. As we passed through one Kuna's yard(?), we met a Canadian couple (from the catamaran "N'orthern Lights", Edmonton) sitting around with a Kuna family (two women and several children). No sooner had we started to chat with them (and the children), Steve and I were offered a chair to sit and join them. They were waiting for the return of the "man of the house", who was out catching their dinner. Evidently, they had sailed/brought a battery for this man's family from Colon and in appreciation, they were asked to return as dinner guests. The husband/father soon returned (I didn't see any fish) and we explained that we had not invited ourselves for dinner and we were moving on. We left as they were guided inside the families thatched roofed home.
We walked through a gate and found another path which lead us to a large flat area, right smack in the center of the village. It was a basketball court (Kunas love basketball and volleyball) and a few kids were dribbling a ball about the dirt floor. On the other side we noticed Mandi and Bill and shouted to them. They were quite happy to have us join them and take the attention away from Mandi, who had just finished purchasing a mola. Now that we had joined them, many mola's sprang from within the Kuna homestead and slung onto the wooden stick fence where we had congregated. To make a long story short, I bought a Mola (Steve's was just thrilled to part with the money) and the four of us moved on. As we chatted, we found that we had a few friends in common. They had just come from Bocas Del Toro and had met Isabelle and J.C and their two girls (Alexe and Milla) aboard "Shaka" and Bill knew Charlie from "Kaya". As the sun set, we headed for the "congresso". Bill was of the understanding that we had been invited to join the meeting but we were turned away as we tried to enter the large hut. Peeking through the walls of twigs, we saw two hammocks billowing of smoke and a dangling leg or arm from each and a dull, uniform mumble. As I looked around, a few heads were bobbing, with eyes closed and those awake, looked board to death as they shuffled from cheek to cheek. It gave the impression that it would be a long evening. Thank goodness we couldn't get in.
In the dark, Mandi and Bill joined us for a very bad example of Butter Chicken and basmati rice (it had lost it's punch being made a months ago and stored in the freezer) but fortunately, they brought Cevechi (a fresh tuna, pickled in lemon, that they caught on their way down to the San Blas). We enjoyed the evening, becoming acquainted with their "story" and sharing ours. They will be here for about three weeks and we hope to spend more time exploring and playing in the water with them (35 and 22 years of age) if they don't mind.
We found more fishing supplies and beer!
January/31/2011, Wichubhuala, Kuna Yala, Panama
Photo of the school bathroom next to the water and school.
After clearing in, we very briefly explored the two islands we anchored near. We first set off to Wichubhuala. Here we found a small store with a few canned goods, plastic table cloth by the yard (mum's favourite..lol), some candy, a sack of potatoes and very little else. However, we did find the phone cards that "Moana", Guy and France asked us to purchase and Steve found about 4 yards of the rubber band used for his Bahamian spear. We've been searching for that since Grenada! Don't ask me why it was on the shelf, but it was, and we paid US $1.50/ft. Happily Steve ventured further into the village fearing that we may have to succumb to buying a mola but we were not approached by anyone. We have photos of the 2 schools we found and 2 bathrooms (one set right over the water) in the photo gallery.