Tumultuous Uproar

A cruising boat with a racing problem...

19 February 2018
17 February 2018
15 February 2018
19 January 2018
18 January 2018
17 January 2018
02 January 2018
25 November 2017
10 November 2017
28 October 2017
12 October 2017
04 September 2017
26 August 2017

Not going to be popular, blog.

20 February 2018
When I started this blog, I promised to tell the good and the bad. Well, now for the not-so-great about the San Blas. I have heard a lot of hand wringing about the plight of the Kunas and their low islands with global warming. I agree that man has caused and will be causing problems for these people and their islands. The “man” I am talking about are the Kunas themselves.

There is not one thing natural on any of the islands controlled by the Kunas. The inhabited islands are right next to the mainland. The Kunas travel upriver to farm, hunt and cut trees for their ulus. They also get water from the rivers in the mountains and pipe it to these islands. The villages on these islands are some of the most densely packed communities I have seen. Outhouses hang over every outer edge of these islands. Trash floats about everywhere. We saw one school yard that had thick layers of trash near the water's edge. One afternoon with bags and gloves could have easily cleaned it up. There is very little vegetation of any kind and certainly none on the shoreline, vulnerable to erosion.

Very few people live on the outer islands, about five miles from shore. Those who do cater to a bit of tourism with a bar or restaurant or primitive guest house. But those islands are “calendar beautiful.” Why? They are nothing but sand and palm trees. These islands have palm trees cultivated on every bit of land as coconuts were and are the currency of the Kunas.

Glyn and I walked around Green Island and noticed burned areas about every 100 feet. It became clear that the Kunas burn an area, cover it with palm fronds and plant coconuts to grow more trees. There is very little grass or undergrowth. OK, this does make for a productive and stunningly beautiful island but it is clear that the shorelines are eroding. Palm trees have small root balls and they topple over in the surf. Most islands in the Caribbean we visit have extensive mangroves, sea grass or sea grapes to protect the shoreline. These are absent in the Kuna Yala.

Now for the editorial: The US spends between $50m billion and $100 billion on global warming/climate change studies and initiatives, both private and public. Has one dollar of that money helped the Kunas? Would it be more productive to have a limited operation to help them clean up these islands, establish responsible waste disposal and educate them in erosion control?

Panama Canal, Chapter two in the voyage of Uproar

20 February 2018
Panama Canal! Just the name conjures up images of the massive effort in mosquito infested swamps to build this wonder of the world. Estimates are that 30,000 workers died during construction. Milwaukee played a large role in building of the canal with Bucyrus Erie and Harnischfeger equipment doing the heavy digging.

Lisa and I were fortunate to have seven friends from Milwaukee come for the transit. Well they didn't all come for transit on Uproar. Karen Shipley from Milwaukee and MAST racer joined Chris Crews for extended cruising. We did introduce them in Barbados over a year ago. Karen bravely gave up her dirt-dwelling existence to join a South African with a boat name, Skabenga, meaning scoundrel in Afrikaans!

We are truly blessed to have such good friends who want to share in our adventures and support us in our travels. Glyn and Laura Livermore spent three weeks sailing with us in San Blas and left just after the canal transit. Tom Heinrich, Ken Quant, Missy Suring, Bill Ashby, and Jeff Bird traveled to Panama to help transit Uproar and Skabenga and share in the adventure. We had a great time and their presence helped overcome the greatest sacrifice in our lifestyle, missing family and friends.

All congregated at Shelter Bay Marina. This out-of-the-way marina was built from the remains of a US Navy Seal Base. Thousands of Navy Seals trained here for jungle combat during the Vietnam years. The marina is miles from Colon, there are no beaches and alligators roam the marina, inhibiting swimming. Strangely enough, this is a home base for many US and Canadian sailors. By home base, I mean they live here for years on end. There is a real yachting community here. With all of the beautiful places we have visited, SB Marina doesn't even make the top half of the list. But community is strong and there are many boats here who have not left their slips for quite a few years.

We did enjoy the camaraderie of cruisers here and the knowledge base for transiting the canal. We were encouraged to paint our boat name on the theater wall (not sail loft) as a momento of our transit. Laura Livermore, Uproar designated artist did us proud!

The transit required a lot of paperwork, measuring of Uproar and inspection of our safety gear. Cost for the transit alone was about $1500! Marina fees and other costs for the area added a bit to this. Erick Galvez was the local agent we hired. Transit can be done without an agent but Erick made this all so easy, I would highly recommend his services.

We were instructed to anchor in The Flats, commercial area of Colon and wait for our advisor. Rick, hydrographic surveyor, jumped aboard and made himself right at home. He seemed as excited as we were. Rick explained what we were to do and how to get through the locks. Uproar had a private locking throughout. We were center tied with two lines on each side. Most boats raft together to transit. Our center tie required more line handling but felt very safe.

Rick was an enthusiastic coach as we locked up the three locks to Lake Gatun. Uproar was behind a large freighter but had plenty of room. Having Glyn, Laura, Lisa, and Tom on the lines made it easy. Everyone knew just what to do and executed the transit perfectly. We rounded the corner and tied to a large buoy in Lake Gatun. Rick warned us not to swim as there were huge alligators in the lake. We heeded his advice.

Our night on the lake was quite and serene. We also had a front row seat for the huge ships entering and exiting the Gatun locks. Glyn, Tom and I sat up late watching the show. At least Glyn and Tom were, I was accused of snoring the ships through the locks.

The next day we were concerned about getting an advisor to continue. One boat we knew of was stuck in the lake for a few days as no advisors were available. Frank, 31 year veteran of the canal joined us mid-morning. Just as he climbed aboard, we saw Skebenga come through the locks. Skabenga was delayed a day. We were hoping to lock through with them but they got bumped. That meant they had to spend a night in the Colon Flats and start their transit very early in the morning.

We motored for about 4 hours to get to the next set of locks, down toward the pacific. Just before the locks we saw Skabenga tied to a mooring waiting for their turn in line. We rafted up briefly with them, then headed for the locks. Skabenga was in the west lock, Uproar in the east. It was fun to watch our friends go through, just ahead of us. Skabenga was followed by a huge auto carrier. These are rectangular beasts!

Uproar was followed by a large freighter but it was not as imposing as the auto transporter. We marveled at the electric “mules” or engines who guided and towed the freighters through the locks. Some ships have only 3 feet clearance per side while transiting. The mules keep them centered with no scratches to their paint.

Unfortunately, Frank, our advisor wasn't the cheerleader Rick was. Frank was ready to retire and I would add, overdue. At the Miraflores lock, last one, he had us pull over to a dangerous seawall. There was no wall for fenders. Lisa jumped off onto the wall (she was not supposed to leave the boat) and shoved the fenders down to save Uproar's topsides. The canal workers just stood there and watched. But enough of that, no harm, no foul!

The last lock brought us right to the famous Bridge of the Americas. What a sight! We sailed under the bridge and took a mooring at the Balboa Yacht Club, right at dusk. Cheers and champagne flowed on Uproar.

I am still struck by the enormity of going through the Panama Canal. Lisa and I transited the Welland Canal from Lake Erie to Ontario (essentially the easy way down Niagra Falls). The Panama Canal itself was interesting but not that awe inspiring. The wonder of it is that we have really turned a page in our cruising life. Lisa has pressed hard to get to the South Pacific. We loved the Caribbean and would have enjoyed many more years there. But Uproar was meant to sail and so is her crew. We are now ready for the Pacific. Wish us well or better still, come and join us on Uproar.

Visit to Mormake Tupu

19 February 2018
A new bottle of Abuelo 12yo rum came aboard today. It may be helping me catch up with my blogs. The past few months have been a whirlwind on Uproar. San Blas is a region unlike any other place we have visited. I've written about the beautiful islands and unusual people who inhabit this area but there is still more to be said. Lisa, Laura, Glyn, I visited Isla Maquina or more commonly called, Mormake Tupu. This means mola making island. Molas are the intriguing needlework, embroidery quilting artwork of the Kunas. Venancio, one of only four mola making men in the San Blas visited Uproar weeks ago. We succumbed to his fine art and bough six molas at far above tourist prices. But they are treasures of art.

We told Venancio our friends from home would be visiting and they would like to see his molas. Sure enough when we anchored in East Lemon Cays with Glyn and Laura, it wasn't long before Venancio came in his ulu (dugout canoe) to show them his wares. Laura is an artist in fabric herself and loved the display. Venancio's brother Idelfonzo mentioned he gives tours of his island, Isla Maquina. A few days later Uproar anchored in the lee of his island. Idelfonzo motored out in his ulu and informed us we could find better anchoring in another spot. We followed his recommendation and he ferried us ashore.

Ashore was his own dock leading to his extended family home. That is typical of the Kuna, they have multiple generations living under one palm-thatched roof. Idelfonzo (name was a challenge for all to remember) immediately brought us into his home, a long and narrow hut with sleeping hammocks, cooking fire and even a small store with a non-working refrigerator. We followed him through the village to the Saila, chief of the village. The Saila was not only the chief but medicine man. He had bowls of herbs and leaves he was quite proud of. There was also a Tapir in one cage and monkey in another. Children were all around and not the least bit shy of seeing visitors. We were informed that we needed to pay $5 to the Saila for anchoring in his village. We did with no reservations. This was not a “shake down” we experienced in some areas where no village was in sight.

Idelfonzo gave us an extensive tour, showing us the school, churches, both Christian and Kuna and meeting hall. They hold counsel every evening. The hall was closed and we could not enter. I bought a package of Kuna Cola (like Coke) and there was much discussion for what the cost would be. I may have received the Yankee discount (double the Kuna price).

We walked by one hut where a family was outside. They held up a young baby and pointed to Idelfonzo. All were laughing hysterically! They made it clear it was his baby. Idelfonzo acknowledged it was his in a quiet voice. He was quick to change the subject. Human nature knows no borders.

One meager hut shadowed an old lady who wanted us to see her molas. She spread them on the sand floor with pride. They weren't that great and we weren't interested. Idelfonzo told us to pick one out. He would pay for it and give it to us as a gift. He explained she need money. We did and asked if we could take her picture. He said we would need to pay her $2 for a picture. I handed him a $2 bill. She was quite reluctant until he explained it was real US money. We took a few pictures. Laura felt bad that this lady sold her sole to us for $2.

I asked Idelfonzo about Nuchu. He took us into his hut and showed us a basket full of carved idols. Each family member had a Nuchu, made specifically for them. If they were sick, the Nuchu would be brought to the medicine man of the village for inspection. Sometimes the medicine man would send the Nuchu to another island for another consultation. Idelfonzo warned us not to touch a Nuchu. He held them up to show us and said, “If you touch this, you die because you are not Kuna!”

I had read that they will sell a Nuchu to outsiders that does not have spirit. The guide book says these are cheap balsa wood replicas. I asked Idelfonzo if I could by a Nuchu. He didn't say much until we got back to his hut. He brought out a Nuchu his nephew had carved. It was three feet tall with two falcon heads at the top and a large nosed face below. It was very heavy wood and took a lot of work to carve. “Five dollars, but it is sleeping so you will be safe.” Sold! That Nuchu is strapped to Uproar's bimini frame. Since, we have caught a large Barracuda! The Nuchu was facing toward the cockpit and Lisa and Laura thought it was a bit creepy. They said it should face aft. Sure enough the next day it had turned aft. I swear, none of us turned it aft!

We asked if we could buy Dulup (lobster). Right next to Idelfonzo's hut was a stone enclosure or aquarium. We saw a variety of fish there when we landed on the island. There was also a pig and chicken in cages. He said there were lobster there. He and another friend put on masks and jumped into the enclosed pool. This was their livewell! After 15 minutes or so, they snared four small lobsters for us. Cost was $20. Idelfonzo said we were to pay his friend because they were his lobsters.

Idelfonzo mentioned his niece had trouble with her eyesight for making molas. He asked if we had glasses. We gave her a pair and she was so pleased. Two other ladies came shyly toward us, wanting glasses. We emptied our backpacks with two more pairs. The seemed to scrutinize them and accepted them without a word of thanks. Well, we tried.

This island was certainly a community. I estimate it to be between five and eight acres. We were told 275 people lived there. Idelfonzo was sincerely interested in the welfare of his neighbors. He was a gracious host to us while showing his home and sensitive to his neighbors. The Kuna lifestyle seemed worlds apart from ours but we are of one blood. Experiences like this are the priceless rewards of the cruising lifestyle.

Return to San Blas

17 February 2018
Glyn and Laura, long time sailing friends from Milwaukee, joined us on Uproar in Colon. They were having quite a journey. They visited Bill and Judy (who sailed with us for the Great Lakes part of our journey) in the Bahamas, then flew directly to Colon for three weeks on Uproar. Lisa and I finished our official business, registering for the Panama Canal passage and applying for a French, long-stay visa for French Polynesia. With Glyn and Laura settled in, we headed back to San Blas.

It was far from an easy trip! Winds had picked up and were over 20 knots from the northeast, exactly the direction we were headed. First day was a motorboat ride to Portobelo, 22 miles driving into 6 to 8 foot seas! We made it and had an interesting walk around this quirky town. Portobelo was the first Spanish settlement that shipped gold and silver back to Spain in the early 1600s. It is heavily fortified but was still a favorite target for pirates, sacked and burned multiple times.

Day two was much the same but our course tipped a bit east. We motorsailed in strong winds and building seas. Perhaps some seas were over 10 feet. Miramar was listed as a possible anchorage in the guide book. It was just barely capable of accommodating Uproar. The entrance was surrounded by reefs and rocks. Tricky doesn't begin to describe the safe passage but once inside, all was quiet. We anchored Uproar near two rows of derelict fishing boats. Commercial vessels were using the narrow channel and shouted to us that we were in the way. We rowed lines to shore and to one of the fishing vessels until we were clear of the channel. But when tide went out, we were aground. The bottom was soft but I don't sleep that well when Uproar is not floating. Next morning we were able to use the anchors to kedge off the bottom with ease and go back to the rolling seas.

Day three was a bit longer but we were able to sail much of it. Perhaps we were getting used to the rough conditions. After three long days slogging to weather, we anchored in East Lemon Cays, San Blas. Ahhhhh! Uproar sat still at anchor in clear water and perfectly flat seas. OK, there were about 20 other boats in the anchorage but this took nothing away from the beauty. We stayed two days and snorkeled right off Uproar on some of the most beautiful coral reefs we have ever seen. Five islands surrounded the anchorage with sandy beaches and palm trees. There was even a small restaurant and a few huts with coolers of beer. Paradise at last!

Glyn and Laura took the passage in stride. It was worth it to visit San Blas. Venancio came by in his brother's boat to show Glyn and mostly Laura his molas. Laura, an artist herself, enjoyed seeing these needlework blouse panels. Venancio and his brother made themselves at home in Uproar's cockpit and showed Laura and Lisa about 100 molas. Venancio's brother, Idelfonzo, invited us to tour their traditional village on Mormake Tupu. The name means “mola making island.” I will write a separate blog about this tour. We were given real insight into the lives of Kunas on this tour.

Uproar took us to other idyllic, palm covered islands of Green Island, Coco Bandero, Gunboat Cay and back to East Lemon, Banderup. We did stop at Naragana, one of the more populated islands for some groceries and to visit again with Frederico and mi amigo, his son, Bastor. Bastor was sound asleep while he was waiting for his shorts to dry in the sun. He came out of his hut wrapped in a towel to say hello. We walked the bridge to the island of Corizon de Jesus and saw the boys stacking up barrels and boxes to re-install the basketball backboard they had fiberglassed back together.

The contrast between the inhabited islands and uninhabited islands couldn't be more stark. Inhabited islands are very crowded with palm huts and a few concrete buildings for schools, etc. There are only a few trees on these islands and sandy paths between huts. There is no grass or vegetation. Outhouses are just booths hanging over the water. Sad to say, garbage and trash goes right into the ocean too. One cruising friend pointed to a diaper floating by, “at least it was nicely folded.”

The inhabited islands are close to the mainland so inhabitants can paddle up the rivers for farming and hunting. Outer islands are usually not inhabited. They are the coconut farms. Glyn and I noticed that there were burned patches among the towering palms. We deduced that these burn patches were prepared to grow more palms, we saw coconuts covered with fronds sprouting new trees. These islands were devoid of any plant life other than coconut palms. Coconuts are very important to the commerce of the Kuna.

The 10 days in San Blas went by quickly. The ride back to Colon was the opposite of our slog to San Blas. Strong winds on the beam had Uproar rushing along for another visit to the quirky town of Portobelo the first day, then a broad reach for 22 miles back to Colon. At Colon we berthed at Shelter Bay Marina waiting for our canal transit.

Glyn and Laura know well that anyone who sails with us will be blogged about. I have a lot to say about them sailing with us and I have little to say about them sailing with us. Glyn and Laura just fit right in. The three weeks they spent with us flashed by. We had some great meals, played cards, drank some rum, played some music, swam, snorkeled, sailed and did it all over again. The weeks were filled with activities and new adventures, culminating in our Panama Canal transit. It was hard to say goodbye when they taxied away from the Balboa Yacht Club.

San Blas home of the Kunas

15 February 2018
San Blas Islands are know by the locals as Kuna Yala (land of the Kuna). This 100 mile stretch of the Panama Caribbean coast starts at the Colombia border and encompasses the coast line and outlying islands. Panama has given up trying to assimilate the Kuna into Panama and allows them to self-rule. They are still Panama citizens and can vote in Panama elections but make their own laws. Each village has three Sailas or chiefs. The traditional villages have council every night where the chiefs lay in hammocks and discuss matters of the village. These councils can become boring so one member is appointed to scream out at times to wake up those who are bored. We did not attend council but visited one of their meeting buildings.

Kunas are the second smallest race on earth. Only the African Pigmys are smaller. Their main source of income is selling coconuts. We were warned not to take a coconut, even from uninhabited islands. They also hunt and farm off the rivers that spill into the Caribbean. Fishing and lobstering are other sources of food and income. Their society is matriarchal. Men take on their wife's name and move into her family. Women control the money and business. Women have an elaborate, traditional dress with strings of beads covering much of their calves and forearms. They wear headscarfs and blouse with front and back pieces of artistic needlework called molas. These molas are truly art and any cruiser has many opportunities to buy them. We bought six.

Enough about the Kunas, google if you want to learn more. I will have a difficult time describing our journey through their land. As mentioned in our last blog, we were “billed” for just anchoring in their waters. This seemed inappropriate after we paid $400 clearance fees into Panama. I politely declined to pay more. Seems the Kunas know there are dollars on yachts and want some for themselves. We gladly traded with the ulus (dugout canoes)that came by offering fruits, vegetables and lobsters. We did pay the chief of one island when we were presented to him after touring his village. I'm sure the $5 we paid went to good use.

But when anchored in a remote island with no inhabitants, we were approached by a boat trying to collect $60! I calmly discussed that we already paid to enter Panama, showed them our papers but they still insisted that that was “different.” I used my negotiating tactic that has worked well in the past. I just sang Bob Marley “Redemption Song” until they were sure I was crazy and left! I had to repeat this performance at a few more islands with similar results. Good that they left us with smiles. Who doesn't like Bob Marley?

The eastern San Blas consists of islands just off the mainland that contain villages. Uproar traveled with Skabenga and Mana Kai throughout. Not many cruisers venture into this area. Anchorages are between the mainland and islands. The water is murky and is reported to contain crocodiles. After anchoring at Mona island, I went for a swim. Shortly after, Skabenga called on the radio and said they saw a 10 foot crocodile right next to their boat.

Further west we encountered reefs and offshore islands. Kunas live only on islands close to land where they can paddle up the rivers for their farming and hunting. Offshore islands are heavily planted with coconut palms. These islands are idyllic, sandy beaches with towering palms. They are postcard beautiful! Anchorages are calm and water clear.

Our flotilla of Uproar, Skabenga, and Mana Kai (Skupman) cruised these delightful islands in perfect weather. We visited Naragama, one of the more advanced islands for some groceries and a nice, local lunch. Coco Bandero, Green Island and East Lemon Cays were some of our favorites.

We cut our San Blas visit to a short two weeks because we needed to go to Colon to get registered and documented for the Panama Canal transit. But we would soon return....

Sand Blasted to San Blas

19 January 2018
I mentioned previously about the extreme winds driving sand and coal dust through Uproar in Santa Marta, Colombia. We left the sand pile to head 250 miles to Obaldia, Panama. Obaldia is the eastern-most town in Panama, right on the Colombia boarder and the start of the San Blas region of indigenous people of Panama. We cleared out of Santa Marta, listing Obaldia as our next port. This part becomes significant later on.....

Wind was brisk but not screaming when we left Santa Marta. But it soon died and we motor-sailed much of the way to Panama. Our route paralleled the Colombia coast. We first passed Baranquilla, a commercial port and city. The Colombian coastal towns are built along major rivers bringing water from the Sierra Nevada Mountains to the Caribbean. They not only bring water but whatever gets dumped or dragged into the water.

Around Baranquilla our flotilla of Skabenga, Uproar, and Mana Kai encountered huge logs, refrigerators, mattresses, and best of all, a bloated pig! Once again, Colombia is not a cruiser's mecca. Uproar shut the engine down and sailed through the debris field to protect our propeller and drive gear. We still maintained at least 4 knots. Once out of the crap, we lit up the Yanmar and picked up the pace.

Cartagena was the the next major city with a large river flowing to sea. Once again, we dodged junk in the outflow. But finally we were in clear water. Still, very little wind and burning diesel.

We approached Obaldia the second morning of our passage. That's where we encountered a slight delay. A Colombian Coast Guard Cutter steamed purposefully toward our flotilla of three boats. Mana Kai was first boarded by a large RIB (rigid bottom inflatable, launched from the cutter). We were the magic seven miles from Panama, Colombia felt they had the right to inspect us before we entered Panama waters.

Uproar and Skabenga slowed down even though we hadn't been hailed by the coast guard at that point. After about 15 minutes of searching Mana Kai, I called the coast guard, using our abbreviated boat name, “Uproar.” I asked if we were free to proceed. I received the response, “Tumultuous, you are to remain for inspection. Now, I didn't hail “Tumultuous Uproar.” They had the full name from our exit papers from Santa Marta. They were laying in wait for our arrival. Otherwise, they would have not know our boat's full name.

We were second for inspection. The RIB with 8 seamen came alongside. They didn't have proper fenders but I quickly tied a few on our port side. All were armed and courteous. But they violated an important nautical courtesy. They didn't ask permission to board. They just climbed aboard. They did ask permission to go below. Three seamen went below and Lisa assisted them in inspecting all or our salon lockers and our forward cabin. We had junk piled in the quarter berth and they just waived it off for inspection. The inspection was probably 20 minutes but seemed like a long time. I had an amiable chat with the seamen in the cockpit and still on the RIB.

Colombia has cleaned up their drug trade. This has had a positive impact on their country. I guess they are trying hard to keep it that way. One officer questioned Lisa extensively about the packages of powered milk, Trader Joe's scone mix, and even the big bag of pencils we hand out to impoverished schools. They were also curious about the huge pile of $100,000 bills of Venezuelan money we kept. Lisa explained it was worth less than $1 USD. When they left, the captain said, “You are OK.” I said, “Our friend, Skabenga, is OK too.” He laughed but they still motored over to Skabenga for their thorough inspection.

We made our way to Obaldia, a rolly anchorage with a rough dock and shabby town. The next 100 miles of Panama coastline are home of the Kuna Yala or San Blas islands. They are indigenous people who have fought to rule themselves independently from Panama. They are the second smallest race of people in the world, just bigger than African Pigmys. We were looking forward to exploring the world of these people and their beautiful islands.

The police at the dock were most courteous and explained with a mixture of Spanish and Spenglish what we needed for clearance. It took several hours, $400 and a huge pile of paperwork. Patience was required as the paperwork was mostly filled out by officials who scanned our documents for relevant information. We did get a small, local lunch, stroll of the town and a few beers in the meantime.

Obaldia has a small military base, probably 20 strong, concrete buildings and sand streets. We saw no motor vehicles, nothing requires more than a 5 minute walk. As we were leaving, the lady at the copy shop (and refrigerator with cold soda) gave us a receipt for $10 marked Kuna. I played dumb and just walked on. Seemed she was collecting a fee for the Kunas, indigenous people of the area.

Back on our boats, it was clear that Obaldia was way too rough to spend the night. Our flotilla of three motored 1 ½ miles across the bay to a protected anchorage. This was adjacent to an authentic Kuna village of grass huts. Not long after we anchored, a ulu (dugout canoe) with 6 boys paddled alongside. They were all smiles and readily agreed to be photographed. A few climbed on the back of Uproar. I brought out Sophie for them to pet. They had looks of horror until I made it clear she wouldn't bite. They asked for nothing and left after a lot of smiles, handshakes and waives.

But then another ulu with two ladies in traditional dress and a man paddled out and demanded $10 for anchoring in their bay. We showed them our clearance papers and even the $10 receipt from Obaldia. They were insistent that we pay them $10 also. I conveniently used the language barrier to frustrate them until they left. This was not the welcome to the land of the Kuna I expected. We had just paid $400 to enter Panama, the most we paid to enter any country so far. The scenario was to be repeated several times but did not overshadow the voyage through this unusual part of the world.

Vessel Name: Tumultuous Uproar
Vessel Make/Model: Beneteau 42s7
Hailing Port: Milwaukee, WI
Crew: Russ Whitford & Lisa Alberte plus Sophie our Jack Russell Terrier
Tumultuous Uproar's Photos - Lake Erie & Ontario