Away with Away

29 January 2015 | Kuna Yala, Panama
28 January 2015 | East Lemmons, Kuna Yala
27 January 2015 | East Lemmons, Kuna Yala
26 January 2015 | Banedup and Elefante, Kuna Yala
24 January 2015 | Green Island, Kuna Yala
23 January 2015 | Nargana, Panama, San Blas
21 January 2015 | Sabudupored Island, Kuna Yala
16 March 2014 | Isla Bastimientos, Panama
15 March 2014 | Bay of Almirante, Panama
14 March 2014 | Tierra Obsura, Almirante Bay, Panama
13 March 2014 | South End ofIsla Bastimientos, Panama
12 March 2014 | Escudo de Varaguas, Panama
11 March 2014 | Crossing Approach to Panama Canal
10 March 2014 | Portobelo, Panama
09 March 2014 | Turtle Bay Marina and Portobello
08 March 2014 | Punta San Blas and the Costa Arriba
04 March 2014 | West Hollandes, Kuna Yala, Panama
28 February 2014 | Coco Banderos West and East
24 February 2014 | Tupile, Kuna Yala, Panama
23 February 2014 | Tupile, Kuna Yala

Making sail to the Robeson chain of islands

29 January 2015 | Kuna Yala, Panama
Winds high and gusting, following seas
Today our friends from England, Fred and Beryl, arrive at the boat by 4 wheel drive and then a 45 minute panga ride to our boat. We just talked to them and their ride in Panama City did not show up, so plan b for today is in effect. This will involve our pulling up anchor and sailing toward Carti where we will then pick them up.

The wind is coming up so we make the decision to move out sooner than planned. We negotiate lifting anchor around the Italian boat that has anchored and has swung very close to where our anchor is located. But we are successful and start our sail towards Carti to pick up Fred and Beryl. The sail is dead downwind so in the interest of time we decide to motor most of the way and also charge our batteries.

After a number of phone calls, we are able to get a panga to bring Fred and Beryl to our new location on Sugdup, and after quick hellos and hugs, we lift anchor to sail over to a small island on the western edge of the Bahia de San Blas, in the Robeson chain of islands near Gerti, so that we arrive on the island in good light.

After anchoring at Gerti, we go ashore with our friends on the boat Blow Me Away, Aaron and Lyla, who are from Kansas City, along with their friends Dennis and Pam who are from Maine. We visit a master mola maker on the Island by the name of Ingi, who shows everyone some of her beautiful work. Of course there are some too beautiful to pass up, so Karna and Beryl each come back with a few of their favorites.

We then make arrangements with Bredio to eat dinner on the island that evening in their small one table restaurant. The menu is fresh fish, banana/plantain, and yucca, and costs $3 per person. While there we make arrangements with Bredio for him to take us up the Mandinga River to a Kuna Village on the mainland on a panga the next day.

Ready to lift anchor

28 January 2015 | East Lemmons, Kuna Yala
Winds increasing, weather great
Today we spent readying the boat for guests Fred and Beryl, who will arrive from Panama City tomorrow, and also inflating our Kayak for exploring over the next few days.

We had time to do some snorkeling and to check our anchor, which we will pull tomorrow to leave for the SW islands of the San Blas.

A cruiser from Italy pulled up right in front of us and dropped anchor very close to our boat and to our anchor. They had a 3-4 year-old daughter who roamed the boat at will without netting. She was very much at home.

Navigating Reefs

27 January 2015 | East Lemmons, Kuna Yala
Winds 20, skies blue
Our friends, Mike and Gloria, from Respite helped us sort out our handheld shortwave radio today, and surprisingly we were able to listen to some of the SW Caribbean Cruisers Net, and then a bit later to the Panama Connections Net, both of which broadcast weather and other items of interest to cruisers in Kuna Yala and beyond.

Then Mike and I decided to take a dinghy over to Elefante where a Cruiser’s Swap Meet was being held. The trip over was about two miles, but through passages between a number of shallow reefs. We had good light, and we made it over to the island in good shape, passing by Dog Island and a wreck that divers and snorklers can explore.

The reefs are difficult to see, and the trip gave us new respect for the Kunas who are able to navigate the reefs even in the dark.

Australia Day

26 January 2015 | Banedup and Elefante, Kuna Yala
Winds strong, skies blue
After a very nice and fast sail to the East Lemmons chain of islands and reef, and a nice welcome and reconnection with our friends, Mike and Gloria on Respite, we joined a number of other cruisers for a panga trip over to Elefante to celebrate Australia Day with all of the cruisers from Australia. It was quite a party with probably close to 100 attendees.

James from Chappy had just returned from the States with his new trawler and his sister in tow, and we had a wonderful time catching up and hearing about his stories coming down from Maine over the past several months.

Some great pictures, met many new people, including two from WSU, two from Wisconsin, and another James, who actually brought ice cream from Panama City to celebrate on the island.

At Ease

24 January 2015 | Green Island, Kuna Yala
We spent the day in Green Island, quietly at anchor. I worked on the radio, and of course one problem leads to another, and before long, a simple fix of a speaker had turned into a "use every tool in the boat" project. In the end, the culprit was two cotter pins masquerading as RCA jacks. Easy fix if I had RCA jacks.

Late in the day, we went ashore, and Karna and I spoke with Adelaida, who with her family, were caretaking Green Island on behalf of the Kunas. She and her family made some beautiful Molas, and so we of course bought two of the more interesting ones. One of them was of a reindeer playing a guitar, which emblematic of our Christmas in Bocas del Toro, where we enjoyed live music from Andy, Patrick, Dave and others, on several occasions. Picture attached.

Waiting for water

23 January 2015 | Nargana, Panama, San Blas
Winds 15, Skies cloudy
Yesterday we sailed to Nargana to reprovision, take on water and diesel, and renew our friendship with Federico, whom we mentioned in several blogs last year.

Sure enough, when we sailed in to the harbor, there was Federico, in his Ulu, visiting other cruisers to offer his services. We recognized him immediately and he soon came over to our boat. We shared some stories about previous experiences, and Federico offered to help us with water and diesel, and we were soon on land. We had a nice lunch with him at a local restaurant, visited a vegetable market where we also bought chicken, and finished by getting 20 gallons of diesel and 6 gallons of drinking water.

Today we are waiting for full supply of water, and both tanks are completely empty. We started doing laundry, and are hoping that the guy who has water will come soon.

He's here, with his panga full of 55 gallon drums of water. We remove the water out of the open drums by bucket, one bucket at a time, 165 gallons in total. We have the tanks full in less than an hour. It's quite a process, but we are very happy to have water again.

We finish the wash and get ready to leave Nargana for Green Island where we will spend a few days before going to the East Lemmons to pick up our friends from England, Fred and Beryl, who are arriving on the 29th.
Vessel Name: Away
Vessel Make/Model: Dufour 433
Hailing Port: San Francisco
Crew: Don Karna
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Away's Photos -


Who: Don Karna
Port: San Francisco