Chichime to the West Lemmons
01 March 2013
We left Chichime for the West Lemmons today. We had been looking towards the Lemmons and what you saw were a whole bunch of boats that looked like they were anchored in the middle of nowhere....strange sight. Surrounding the boats are small islands with palm trees and white beaches and maybe 2 or 3 houses or maybe just one house. The houses are made of wood and the roofs are palm leaves, very simplistic. The people are friendly and of course have molas, etc to sell. Of course the anchorages were protected by the reefs which were a little tricky to navigate but the Bauhaus guide helped a lot with this.
We anchored in a spot that was recommended by another cruiser which was a little ways away from the rest of the boats. There was going to be some heavy winds over the next few days so we let out lots of scope and made sure the anchor was set. The San Blas have a local net on channel 72, so we were able to find out what is going on. One of the islands in the West Lemmons had a little bar on it where you could have beer, wine, soft drinks, etc. We arrived just intime as there was going to be a cruisers get together at the bar, so off we went. It was great to meet and talk to some of the cruisers and share stories. One thing we have found on this side of the canal is that there are lots of european boats and a high percentage of catamarans.
During this get together we found out where the best spot was for snorkelling and the boys went out the 1 day and all of us went the next day. The coral is amazing, many different types and sizes, very colourful! On the second day we also found a lot of fish, which made the snorkelling trip a great one! Of course the water is nice and warm here.
Time flew by and now it was time for Doug and Mike to leave, they had arranged a panga ride to Carti, once in Carti, they would catch a 4 x 4 taxi across the mountains to Panama City where they would catch their flight. The morning came for them to be picked up and the wind had already started to blow and the seas were a little rougher than they had been, it was going to be a wet ride across to Carti. We were sad to see them go, 2 weeks passed by so quickly.
When we left shelter Bay we were not sure how they were going to get back to Panama City for sure, they had gathered info and found out about the 4 x 4 taxi ride but the info was not solid. But never fear once you get to the San Blas, the cruiser net, had all the answers they needed .... no problem.
We had hoped to be able to let other friends come and join us but by the time we had solid info on the travel back to Panama City it was too late to contact anyone. It would have been much easier if the airport at Porvenir would have been open but it is still closed.
During the one night we had winds of 35 knots +, it was a sleepless night as we were on anchor watch most of the night. The wind blew for a couple of days and then calmed down. Once it calmed down we figured it was time to move again.