Nice anchorages, bad weather, big swells in between the islets.
All Matt’s fantasies and pretend play of being stranded on an island when he was little, or…until this day, have become partially real during our passages in Panama, I say partially because we are not really stranded and I am probably not the Bo Derek he had pictured. So here we were in the islands searching for water, creating ways to collect it with bamboo and old leaves to redirect the flow, making ropes out of vines, building fires, washing the clothes in a waterfall, fishing, snorkeling, finding shady spots to relax on a swaying hammock and best of all doing it all for free. I must confess though, the fishing… what a disappointment. All we have gotten lately are the “rejects” (Bonito, Jacks and the ones the fish book describes as “it may taste good when there is nothing else to eat”). Matt discovered that fish go crazy with pork meat… he saved a few pieces from his dinner. As soon as he put the hook in the water with the meat, a big number of fish would come around and take it. Matt said to me very proudly “the pork is working great!”, my words back were… “its working great for the fish, but no so good for us”. I must have discouraged him because the fishing ended and no fish was put on the table.
I would imagine that as time goes by, adventures like this at a cost like this won’t be able to be repeated. Many of the islands have been purchased by foreigners and it is only a matter of time before they find a way to make money of the visitors. Other islands are in the hands of the government who has transformed them into National Parks, making them either a no landing zone or the fee to enter is unaffordable. Such was the case of Isla Coiba. It would have cost us over $100 a day to be there. We skipped several with sorrow, but I guess we don’t have to see all the islands to feel that we have seen paradise, we don’t have the time to see all the islands and we don’t deserve to see more beauty than what we have already seen!