Posted by: catamarantwooceans | February 5, 2015

More Sailing in Kuna Yala

After a long time with no internet, we now have it in Green Turtle Cay marina. I’ll publish more than one post so please, look for it.

25.1.15 – Sunday – The terminal was a beehive of action with a multitude of water taxis dropping people off and picking others up to go to different locations.


Ester and Yossi were soon on the boat and we motored the 2 miles to Carti Sugdup to let them have a first impression of life in the Kuna Yala.

Next we went to Porvenir to collect the laundry we let the hotel do "a mano", by hand and then to Chichime for the night. A few of the yachts in the anchorage had flags of the "World A.R.C"  and were supposed to leave for Colon the next day.

26.1.15 – Monday – This was the day of the cruisers party in the West Lemmons so we went too. Rob Dehaan, out of yacht "Southern Comfort" who was involved with the party’s organization, hoped for 40 yachts. When we met him on shore he said that there were 60 yachts present. The party took place on Elephant island, around the local bar. Cheep beers and wine made everybody happy. Here are some pictures I took.

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                         Ester, Yossi and Gili

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                     our ladies with Rob

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            Lauren, Rob’s wife

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                   The youngest participant

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                  some other young ones

27.1.15 – Tuesday – A "Flea Market" was planned to take place on Elephant at 1430; we decided to give it a miss and instead sailed to the Western Holandes. Last time I visited here we were three yachts in the anchorage; this time there were eight, including a small cruise ship.

Yossi is an enthusiastic fisherman and I wanted to give him a chance in that location, which the guide described as having superb snorkeling and fishing. Snorkeling was great but our fishing results were nil. We tried different baits; octopus and fish pieces we had in the freezer – no success. In despair we resorted to using chicken breast and in half an hour we had four snappers.

28.1.15 – Wednesday – We decided to stay another day. We liked the place, especially the reef on the east side of the break between the two islands on the western side of the group. Gili declared that it was the prettiest location in all of San Blas. Thoughts of repeating the fishing performance of the previous day were on our minds but inexplicably no fish was taken.

29.1.15 – Thursday – From Western Holandes we sailed to the west islands of Coco Bandero, anchoring near Obduptarboat, another beautiful island, complete with white coral sand and coconut trees. We  swam to some of the reefs surrounding the anchorage and were disappointed by the small number of fish seen; we did see three stingrays, one of them a real monster.

We had lunch and a bit of a rest before motoring two miles to the east to what I began to call "Coco Bandero Central". Again, dismal fishing performance. Are we going to have to BUY fish?

30.1.15 – Friday – We found ourselves short in water. Getting water is a problem here and in the past we could always count on the  supplier in Nargana. Today, as we dropped our anchor opposite their place, we saw their panga tied to the dock with non of the water barrels they use to ferry water to boats in it. Apollo, local Water Walla, said no water would be available until Sunday. We convinced his boss to sell us 36 gallons out of his home big tank of rainwater, so at least we shall not suffer thirst.

We did a lot of shopping for the next few days and then sailed to the area of Green Island and found shelter on its east behind the island of Kulgaladup. From the distance it seemed nice and had the benefit of having the place all for ourselves but frankly, it did not have any advantage over our regular anchorage.

31.1.15 – Saturday – Wanting to combine seeing new places with fishing on the way, we left the Green Island complex and sailed to Isla Puyadas, where "fishing and snorkeling are excellent" according to the guide. Isla Puyadas is open to  the ocean and is recommended as a day stop and settled weather anchorage. Today it was not so settled, the anchorage a bit rolly and snorkeling out of the question. We decided to go to Tigre island, 2.2 miles to the south, where we planned to spend the night.  

From the distance Tigre was not very attractive; when we got closer we saw that the coordinates given in the guide as the western entry were in fact for the anchorage inside. Our approach took us over an area of 3 meters deep water and as we entered it I said to Gili:"It is going to be rough getting out of here". At that moment a big, steep wave towered behind and broke on our stern. I turned the wheel to port, opened power and went back to the safety of deeper water. We decided to relocate to a quiet place not far from Nargana, to where we needed go the next day for water. After a stop for lunch at the pleasant Isla Tupile we went further west to Sugardup, 1.5 miles from the entrance to Nargana.

Sugardup is another of those beautiful islands that make up Kuna Yala; some of them are so low and small that one wonders how they stand the onslaught of the sea.

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Near our chosen anchorage local fishermen were at work; they utilize a system by which they spray the surface with water, presumably to attract the fish. They were taking out fish at a fast rate while we had no success at all.

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