Posted by: catamarantwooceans | February 5, 2015

With Gili & Friends–part 2

21.1.15 – Wednesday – We wanted Mali and Boaz to see Coco Bandero so we motored over. Gili and I snorkeled around one of the islands, seeing a nice eagle ray, big barracuda, permit fish and other reef creatures. After a pizza lunch we sailed to the East Lemmons. As we were having our margaritas a motor boat approached; I immediately recognized Lisa Harris, master Mola maker. Mali wanted to buy some and a deal was struck after some bargaining.

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Lisa, as every one who visited the area knows, is a man who was raised and appears as a woman. This, we are told, is not an uncommon practice in the Kuna Yala.

22.1.15 – Thursday – We passed most of the day in the same anchorage; Boaz nursing a bad cold that took hold of him, Mali reading and Gili and I snorkeling the reef on the south of Nuinudup island. At 3 p.m we set out to go to Porvenir. On the way we passed Lemmon Cays and saw one of the yachts that had the misfortune of grounding on a reef at the beginning of the month.

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The rumor is that a salvage ship from Colombia is on the way to save her. Getting close to Porvenir I felt the appearance of Sail Rock at the entrance was different from what it was when we left the place on Sunday. It took me a few seconds to realize that a sailing yacht was hard aground on the reef with no mast or sails. When we came ashore we gathered pieces of information. It happened on Monday evening in the dark; the skipper already flew to the U.S leaving the yacht for the Kuna people to exploit. After I took the yacht’s picture I noticed that a local man was on the bow.

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I would not speculate about the reasons for that mishap.

23.1.15 – Friday – At 0600 I took Mali and Boaz to the hotel near the airstrip. We waited for the airplane to land but it did not arrive. When we lost patience half an hour after the planned ETA, the Kuna old lady, who seemed to be the ops officer on the island, called the airline. A lengthy conversation ensued at the end of which they promised to send a "special plane" that would arrive at 0800.

Back to the boat for coffee and breakfast and then back to the strip. The single engine, four seat bird ( a Cessna?) landed at 0830; Mali and Boaz could finally board.

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Theirs was a short visit but they experienced a lot; from the tranquility of Chagres river to the bad conditions of the leg to San Blas and then the wonders of the islands.

Gili and I were ready for our next guests, my cousin and his wife – Yossi and Ester who would come on Sunday. Just as I was preparing to raise the anchor, a yacht came in; I thought I heard Hebrew spoken there and sure enough it was Jerry Lipson, an airline pilot from Israel with his two men crew. We exchanged a few words and departed towards Carti Tupile, where the harbor master, senior Lopez, said we could fill up water at the island’s dock. We approached the short dock gingerly, tied up and started filling our tanks. The water tap did not have a lot of pressure so it was supplemented by three men hauling jerry-cans which I siphoned into the tanks.

Cost of water – 10$; labor – the guys wanted 3 dollar each and Gili, impressed by their hard work added some more. Yours truly, who had to manhandle ALL of those containers, was not rewarded at all…. Just kidding…With all the hard work, I neglected my documentary obligations, forgetting to take pictures of the proceedings.

A few hundred meters to Carti Sugdup, lunch, short visit to town and then we motored to Aridup for the night.

24.1.15 – Saturday – The morning was dedicated to cleaning the boat; another pressing matter was investigating a small leak originating in the starboard forward locker, where a fuel tank is located. I took  everything out, gave the locker a good rinse and then wiped the bottom dry. Waited a reasonable time and verified that we did have a leak from the tank. I plugged the drain and would have to sponge and store the fuel in a can until we get back to the marina, where a permanent repair would be possible.

In the afternoon we sailed to Nonomulu island near Carti, to await the arrival of my cousin Yossi and his wife, Ester. We thought it would be a secluded and quiet bay but found out it was close to the terminal to which all traffic from Panama City to San Blas comes. I’ll pick them up from there with the dinghy. A panga loaded with vegetables came by and we did our shopping with them.

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