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Sailing Panama to Colombia Part 2

Sailing Panama to Colombia Part 2

With bikes already on the boat, the riders are picked up at the dock in the morning to board Independence for the morning voyage. And then we wait for the remaining passengers.  He goes back with the dinghy to pick up the backpackers who board the boat last.  The good news?  The bikers got to pick cabins first.  The bad news?  All the cabins are bad, so it wasn’t that exciting..

You can see the bikes take up nearly the whole back of the boat.  It’s an 85 footer, yet still I was impressed we made them fit with the small space that is usable on deck. With the bikes tied on with every spare piece of rope and tie-down strap we could find, the boys are convinced that once we are sailing, the ropes need to be adjusted due to the movement.

They were right!  We were imagining that if one bike went over the edge, it would take the rest of our bikes with it!  But they were all diligent in checking the straps regularly.  That’s David from the United States on a BMW 1200gs and Conor from the UK on his Red Suzuki V-Strom.

The plan is to have a vacation from our vacation.  We are headed to the San Blas Islands which we get to explore for the next 2-3 days as part of our journey to Cartegena, Colombia.

The first island was the Grand Island were the captain dropped anchor and let us explore for 3 hours.

Being the big island, there is a village here.  We wandered and explored.

And not far down the beach I see these gorgeous kids playing.  I couldn’t help but stop to have a little chat.

They are SO friendly!!  I asked to get a photo with them and they attacked me like their long lost Aunt.  I love them!!

More exploring.. I took this photo below of Guillaume, Patrick and Kevin.  Three Canadian boys who never met in Canada, but are living the high life in San Blas Islands, Panama.  Kevin loved this photo. As soon as I took it, “You’ll copy that to me, right?”  Hmmm, I’ll think about it… of course you ding dong!  ;-)))

We find the Americans and the Aussies on the beach.  I just realized a difference in personalities.  All of us on motorcycles got to the island and set off to explore as much of it as we could.  The backpackers were happy just to plunck themselves down on the beach.  I felt kind of bad for the American girls. They continuously complained quite loudly about the motorcycles being on the boat.  In fairness, these backpackers are on a holiday and I might agree that the boat would have been more comfortable in holiday mode without having to crawl over bikes to get to the back deck..  We simply wanted to get from one place to another and this is our transport.  But they are literally on their vacation and fly home the day after we arrive Colombia.

Finally found a little boat to take us back to the big boat.

Needed to get back in time for dinner and the captain wants to sail during the night to our next stop.  I have to admit the staff of 3 for this boat were wonderful.  They all work so hard and they fed us very well.

Patrick and a few others were keen to jump off the boat first thing in the morning.  The showers are so gross, this is the best plan really.  Kevin noticed a kayak on board and asked the captain if we could use it.  And now he’s waiting on me!

We spotted a tiny island that had 2 palm trees, and decided to kayak there.  It was so exciting.. How often in your life do you get to have your very own island!!!

This is such a nice break from the motorcycle. Sorry, I might get a little carried away with photos now, but it was such a fun day I want to keep them as memories in my blog. 😉

This is just awesome!!  It’s wonderful to be away from an over-crowded boat.. Included is a bit of adventure by paddling the kayak through the sea.. Kevin went snorkeling with my camera for a bit.. and then I think he told me a minimum of 50 stories… Plus, we got a sun tan, which I can’t usually do in my motorcycle suit… H A P P Y !!!!!!

Eventually, and I mean like hours later, we decided to get back in the kayak to check out the bigger island the captain intended us to visit.

Patrick has a super zoom lens and sent me this photo of Kev and I leaving the island in the kayak.

Here we found my favorite Aussie on the beach… Dan!   He’s been away from home for over 10 years.  He rides a Kawasaki KLR with surfboard attached!  The boy knows how to live.. hey?

Aha!  We can get some coconut!!  Kevin is traveling without his machete in the kayak, so we have to let a local woman prepare one for us. Great opportunity to learn, hey Kev??  (I don’t see any green ones in her pile.. 😉

The coconut is so refreshing!!  What was even more refreshing was the wine we poured into the empty coconut and then drank that too! ;-)))  I am thinking by the look on our faces, we are quite proud of this achievement!

Everybody is happy.  Holidays in Panama!!

No.. Kevin!  I’ve already heard that story…!!  Tell me another one… 😉

The girls are floating around and I love the shipwreck in the background..

We were so incredibly hot and to avoid bugs,  it just felt better to hang out in the water..  This is totally our day in paradise..

Suprisingly, nobody wanted the kayak.  We left it on the beach for others to use, as we’d been away so long on 2 tree island, and we felt a bit guilty for hogging it.  But they didn’t want it!  So while sitting here, we spotted the one tree island.  Since we’ve already been on two tree island, wouldn’t it be better to go to the one with only one?? ;-))

We went back to the Independence and confirmed with the captain about how much time before we sail.  Kev took the opportunity to load up on wine and Pringles.. smart move!  While there, a group of islanders came out in their canoe to sell the captain lobsters.  I don’t eat lobster, so it didn’t matter to me, but all the others were excited.  We know what’s for dinner tonight and we know that it’s very fresh!

We paddled on over to one tree island and set up camp.  You can see by the branches on the one palm tree….!!! that the wind has kicked up quite a bit.  But still a thoroughly enjoyable place to hang out.  I think I like the sand on this island better.. ha!  How is that.. our own island is a major special treat.  But today we got two islands to ourselves.  Amazing!!!!

So… it’s getting late in the day.  With the stronger winds I was getting a bit cold.  We decided to take a walk around the island to warm up.. ha!  When I got to the other side of the island about 30 seconds later, I found part of a green t-shirt sticking out of the sand.  I pulled it out, shook it off and put it on.  It didn’t smell too good.  It’s certainly been there a while, but as soon as I put it on I felt better.  Think about that for a moment.  I am cold, I need something to wear.  I am on the tiniest island in the middle of nowhere.  A shirt just happened to be waiting there in the sand for who knows how long. In a few words, “Ask and you shall receive..” ???  Or.. “Anything is possible” ??? I know, that’s a bit deep, but had to throw it in.

One last photo on the island.. again sorry for the overload.. need to show off my new t-shirt.  I love the color! ;-))

It’s time to paddle back to the boat.  The wind is more, the waves are higher, but we still paddle back in far less time than I expected.  What a gorgeous place on the planet to be today….

Conor sent me this photo as we arrive back to the boat.

Once on board, everybody it seems was watching Kevin and I in the binoculars, or photo lens.  It really surprised me.  One told me that they thought it would be super hard in the wind for us to make it back alone.  The Swiss couple came to me and said they were thoroughly impressed how Kevin and I paddle together.  Excuse me?  She said that they watched us a lot today and noticed that we paddle totally in sync.  (I wouldn’t know as I was always in front, but we did cruise at times).  She explained further that she believes this is a sign of a long and lasting relationship if you can be in sync like that.  Again… excuse me??  She was very sincere and I thought it was really cute, a theory I had never heard before.  She was really concerned as she said that she and her husband have tried to kayak on numerous occasions and they just go in circles.  I thought they were a fantastic couple.  I get how she came up with the analogy, but I don’t think that is a theory I would live by.  And I don’t think they should be so hard on themselves over kayak technique!  I am sure they will last.. really sure… 😉

I told Kevin about this conversation later that night, and he said they came up to him on the boat and told him the same thing. We thought it was sweet and chuckled a bit.

Now.. the group is on to the lobster!


One of my best days EVER, I will always remember… thanks Kev! ;-)))

Originally from America. Proud citizen of Australia. Currently riding my motorcycle around the world. 44 countries so far and counting. ;-)

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