July 18 – Aug 10, 2013: from Puerto Obaldia to El Porvenir, Panama (map stop 2 to 3)
We travelled the length of Kuna Yala three times during this period.
(1) We arrived at Puerto Obaldia (the far eastern end of Kuna Yala) and were told that we couldn’t check in to Panama there. Boats from Colombia can check in but we had arrived from Turks and Caicos and the immigration officer had never heard of that place so refused to check us in and sent us to El Porvenir — the far western end of Kuna Yala. We sailed to El Porvenir, making stops at Puerto Perme, Isla Pinos, Aridup, and Nargana. Once we got there, It took two days to check in because the miserable immigration officer had bunked off work.
(2) Then, we sailed back from El Porvenir to Puerto Obaldia, stopping at Carti, Green Island, Nargana, Orduptarboat, Aridup, Isla Pinos, and Carreto. At Puerto Obaldia, we picked up Cameron and Ruaridh who had flown in from Texas to spend a week with us.
(3) We sailed from Puerto Obaldia to Playon Chico with Cameron and Ruaridh. We stopped at Carreto, Puerto Escoses (where we were moved on late at night by the Panamanian coast guard who said the bay was muy peligroso due to FARQ activity), Isla Pinos (where we hiked in the rain to the highest point of the island and ate octopus stew for lunch in a Kuna kitchen), Achutupu, and Aridup. At Playon Chico, we said good bye to Cameron and Ruaridh and welcomed Gayle M and Miriam onto On Delay for a week. With them, we sailed back to El Porvenir, stopping at Aridup, Niadup, Nargana, and Nubesidup (aka Disney-dup — for the best snorkelling in Kuna Yala).
July 12-17, 2013: from Providenciales, Turks and Caicos to Puerto Obaldia, Panama (map stop 1 to 2)
This was our longest, fastest trip yet. We left Turks and Caicos on Friday evening and arrived in Panama midday on Wednesday. We travelled almost 900 miles through the water. We had intended to leave on Saturday morning, but on Friday afternoon we got an email from our weather adviser (Chris Parker) telling us that we had to be south of 11° N by dusk on Tuesday to avoid gale force winds and steep seas. To have any hope of making that timing, we had to leave that night. We did make our goal, crossing the magic 11°N just after 3 pm on the Tuesday. Whew. After that, the wind died and we did a lot of motoring. We were very glad to be motoring without any canvas out when an intense squall came up on us. We saw 58 knots on the knot meter. Happily, it didn’t last long and the seas at the time were flat — scarey enough, ntl.