Friday, September 13, 2013

Notes from Cassidy in Panama

Okay so I haven't written a blog in the longest time. Truth be told I'm only writing this because my precious iPad was threatened.  We are currently in the Perlas islands.  Before that we were at Isla Coiba, before that we were in Mutis, and before that we were somewhere else in Panama. Oh, and before Panama we were in Costa Rica.  Such lovely places, all one big blur at this point.  There were a few that stood out so I guess that's what I'll blog about.  Bahia Del Sol was our first stop in El Salvador.  It was a quiet, still, dirty watered lagoon, that was only accessible by surfing.  We literally had to surf a wave with the big boat.  We met another cruising boat, Grace, and went on a mangrove tour with one of the people from their crew.  Next we went to Golfo De Fonseca.  Isla Meanguera to be exact, where I met two nice boys that I will forever be teased about; parents these days!  Moving on.  While in Fonseca, we also visited El Tigre, Honduras for a day.  We paid for taxi (bumper carts) to drive us around the small island.  After touring the island and bugging all the locals to trade for foreign money, we left El Salvador.
A paragraph per country?  I can do this.  First stop in Costa Rica was Bahia Santa Elena.  Then we went to Coco and the family had had enough of me.  Poor old me was shipped back to America.  I had a great time, though. Family reunion, endless episodes of Lost, no constant smell of fish, swimming in a fresh water swimming pool (ocean is not a swimming pool, thank you very much), and stuffing my face with Chinese food. Anyway, BACK TO COSTA RICA!
From the airport in San Jose we went straight to Arenal Volcano National Park where I was bitten by a parrot, drank radiated milk, bathed in hot springs, drove cars across rivers, and discovered a tiny village.  Yes, I discovered it and it will forever be known as Mine.  I think it's a reasonable name.  After a few days in Arenal, we packed up and headed for the boat that was anchored somewhere that I don't remember, so apparently it wasn't that important.
I do remember Parque National Manuel Antonio, though. Monkeys, monkeys everywhere, and sloths, but mostly monkeys.  There were also raccoons, but they would steal my food and we have those in California so I preferred the monkeys.  I went to the park twice and loved it.  From Manuel Antonio we went to El Cania or whatever, it was a small island out of Drake Bay.  It was supposedly really nice diving but I didn't find it all that impressive.  The only thing that I found memorable there was the squall that hit us.  I don't remember the wind speed or anything but it pulled the boat so hard that one of the cleats that was holding the bridal ripped out and we eventually lost our anchor.  Uncle Loyal dove on it and saved the day.
Bahia Drake had some amazing hikes and a green watered estuary.   We hiked up to a village and some really nice beaches.  I left the family to go do my own exploring.  All in all it was probably my favorite place to hike.  From Drake the next place I remember is Golfito, sure we hit a few places along the way, but I don't remember those as well.  In Golfito we found heavenly Internet access, checked out of Costa Rica, and dropped off Uncle Loyal to go back to America.
Panama was the next country.  We went to some awesome little islands, Parida.  The best island in the group was Gamaz.  It was a small island that I could kayak all the way around.  The beach that we anchored off of had fine, white sand and a row of shady palm trees.  We left there for the Secas, which had amazing diving, rocky beaches, and nice tide pools.  There we met another cruising boat that has a ridiculously long name and it was probably in Italian anyways, so its not my fault that I cant remember it.  From the Secas we went to Isla Coiba and anchored off of off a huge beach that had a washed up boat.  When researching the beach, we discovered that it was a prison island.  A few decades ago a cruising couple anchored off of the island, the exact beach where we were, and the prisoners swam out, slit their throats, and stole their boat.  Very
Romantic.  Then we went to Montuso and swam with white tipped reef sharks.
After that we went to a few other islands around the area, then decided it was time to restock our food supply.  So after a month of eating down out canned food, we motored into Mutis.  It was a small little town that was hiding way up the estuary.  We stayed in Mutis for a few days, just long enough to check into Panama, bus to Santiago to restock food, and completely cover our bodies in no-see-um bites.
That was about a month ago now.  Since then we have been to Esmeralda, a small village with friendly, too friendly people.  I couldn't walk through town without all the native children following me.  And the children took up at least half of the town's population.  Shortly after we went to San Telmo.  It had a washed up submarine that would be out of the water at low tide and completely under water at high tide.  At low tide I could squeeze down the hatch into the surprisingly large cabin.  At high tide I could dive on it and swim with the little fishes.  Hopefully we got some pretty good video footage of the whole thing.  In the last day there were some whales sleeping not far from our boat, so we loaded up in the dinghy and motored out there.  The water visibility was horrible and I could only see about ten feet in front of me, but the group in the dinghy said that they were only about 30 feet away.  So I can proudly say that I swam with whales and a submarine.
From Telmo, we stayed a few other places and then anchored between Canas and Isla Puercos.   There were beaches on all sides, a new place to explore everyday.  Around the point of Isla Canas there were even more beaches and an impressive amount of caves.  We left there yesterday to come to the famous Isla Espiritu Santo.   The water is murky here, but the beach is beautiful.  And that’s about it.  I can’t really write about something that hasn't happened yet.
Bye-bye, Ta-ta, adios, till my iPad is threatened again.