San Blas (Yet Again)

New stackpack install

New stackpack install

And here’s part of the party held on my boat without me (previous post).  You’re welcome Dave.

My boat party without me

My boat party without me

Yesterday we sailed out of Puerto Lindo.  I was ecstatic.

Sailing out of Puerto Lindo

Sailing out of Puerto Lindo

We had some trouble with a belt, then changing said troublesome belt became problematic.  Problem was resolved, we were back on track.  This is what voyaging via sailboat often looks like – sweating and filthy from crawling around in the engine room.

The "engine work" look

The “engine work” look

Then, after I’d sweated gallons in the engine room – the sun hid and we bumped into a little offshore storm.  Nothing crazy, but we went from 0 knots of wind to 25 in seconds.  We (and S/V NOMAD) got a bath, and we were sailing very quickly – despite being fully loaded with extra diesel, extra gasoline, full watertanks (plus extra water), three people, and 4 weeks of rations (and then some).  For as heavy as we were, I’m surprised we made it above 4 knots – but we did 8 knots for a while.

Here’s the storm, right before it hit us.

Wind and rain offshore

Wind and rain offshore

And here’s me raising sails as the storm hits us.You can see the bright sunlight we sailed through in the background.  It went from hot to cold, from 0 knots to 25 (plus) – in seconds. Awesome.  This is a new favorite pic of mine – the clouds are phenomenal.

Sails up in the storm

Sails up in the storm

We made it to San Blas about 5PM.  I wasn’t comfortable risking anchoring in the dark, so we did the easy thing – and dropped the hook in Chichime.  We actually scored a pretty epic spot here and stayed hooked on our first drop.  There’s a video from the anchorage in my Instagram feed.

This morning we woke up, drank coffee slowly, and discussed our “plans” for the day.  Originally it was an early dive and then some boat maintenance.  While having that discussion, we were visited by the local Kuna and bought a couple of coconuts from him – which he promptly opened and cleaned for us.  We had a 1/2 gallon of coconut water and three coconuts – along with some corned beef hash for breakfast.  We’re spoiled.

Coconut water / meat operations

Coconut water / meat operations

The dive was far more eventful than I thought it would be.  I saw 3 decent Black Grouper, several large Dog Snapper, and a nice Yellowtail Snapper (my favorite, which came home with me).  I will admit that there may, in fact, be decent spearfishing in San Blas.

There were a couple of small reef sharks, and 3 or 4 nurse sharks.  One was massive, maybe 8 or 9 feet?  It kept surprising me by managing to squeeze in really close when the surf was breaking over me.  Sneaky. 

Then we made it back to the boat and found out that the sharks had stolen some of Damien’s fish.  He was bummed, but the good news was Chelsea found two little octopus.  She marked the holes, so we found them and began the process of trying to pull them out of the hole.

Octo dinner

Octo dinner

Me getting that octo dinner

Me getting that octo dinner

We managed one out of the two octos (tako, if you prefer). That was enough, so we headed back.  Once back, Damien cleaned the octo.  Then while I was cleaning the snapper for Japanese-style ceviche (secret recipe) – Damien pressure-cooked the octo for some really amazing octo-sushi.  Delish.

Damien getting excited about octo

Damien getting excited about octo

While all that was happening, Chelsea went diving for a starfish and I threw out a line with some octo-leftovers.  It only took a couple of minutes and we pulled in a decent Yellow Jack.  In just a morning, we had more fish than we could eat.  Which is a great problem to have.

The starfish hunter

The starfish hunter

Yellow Jack for dinner!!

Yellow Jack for dinner!!

So – I’m back in San Blas and we’re having fun.  Finally.  I really don’t enjoy boat maintenance – so it’s nice to have some payoff for what was a long week of repairs/maintenance.  We do still have some boat projects – but we’re beat from diving and I had a glass of wine with lunch.  So we might put that stuff off ’till manana.

The office

The office

I guess even I’m susceptible to manana-time, in San Blas.

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