It’s amazing how well protected this anchorage was in these wind conditions. Not even a ripple in the anchorage, and exactly the right amount of wind (8-10 knots) in the lee side of the island. Which explains why there were 15-20 yachts anchored around us. Mike and Laura (Gilana), Maria and Kathy (Joanna), Jamie (Kookaburra), and Chris and Alex (Blue Wind) were all familiar faces – having all migrated from Yansaladup to this more protected anchorage.
As we motored in, we saw everyone getting ready to kite surf. It was a warm welcome. Despite how protected this anchorage was, it wasn’t an easy spot to anchor. There were quite a few yachts, and the holding was marginal (a thin layer of sand over hard-packed grass). I eased up in front of Kookaburra and Joanna and dropped the anchor. It pulled a bit so I picked the anchor back up, dropped it closer to the island, and let out more scope. Still not perfect, but the wind was predicted to be steady and we had virtually no waves.
A short exploring trip and we bumped into all of our friends. Where we learned Jamie was hosting a birthday party for Kathy. Which was convenient, as I was anchored a stone’s throw from Jamie’s yacht (Kookaburra). Even if things got a little rowdy, I could certainly weave my dinghy back to the mothership – all of 50 meters.
We left our friends to do some diving along a reef wall, hoping to bring something back so I could whip together some ceviche for Kathy’s B-Day. I saw a few Cero Mackerel that weren’t very enticing, and missed one. Then I saw a giant lion fish, who I decided to take home with me. There were a few Bar Jacks and Blue Runners in the mix, but nothing that was sufficiently tempting. So I took the lion fish back, made some ceviche, and got ready for the party.
All events are celebrated out here. All of them. Minor, major, or insignificant – it doesn’t take much to convince a bunch of cruising friends to get together to have drinks and eat finger-food for a few hours. Jamie told me everyone in the anchorage was coming. I asked her what the record number of people onboard was – apparently something close to 25. We both believed there would be a record set that night.
There was already quite a crowd of people onboard when we arrived – many of them new faces. We did a few introductions, and then noticed that we’d put Kookaburra’s waterline about a foot lower than it was. So we moved some people forward, where I sat down and finally had a beer with Mark (and Michelle) who is onboard S/V Reach. He’s also a spear fisherman, has a catamaran, and has been in this area for awhile. We’ve been emailing for probably a year or so, off and on – but that night was the first time we actually met. It’s cool how that works out.
The party was a hit, Jamie is an awesome host and a super-cool woman. I’m worried when her husband gets back from this delivery, that we’ll see less of her.
Soon it was down to the usual suspects, and getting a little late. Mom was getting tired, I was out of beer. We said our goodbyes and headed back to S/V NOMAD. The next morning we listened to the net (SSB 8107 at 08:30), made the rounds to say goodbye – and took off for Porvenir.
The sail here was wonderful. We averaged almost 8 knots the whole way, so it took us no time at all to get here. One of these days I’m going to put a new mainsail on and take off all the excess weight – I’m excited to see what she’ll do then. Even right now, it’s not bad for less than 38 foot of waterline.
Porvenir was a little crowded when we dropped the hook, and the holding wasn’t quite as nice as I’d like. So we ended up re-anchoring once, but eventually we had enough scope out that I was comfortable. We anchored right next to the airstrip, as we were waiting on Luke to fly in – but no matter how tucked-in to the island we got – we had either a stiff breeze or a beam swell. So we’re a bit rolly right now, and it’s humorous to watch Mom moving around as if the we were in 15 foot seas. She’s really spoiled on this catamaran, I can’t imagine how she’d be moving around if we were in a monohull.
After anchoring we went shopping. First stop was dinghy fuel, next was food and alcohol. Then we noticed One World and dropped by to say hello. From there we saw Fisherman’s Hornpipe and dropped by there – where Andy had shot a Cobia off his deck the night before. He gave me some fresh fish and invited us over for dinner, then told us where we could pick up some fresh vegetables. So we went back to another island to do some veggie shopping.
There we bumped into Lisa, who is quickly becoming one of my favorite people – but is heading to Columbia shortly. After a couple of beers with Lisa, we headed back to One World. I had a beer there, then came back to S/V NOMAD where we dropped off our groceries and cooked some rice to bring to dinner on Fisherman’s Hornpipe.
The trek back to Fisherman’s Hornpipe wasn’t too difficult, but it was threading between two reefs, at night, with a fair swell. But I made it without issue and ended up staying and drinking until about 1AM. It seemed like everytime I was ready to go, the wind would pick up or it would start to rain – both of which are excellent excuses for the “just one more beer” line. But all good things must come to an end, and I needed to be up at 5:30AM to have a cup of coffee before meeting Luke at the airport.
Where In The World Is Luke
At about 6AM I was getting ready to head off in my dinghy to the airport – when I got a message on Facebook from Luke. Apparently his flight from Albrook to San Blas was a bit of a disaster. Despite having confirmed surfboards being allowed on said flight, when the kiosk opened up – they wouldn’t let him on the flight with his surfboards. Major bummer.
Well. There was one taxi at Albrook, Luke jumped in that, and from there jumped in a jeep. From there jumped in a launcha/panga, and eventually (5 hours later) ended up onboard. As I’m writing this, his journey is finally winding down. But we’re about to go on a last-minute liquor and egg run, pick up the hook, and haul butt to somewhere with less rolling and hopefully more diving.
So, really, one adventure of Luke’s is over – and the other is just beginning.