A Travellerspoint blog

Panama

An Untouched Paradise

Sailing the San Blas on the Sailing Koala with an awesome group of people :)


View Central & South America on chellebelle's travel map.

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We awoke at 4am for a 5am trip to our boat. Needless to say we were zonked. The jeep tripped ended up being a crammed affair. There were seven of us and the driver in the jeep…they tried to make fit eight plus the driver but we blatantly said no as we already had 5 males in the jeep with no leg room. After an hour of the driver mucking around we were off for three hours in the jeep.
From the jeep it was onto a small boat to our yacht…the boat was were we first got to meet the other travellers we would be confined on a yacht with for the next five days. Luckily for us we had an awesome mix of people. There was a total of 11 of us who were about to be staying on the 43ft yacht known as the sailing koala. Needless to say we had minimal room for our time aboard but surprisingly this was never an issue. I had done plenty of research and had been told by a few people that El Captain…Fabian was amazing and was the man you needed to take you to from Panama to Colombia.

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The 11 of us seemed to have the same goal for the trip…we wanted to enjoy the islands and relax on our way to Colombia. To be perfectly honest I don’t know how we couldn’t have had a better boat, Danni and Cara from Australia, Jayden and Katrina from Germany/Australia, Dominic and Lisa from Germany, Chris from Switzerland, Carlos from Spain and Thyis from Netherlands. It was a great bunch. We then of course had Danila and Kat to help on board with Fabian.

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We meet the boat by immigration by this point we were already in the islands and the water was already gloriously light blue and clear. It was beginning to look like paradise. We cleared immigration and headed to a few more islands and paradise had been found. The islands were barely inhabited and there were only a few boats around. Looking into the water you could see fish around and when there was no wind the bottom. We spent time on the island which were just covered with coconuts (you weren’t allowed to take any as they belonged to the Kuni people this was one of the ways they made money).

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Our day was spent swimming, relaxing, sunbathing, reading, chatting, drinking or eating on the island or the boat. Either option was magnificent. Danila made stunning food from the tiny kitchen and not once could I dismiss how great it was. For the others on the first night they were given 11 fresh massive lobster (crayfish) that were brought from the local fisherman for dinner. Luckily for me and lewis we had delicious fried chicken rice that the others were envious of for the rest of that night.

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Our next day we moved to another set of islands that were just as stunning. Really it didn’t matter where we went it was beautiful in an unexplored and untouched kind of way. The local Kunas would come out in their canoes and show their wares in hopes that some of the girls on the boat would buy some. They were expensive and wanted $5USD for a beaded bracelet. I refused to give in but most of the others did.

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Our last day was spent at the ship wreck which is covered in coral and amazing for diving. We got Fabian to take us ashore with the boat and then walked to the wreck before snorkelling around it. It was that close to the shore that you could walk to it. It as surrounded by coral and fish and so cool to explore. The only issue besides getting a mask to seal for lewis was making sure you didn’t smash into the wreck itself. I administered some optometric work…our captain had developed a stye so I bathed and broke it before he couldn’t open his eye. That evening we were heading to the daunting bit…open sea.

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We would be at open sea sailing 24/7 for just over 40hours…or two nights. I missed dinner that night…and the next night two. Sadly my sea sick tablets were only so good and I was hanging over the side loosing my insides for a few hours from 2am. Lewis eventually came to my rescue with the captain…who thought I may fall overboard and they gave me more medication to make me sleep. Sadly for lewis he also gained the first night watch for the rest of the morning (2am – 5am). Thankfully (for me not everyone else) I wasn’t the only one who got seasick thought I was the only one that managed to lie in the same place for 24hours like a hobo on the deck. The only way I could manage to feel ok even with the tablets was to lie down. The cool thing about this was that I also go to see the massive storm we went through on the final night before it hit massively. We sailed into a storm which eventually surrounded us. Watching the thunder and lighting from a distance was a spectacular sight. Especially when you are a little vulnerable. When the rain started I was put back into my bed and hoped the nausea wouldn’t come back with the rolling boat. The next morning I awoke to see the city…that meant we were close to Cartagena..our first stop in Colombia and South America. It was an awesome to sail into the marina. After a hearty breakfast we all sadly headed to the port. We knew that this was going to be the end of our epic adventure. We had already arranged to go for dinner that night to try and extend our adventure together a little further.

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I had my doubts about the trip before we started as I get seasick so I was dreading feeling ill for the next five days. We had also heard from numerous people who were taking the jet boat to Colombia as it is a cheaper alternative. After the trip I can say 100% that it was an amazing experience and I don’t regret a second of it and opting for sailing to Colombia. It is something I never thought I would do and our time in the San Blas was paradise. The price in the scheme of things makes sense and the food we had was amazing! Your experience on the trip comes down to what boat and captain you have. This you can figure out with the help of blue sailing and with some research. We saw a few party boats and we all agreed we were much happier on our laid back chilled out boat where we drank as little or as much as you wanted. The thing you can’t pick on your boat is the other travellers who will share this amazing experience with you. I have to say we cracked it. We had an awesome crew and I am so happy we got to go through this awesome journey with them. I can’t wait to see them all again. Lewis and I both agree that this is definitely another massive highlight of our trip. Even while being seasick I still had a great time.

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Chris a fellow blogger/vloger has also done a small video and write up. Check it out here.

Posted by chellebelle 18:34 Archived in Panama Tagged people food koala storm san sailing beautiful amazing thunder blas untouched vomitting Comments (0)

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