Loc: North of Bahia de nombre de Dios
Dist: 32,8 km
Start: 6:50 End: 16:45
A good sleep, despite it was hot and muggy as usual. I sleep the best hours in the early morning when it is maybe two degrees less…just covered with a silky pareo, lying on my fleece blanket to soak the seat which I need in cooler conditions like inside ac rooms. Not more bedding necessary.
Once all people were gone, a motorboat with two guys came back twice to load something…what? No idea. I don’t think they were cleaning the beach from the trash…
The wind softened a bit in the afternoon, and the outlook is calmer the next days. The seas are also going down. Thank goodness. When I entered inside the reefs leading to Puerto Garrote, I stopped on a beautiful sandy spot on an island, sure having signs on “Properida Privada. No entrado” But the beach yesterday had those signs also, and it looked really very public…this spot also looks like it is busy on weekends. It must have been an old site of a hotel or such, with some concrete platforms on the lawn behind the beach. The reef around it was marvelous!
The green forest on this islands occasionally had a white forest before it – hundreds of mast of sailing yachts, anchoring behind the tiniest islands in their shelter. Puerto Garrote was also such a yacht spot. Now I believe that even the many hundreds yachts in Puertobello were simply private sailors, having their breaks there on their world trips. It looks to me like an international camp site of sailors.
And I spotted a beautiful wooden boat, different from the others, with a flat bottom, and one of the few hanging their national flag big from the stern as you are supposed to do. It was the “Greta” from Friedrichskoog, a small neighbor town from Husum, my hometown! Amazing…and such a boat here, obviously having crossed the Atlantic…unfortunately the owners were not home, but I left them a card: “Best wished from Husum!”
I also saw before all those anchoring yachts a fish hatchery, where about ten guys were just harvesting the now big grown fish – one big heavy scoop net full of maybe six or seven fish after the other! This must be worth a fortune…they put them in floating tanks, later dragged to shore by a boat, where a truck was waiting. I think this must be kind of the last spot in Panama with road access?
I spotted a mini market in Puerto Esperanza just on my way, and bought seven gallons of fresh water to be on the safe side for the next days. Good chance!
The exit out of the islands was having BIG swell waves, amazing how it builds up before a shelter! But around the next corner, the bay was reasonable calm again. I spotted a nice beach to land, but coming nearer, it looked very much private…but I needed to land.
I looked around a bit, and besides the big house a smaller house for obviously the caretaker were two young girls who spotted me. I walked up, and asked the father for permission to camp one night. Thanks, no problem! I could put up on the nice lawn, right behind a reef to land safely. The rest of the beach was actually very steep with quite a wash uphill!