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Here You Go - San Blas. Get your hammocks out!

21 to 24 December

Logbook Tuesday, 21.12.2021

05:30 h

Sanni leaves the bed in the cabin to Gerriet this time and sleeps on deck, which goes surprisingly well. And so she can witness the monumental moment of arrival! Already half awake from dawn, she hears Rudi more or less say to hinself:

So, Here You Go. Arrived at San Blas. Now you can hang up your hammocks!

Sanni is immediately wide awake and the scenery that is offered is really beautiful. The Alessandra is quietly anchored, surrounded by numerous small palm-fringed islets, in a mirror-smooth water. We have reached our goal.

Time to wake up the rest of the troop and jump directly into the magnificent water, because we haven't showered properly in a long time.

08:00 h

Back on board and probably the most awsome breakfast of the entire time, our idyll is unfortunately suddenly interrupted again. Rudi has to return to his swear mode. Now, at the last mile, the remaining toilet, the captain's toilet, has also broken down. Well, that can't be a coincidence anymore. Rudi unfortunately had to point out to our group several times during the trip how to close a ship door correctly or how to operate the electrical flush correctly. And mantra-like, he repeated several times a day, please never and under no circumstances throw paper into the toilet. But all admonition seems in vain. The toilet is screwed. "Rien ne va rinse." Rudi’s pulse is at 180 bpm and decides that there is no toilet available from now on. He also doesn't want to repair the other two toilets. We shall use the sea and the islands.

11:00 h

Of course, he sets out to repair the toilets, which leads to the final (for us very comprehensible) freak out. It turns out that the pump of the captain's toilet was incapacitated by a wet wipe. Yes, a wet wipe. The pump in his hand, including the corpus delicti stuck in it, he rages over deck and roars in an endless loop:


We are really annoyed. This can’t be. How stupid can adult people be? Of course, NO ONE reveals his case. To conclude on this topic; he got his and our toilet back to work, we were allowed to use it and the toilet was fortunately no longer an issue for the rest of our days on board. However, Sanni still saw that... no enough of it!

12:00 h

After everything settled, we enjoy a wonderful first day in the island archipelago of San Blas. We swim to the nearest island of Cayo Holandise and spend the afternoon there. We are joined by some kuna boys playing football and two young women selling their beautiful homemade bracelets.

Back on board, we hope that the Kuna, who repeatedly head to our ship with their wooden boats, also have beer on offer, which according to Rudi is usually the case. Not this time. Christmas is just around the corner, the kuna drank their own beer and have nothing left for us, not even cigarettes. But they have giant snails instead. Freshly caught and prepared for consumption before our eyes by the happy seller. We are still a little skeptical but trust in Herman's culinary skillset.

19:00 h

For dinner, we have a composition of snails and our tuna caught the day before with mashed potatoes. Accompanied with this, we scrape together and share the very last few drops of red wine and beer. A nice evening, but it's somehow shorter than usual. Now Rudi and Hermann can finally sleep. There is a plan to barbecue on the beach for the next day and Rudi is promising a "bar island" as well.

Logbook Wednesday 22.12.2021

Times blur here in paradise. Sometime the next morning we sail a little further to the next island. Here we want to make an assado at noon with the Kuna family living there. The group swims and snorkels over to the island.

Meanwhile, Rudi and Hermann load the Dhingi with tons of meat and head to the island's fireplace. It's hard to believe that all the food sailed with us the whole time. When we relax nicely on the beach, it suddenly starts to rain. First a little, then quite hard. Our concern is with the Allessandra and the open hatch windows above our cabins. But our captain has already set course for the Alessandra with the Dhingi. He is literally racing across the sea. At least for a few meters, then he gets slower and slower. The engine of the Dhingí... you can take a guess: Off! He starts rowing with the paddle like a savage, but only progresses moderately against the current. We are watching the scene from the beach. Gerriet grabs his fins and swims to help our Kapi. Together, they paddle quite quickly to the sailing ship. When they arrive, the rain is already over. We are happy when the two then join our group paddling again. We notice that Rudi has a "kind" of bandage, consisting of whatever (toilet paper?) on the finger. When asked if he injured himself, we get the answer that he was bitten by a Baracuda when trying to start the engine from the Dhingi... It is of course sailor's yarn. He shaved off his fingertip while grateing coleslaw.

We eat. Again. A lot! There is a pumpkin stuffed with cheese, three different types of meat directly from the fire and coleslaw. It’s a huge meat-party. Our feast is observed from a distance by Grandma & Grandpa Kuna. At the turn of the year, there is the tradition of resurrecting deceased ancestors as a doll and then burning them on New Year's Day. Food and valuable things are also burned, of course the beer must not be missing. However, since it is not only a luxury good for us here and the love of tradition does not seem to be too great, only an empty beer bottle is taken.

How good that we head to the supposed "bar island" after returning to the boat. Full of anticipation, the girls get all dolled up for the evening. With combed hair and mascara. And then, spread over two tours, we transfer to the island, which consists only of sand, a few palm trees and the bar on a wooden walkway. We are virtually the only guests and enter the square. And indeed, there's everything here! In addition to various six-bearing beer, rum and cola are bunkered. There is no stopping! We dance, sing and rejoice as if there were no tomorrow. You can think we haven't seen civilization in months, but it was only 5 days. Rudi is also really happy and when we answer his question about how we like it with a simple "amazing" he strongly contradicts and our new battle cry is born:

It´s Fucking Amazing!

Logbook Thursday, 23.12.2021

Only one more day until Christmas and we are still in the middle of this surreal paradise. Our last day is dawning. We enjoy it on board, swimming and snorkeling. Some swim back to Bar Island again. It's the last day, it has to be celebrated.

For Rudi, it is time to organize our "immigration" into Panama. To do this, he goes on a kuna taxi boat with our passports to go to the "immigration island" about 45 minutes away. In addition to the San Blas Islands, the kuna also manage the jungle road from San Blas to Panama City. This is at the end of the infamous Darian. The extremely dangerous and fabled drug smuggling route. For 100 km, Colombia and Panama are connected here by land. However, impassable for normal travelers. If you are traveling on the Panamericana, you have to change to the ship here. Too dangerous. And so the cartel also has influence on this street. At certain times, even the road is simply blocked by the Kuna. The payment for the fact that there is calm there should be very good from the cartel. When Rudi is back on board after a good three hours with our stamped passports, we learn that the road was completely closed until two days ago. So we are lucky. We can enter and use the road. The alternative would mean another 8 hours of sailing instead of 2 hours by car. And so we can now enjoy our last day and evening in this postcard setting. Finally, several eagle rays swim around our boat in the evening. By the way, no one wanted to see us personally during immigration.

Oh, how beautiful is Panama.

Logbook Christmas eve, 24.12.2021

Very early in the morning, the time has come. We have to leave the Alessandra. There were six incredibly beautiful and intense days behind us. This sailing trip exceeded our expectations in every way. Although everyone is looking forward to this special Christmas Eve, none of us really want to leave.

We are taken from the Kuna to the mainland by speedboat, from where the shuttle taxi takes us over the jungle road to Panama City. There it is: time to say goodbye to the group that is scattered in different directions in the country. But so much can be revealed, we'll see some again. Punctually at 7:00 p.m. on Christmas Eve we sit on the beach in Punta Charme and eat pizza.

Feliz Navidad!

Addendum: Rudi actually managed to repair the engine with spare parts from Panama, so that the Alessandra was able to drive home to Colombia as planned on 29.12.2021!


*The English version of this blog is supported by automated translation*

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