032210: Somewhere in the San Blas Islands, Panama: We arrived late morning at a very small island, one of the 49 inhabited out of a total of 378 San Blas Islands. The islands have been home to the Kuna Yala Indians since they fled the mainland during the Spanish invasion of Panama. We got a strange feeling as we saw the faces of fellow passengers getting back on the ship after being on the island. I asked, "How was the island?" "Aah, interesting," said one guy. Another lady said, "Very hot." Body language says a lot. We boarded a tender at 13:30. The island was barely above sea level and completely covered with shacks and a few palm trees. The heat and humidity were stifling on the tender and on the tiny, windless island
. We wondered through the narrow dirt alleys between rows of shanties, scattered with potholes that were filled with dirty water. Bone bought some molas (brightly colored embroidered clothes) from a Kuna Yala Indian lady. It is interesting to note that the Kuna Yala were used to not wearing much clothing, mostly body paintings...that is, until missionaries persuaded them to wear clothes. Now, the molas are worn as clothing and depict the body paintings. Bone paid two dollars to have me take a picture with her camera of her & Tom standing by an old Kuna Yala lady next to a small child. The child was sitting in a small tub of water with a parrot on top of it's head. Thatched huts with dirt floors. No vehicles of any sort. Outhouse toilets built out over the salt water sea. Garbage floating in the water. I soon understood why we had to have inoculations for Yellow Fever, Typhoid Fever, Hepatitis A & B, plus anti-malarial pills just to visit San Blas! Forget about snorkeling or diving in that water! It was so hot that we left for a tender soon after. Back aboard ship, Captain Brunon asked me about my experience on the island. Strange, he had never done that before. I told him my view and he shook his head in disappointment. He thanked me for my advice to stop at another San Blas Island in the future, an idyllic one. One like they showed in the travel brochures. Otra cerveza por favor!
032310 @Sea day: Rough seas, high waves, some crashing over the bow. I caught one large wave over bow on movie mode. Bone not feeling well. We went to bed early at 9:30 PM.
032210: Cristobal, Panama: While we were long asleep and after loading supplies and fuel, the ship left port at 4:00 AM for the San Blas Islands.