Sailing through the San Blas

Trip Start Jul 13, 2010
Trip End Apr 08, 2011

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Stahlratte Ship

Flag of Panama  , Kuna Yala,
Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Our adventure began at 5.30am. Up early to catch a jeep which after three hours dropped us off at the side of a river where we took a long canoe with an engine to our awaiting pirate ship, The Stahlratte. This would be our home for the next four days as we sailed through the San Blas Islands on the way to our next continent, South America and Colombia.

The San Blas Islands are a series of 378 islands of which only 49 are inhabited by the fiercely independent Kuna Indians. Our boat was moored near to a couple of the inhabited islands awaiting our arrival. We were soon welcomed on to the great ship and provided with an impressive breakfast, which soon made us regret stopping for a fried something on the way!  

After breakfast and a quick passport stamping we set sail for a small cluster of islands where we would drop anchor for a couple of days to enjoy what the islands had to offer. It took three hours to sail to our chosen islands which was nearly enough time to meet the other 26 people on board who came from a variety of countries around the world.

When we arrived at our location everyone was taken back by beauty of the small white sanded islands and the clear turquoise water, hence not taking any time for everyone to launch themselves off the side of the boat into the water! The boat had on board almost enough good quality snorkelling equipment so the rest of the daylight hours was spent looking a little fishes and waiting for the feast of a bbq which we had on the beach of the nearest paradise island. The rest of the evening was a blur!

The next morning all feeling slightly ropey we spent the morning swimming, chilling or swimming/diving off the boat. After Phil spent the morning snorkelling some coral on the otherside of one of the islands he managed to persuade Sarah to put her fears aside and join him again that afternoon. This was only achieved by making sure Sarah had flippers to get her there and back without any problems. We managed to see a vast number of different fish where we swam amongst huge shawls of fish. Very cool.

The rest  of the time on the boat was either spent drinking, eating or sleeping so a good time was had by all. The sailing journey to Colombia took just over 24 hours and we arrived in Cartegena for breakfast the following day. Amazing the sea was strangely calm and no one was sick or felt bad with the exception of Sarah who in preparing herself for rough seas consumed too many sea sickness tablets offering the opposite to the desired effect, Silly!
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