We’re Back!

January 16, 2013

Dear Friends and Family,

Have you been wondering where I am?  I have not written for awhile because we are too busy having fun.

We did a little moving around before Peg and Vic joined us on the 10th of January but we were in place for them to arrive close to the dock where they took a four wheel drive truck and then a luancha to get to us.  I had put together quite a shopping list and the truck with just them, was completely full.  The launcha was also had to be loaded with all the provisions so came in with no room for anyone else!

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I wondered what I had done when I tried to put it all away but now, almost a week later, we are a little more under control.  We had to eat our way through things to get there.  The biggest issue was all the fresh produce they brought.  There was not enough refrigerator space or room on the counter but as I said, we are going to have it all eaten soon.

Peg and Vic had a great time in Panama City and will be going back on the 21st for a few days before they leave  for home on the 24th.  One of the places they plan to visit is another native indigenous group different from the Kuna population.  Rob and I will leave our boat with friends to watch over it while we join Peg and Vic in Panama City.  We will go on that trip with them and return on the 24th to our boat.

I won’t need to do as much provisioning, though I will bring back produce and a couple other things, but we will take in our sheets and towels and do laundry there and Rob is looking for a part for the water system on the boat.  I had told you that he fixed the house water pump but it looks like there is something called a water accumulator tank that needs replacing.  He is hoping to find one in town.  We are functioning fine without it but I think the system will work better with a new one so we are hopeful we will be able to find what we need.

Peg and Vic were lulled to sleep as we took them to the first night anchorage.

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They had not been getting much sleep before and the rocking of the boat has a way of helping you relax.

We have been to a few places but spent an extra day waiting for weather to clear so we could do a river hike.  We had to be picked up in a launcha where we anchored our boats, maybe two miles away.  It was a comfortable ride but took about an hour each way.

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We went up the river and then hiked up to a falls and followed the river back down.  A friend who had done it said it was not difficult but we are not so sure about that.  With my broken arm still fresh in my mind, I was pretty concerned about falling, especially where rescue would be a huge problem!  It was beautiful, the hike not too bad.  We walked through a burial area and our guide showed us where her parents were buried.

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Lisa is the name of the guide and while she is technically a man, she has been raised as a female and dresses accordingly.  You will see from pictures that this is so.  She is considered one of the premier mola makers but after seeing her things, I would not agree.  We didn’t buy her molas but we did sign up for her tour and she does a great job with that.  She has learned a lot of English which helps.

We went with the family on Ledo Loco that I wrote about right after we left Bocas del Toro.  They are a family of 5 from Indiana and we invited them to come along.  It made 9 in the group which was a good size and I knew the youth of the family would bring a lot of fun and energy to the adventure.  It certainly did, but it showed off how slow we more seasoned adults could be.  The younger family was jumping off high cliffs in to the pools and sliding down the waterfalls.  We climbed our way down rather than jumping.  Rob was the one who got in to the jumping and the slides.

PICT0055 PICT0068Of course what goes down, must come up!

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We all went down two of the slides and it was fun.

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Rob went down a two tiered slide that the rest of us passed on.

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At one place where you could not climb in to the water, Peg and I climbed down to the lowest possible jumping point when there was no option to climb down in to the water.  We did it even though it still looked high to us.

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Now it would have been great to swim down the river but it was mostly walking on slippery uneven rocks which got a little tricky as we got tired.

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All of us had aching feet when we got home.  Rob’s feet were probably the worst.  He was wearing a pair of shoes he never wore before and he said they were not good for this trip.  His feet still sting in the salt water with the sores he has on the top of his toes.

One of the things we saw along the way was a plant with an unusual flower that looked like waxed lips.  You can see us ladies (Lisa included) wearing the lips.  Peg says she looks like that cartoon old lady, Maxine, who is so shriveled and grumpy with glasses and a hat.  That is definitely not Peggy’s personality!

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We were still glad that we had that adventure though we probably wouldn’t go again!

We did enjoy the extra time with the family of five.  They came for 2 dinners and a lunch and we were there for a dinner so we have been seeing a lot of each other.  The kids are 12, 15 and 19 and smart and charming and enthusiastic.  The family has taken 10 months to do this cruise and sacrificed financially to make it happen.  After living on a 37 foot cat for 10 months though, and with the oldest going off to school, they are thinking of downsizing the house when they get back.  They sold there house to make this possible.

They joined us at a place called the Hot Tub.  It is near the Swimming Pool.  It is the smaller of the two anchorages in that area.  Both areas have very clear water and not as deep as in some places.  It is sandy bottom and shallow, about 6 to 12 feet.  We could even see the anchor from the surface.

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The water was wonderful and we did some snorkeling there though Peg and Vic are not too used to doing this.  We had thought to stay longer and move over to the swimming pool but because the winds are down a little, we chose to move to Coco Banderas.  It was our favorite place in 2005 when we were last here and I can see it is hard to beat.  We are surrounded by 4 islands and we can swim from one to the other.  Each has a reef around it to snorkel.    Peg and Vic love it here and we will write more about this place next time.

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It doesn’t seem like we have done that much in the days they have been here and our time is already running out.  We will stay here a couple of nights and then back to  where Peg and Vic will get a feel for a Kuna village.  They are having a dance competition there on the 19th.  We will be there probably two nights and then head to get the boat anchored to leave it for 4 days.  A launcha will pick us up and get us to the van.

Peg and Vic said that they can understand the pleasure of just staying in one place and enjoying the beauty there but there are so many places to explore.

Hope all is well with you and your life finds peace and beauty where you are!

Fair Winds,

Sue and Rob

With Peg and Vic

Aboard Catalyst

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