Gunboat Island to Porvenir to Chichime

David & Valerie Allen
Sun 7 Feb 2010 19:39
09:33.37 N  78:56.88 W

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Many cruisers do not bother to check into Panama while cruising the Kuna Yala waters.  However, since it would reflect badly on Blue Water Rallies, we decided to sail into Porvenir to check in and purchase our cruising permit.  It was a good time to do so as some of the earliest arrivals from Bonaire and Curacao were there to do the same.  We met the crews of PETER PAN and MERCURY RISING and passed NORSA comig in as we were leaving.

Porvenir itself would not be a destination on its own.  It is so small that if a cruise ship were to arrive to check in it would dwarf the island.  Cruise ships occasionally visit mainland sites, but their passengers would overwhelm any of the Kuna Yala islands.  There is a small restaurant and a hotel, as well as the police and immigration building.  Boats are encouraged not to anchor at the foot of the small runway as they would impede the air traffic! Many crusisers were travelling here to pick up friends and relatives who had flown down to visit.

Armed with the requisite documentation, we decided to forgo the pleasure of staying in this rolling anchorage, especially as very severe weather was predicted for most of the week.  We set sail instead for Chichime in the East Lemmon Cays