San Blas Porvenir

Fri 17 Jan 2014 23:06
09:33.339N 78:56.881W

I was on first watch last night and as the sun set when you looked from the zenith to the horizon the blue sky above paled down to yellow, then orange and then darkened to a ring of clouds around the horizon. For some reason all the clouds looked like sausage dogs or poodles. Long and thin poodles.

We had slowed down due to a counter current. Strange feeling. We'd surf down the waves then stall at the bottom as we hit the current going the other way. But as the night went on the wind picked up and we were back on schedule to arrive here around mid day.

We entered San Blas East of the Hollandes Cays, as we turned to head in a pod of Pan Tropical Spotted dolphins joined us for a while. They were so beautiful: small sleek dolphins, with a long beak, a dark cape and spotted belly and hind quarters. It was such a delight to have them playing around us.

This place is utterly amazing. It is a collection of hundreds of little islands with either palm trees on or a mosaic of houses overflowing on to stilts above the water. It is home to the Kuna, a 55,000 strong self governing nation. Here at Porvenir is the only place you can check in. The island is tiny, with a little landing strip that has been extended into the sea using sand bags. We tied up on a little jetty along side two beautifully made dug out canoes and headed for the little one story building. The chap at the desk directed us to an office and called outside for the customs man. He'd been sat under a tree. When he was done we went into the next office and the customs man called to the tree for the man to stamp the papers, who in turn called for the immigration man to come to a third office. It's a good system: we got dealt with much more quickly, easily and politely than we had almost anywhere else on our travels and the officials got to spend most of their time under a tree.

We're pretty shattered now, but we weren't too tired for a swim in the clear smooth water, so I'll tell you more in the next few days...

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