Catch up pics - Swimming Pool and Hot Tub

Sat 8 Feb 2014 18:44
Lochmarin in the Swimming Pool.

In the Holandes Cays the cruisers call the anchorage between Banedup Island and Ogoppiradup the Swimming Pool. It's a lovely big deep anchorage, but a little exposed to the wind and with rather a fast rip flowing over the reef. If one has children, it's advisable to attach a rope to them before throwing them over the side. Just East of the swimming pool, through a little channel between the reefs, there's a smaller anchorage in the lee of Kalugirdup island. As it's smaller and just next to the Swimming Pool, it's called the Hot Tub. We moved there and had much more shelter and we were able to clean the boat's bottom without the current dragging us away. It's here that we first put up our extension, our fore deck awning, and started to master the art of resting in hammocks. It takes a lot of practice to get it right...


Just above the swimming pool is a little island known as Barbecue island. It's a lovely open little island, that one can walk all the way around. A Kuna chap lives there and will cook a meal for you, if you give a day or so's warning so he can get the fish. A couple of times we met up there with friends and ate.

Ulu with Kuna dog on Barbecue island.

The Kuna house on Barbecue island.

Sheltering us in the Hot Tub was a little lagoon surrounded by mangroves, this is the view of it from our fore deck:

On the far left you can see the white of the waves breaking on the reef beyond, here's a closer view, taken from the dinghy:

You can see how the different depths of water can be seen from the colours, well look at this pic taken in the afternoon when the sun was lower:

Everything turns to silver and you can't see below the surface at all - not the time to navigate into reefs! Here's a motor boat that got it wrong:

Whilst we were in the Holandes Cays two boats went aground. One dragged whilst on anchor, the other was coming down from Cartagena and entered the San Blas at 4am, with no charts and no navigation equipment. Not surprisingly they ran aground, luckily for them onto a sand bank not a coral reef. It was a 34 ft boat full of back packers trying to get to Panama City - remember there are no roads through the Isthmus of Panama, so it's either fly or come by boat. A big Australian Catamaran and two dinghies managed to pull them off a few hours later.

We met some lovely Canadians whilst in the Hot Tub, they've been spending the winter months in the San Blas on their boat for about 10 years now, so know it like the back of their hands. They were kind enough to show us some fantastic snorkelling sites - pictures in the next post!