Safe Arrival in Porvenir - San Blas

Wed 28 Jan 2015 16:08
9:33.4N 078:56.9W
1200 UTC 27 Jan 2015
Land sighted shortly after dawn – first a few palm trees then the mountains of the cordillera appeared through the haze as faint shadows. And we had two yachts in company – one in front about 4 miles and one behind – which we assumed were rally boats.  However the one behind turned North and sailed away. Conditions were perfect for our approach and we entered the San Blas Channel – a wide break in the reef – with the sun up and behind us making it easy to make our way to Porvenir which is nothing but a patch of sand, some palm trees, a landing strip from one end of the island to the other, a couple of buildings for the “airport” officials and a “hotel”.  We are told not to anchor in the line of the airstrip or else the planes landing will hit our mast.  We are amazed to see how many yachts there are around.  Not at Porvenir itself where our little group is gathering, but in some of the islands nearby.  Some of them, no doubt, belong to the ARC World Rally which is following a broadly similar route to ourselves and is due to go through the canal a week ahead of us.  Anyway, more of this once we start to cruise the islands.  So then it time to drop the anchor and relax.  Not so simple! We couldn’t get the anchor to hold to the skipper’s satisfaction – being surrounded by reefs we do NOT want to drag in the night – so, after several unsuccessful attempts, we set the second anchor in tandem and that did the trick.  So at last we could relax.  We contacted the rally guy on the island and said we’d be ashore to check in after lunch, allowing us to break out the cold beers.
Congratulations to all the crew on a safe and pleasant passage without incidents.