Isla Linton - goodbye San Blas
Wednesday 2nd January 2013
Distance run: 44 nmiles
An earlier than usual start for this longer than usual leg, most of our recent trips having been less than 20 nmiles. It was also time to say “Goodbye to the San Blas islands” as we made our way out of the San Blas Channel and back into the Caribbean Sea. A rather lumpy sea at that, as the frequently horrid weather off the Colombian coast sends huge swells that back up when they reach the coast of Panama. With a healthy wind of 20knots or so blowing, we had wind waves on top of the swell and it wasn’t the most comfortable start, but after a while we got out of the shallower waters and the wind dropped a bit so that the seas subsided, making it more comfortable.
We made very good speed, and as usual Sheer was way ahead of us, as we realised we were catching them up. We had just passed the Escriban Bank, known among cruisers as being an excellent fishing ground, and suspected that Rod had been unable to resist the temptation to put out a fishing line. We had decided against it as wrestling with a fish on the aft deck while the boat is heaving around is not Steve’s idea of fun. But we were right, Rod had hooked a huge wahoo, and had had to stop the boat to reel it in.
We arrived off Isla Linton around lunchtime, and could have carried on to Portobello, but decided we’d call it a day, especially as Rod still had Mr Wahoo in one piece and needed to give him some attention. So we dropped anchor soon after 1400 in a slightly swelly and crowded anchorage, glad to be done for the day. Later we enjoyed wahoo steaks for supper, feeling glad that Rod had given in to his temptation!
We had enjoyed the San Blas islands enormously, particularly the first ones we visited, as these are less frequently visited by cruisers and the outside world. We often had anchorages all to ourselves. The waters were often a little murky there, though, so swimming and snorkelling were more pleasant in the western islands. However, these islands are also more popular with cruisers, and we found many of the anchorages crowded, usually with US or French boats. To be fair, though, we could have chosen less popular anchorages if it had bothered us that much. We’re glad we had the chance to visit the San Blas archipelago, and are thankful to the cruisers who told us we shouldn’t miss them – starting with Roger & Sasha (S/Y Ednbal) back in Turkey, where we hadn’t even heard of San Blas - they were definitely right!