Arriving in San Blas and Holandes Cays

Take Off
Jörgen Wennberg
Sat 23 Jan 2016 19:13
09.35 N
78.37 W

We passed the finishing line at 4h02 in the morning. Coming into an archipelago of more than 400 small islands with all its reefs is not suggested to do in the dark at night. However we took the chance and relied on our charts. We did some test with the 2 different charts and our depth meter log in the boat showing the exact same depth. So no worries we can approach at night. We sailed over a little reef of 7,3 m and very quickly the depth meter showed 3,2 m and bang!… we hit ground. What?! Our draft is 2,45 m and we guess that that reef must have been up to 2m? However after some great efforts of powering the engine backwards the same way we came from we finally managed to get loose. We then motored in total slow motion and anchored at the first best spot. 

Once we woke up we lifted up the anchor and continued just to the next bay, The Swimming Pool in the Eastern Hollandes Cays for the coming night. And WHAT A DAY IN PARADISE! 

Holandes Cays was partly uninhabited, this beach was only ours. This delightful group of 21 mostly inhabited islands lies behind a 10 km long protective barrier reef. Since they are the islands furthest from the mainland, the waters are clear all year round. Their natural beauty and easy navigation (well nearly!) are a popular destination for visiting yachts. Other names for this miniature archipelago are Kaimou, in Guna, and Mauqui, by the Colombian traders.


We had a quick breakfast and the kids were eager to get to the beach. A very ”förväntasfull” and happy Inez!


Felt quite unrealistic after the hard sailing along the Colombian Coast to finally be in San Blas


The kids spent the whole day like fish in the water!


Inez have some special time with Daddy snorkling. Jörgen swimming off with his fins holing Inez who had no mask, just swim goggles, heard Inez take puffs like a whale and down again looking at al the star fishes. She loved it!


We went for a walk around the island and discovered postcard view after postcard view after postcard view...



Luxury time with Daddy!


We met some crew on another boat that had just been visiting Turtle Island just north of our beach and said we just had to visit it!! So off we went in our dinghy and discovered a marvellous island with a man with a great vision. 


On this little island was one bar owned by Simon. He lives alone on this island and ...


...everything is run by nature: water from the sky that he assembles in a big container to partially make his shower and a system in the ground to unsaltify the sea water and electricity with solar panels. All trash is sorted into organic, plastic and metal.


We took a beer and water and crips for the kids and spent a great sundowner with Raphaël, a boy of 13 years old on Heidi.


Simon and Jörgen.


Some of Simon’s fellow friends coming to visit. All boats are carved for one piece of wood


That evening we were invited to an Jason and Guil on an American Catamaran ”Two Fish”. It showed that the whole fleet was invited and we ended up being 51 on the boat!!