East Lemons, San Blas islands

Lynn & Mike ..around the world
Mike Drinkrow & Lynn v/d Hoven
Tue 13 Sep 2011 15:21
09:33.81N 078:51.56W  Banedup, East Lemons:
We are enjoying being back in the beautiful San Blas islands and the company  Alan & Marita Whitley on Alley Cat.  They are from Camps Bay and have been cruising on this catamaran for the last 3 years. We met them in July and it has been good to see them again.
Our first stop was the Eastern Holandes, which is normally filled with cruisers, but this time was dead quiet. The next day we found out why ....  about 20 sports fishing boats and luxury yachts arrived - with toys, music, families and even a helicopter or two. The Panamanians were at play.  We recognized many of the boats from Shelter Bay - where they spend most of their time, in the care of 2 or 3 permanent crew.
We took a day trip on AlleyCat to Nargana the closest town, to look for parts for their dinghy engine. Unfortunately we were not successful, but enjoyed walking around the island, having lunch and meeting a very interesting old gentleman named Sammy. He had been taken to the USA for schooling as a young boy, but returned to marry his wife and live the rest of his life back on this small island as a teacher. Children from all the smaller remote islands come to Nargana for schooling. They also have very basic stores (spaza shops!); a prison; a cell phone tower and ferries/ small planes that can take them to the larger towns and cities. It is not a pretty place, but serves its purpose.  The next day we heard that there has been an outbreak of Dengue fever in these parts and we a little concerned over our most recent bunch of mosquito bites..   however so far, we all seem fine!
We then moved back to the East Lemons, where we are now anchored and enjoying some fabulous weather. As Panama is so close to the equator it rains just about every day, and the skies are always grey and overcast - albeit as hot as hell!  Occasionally however you have perfect days like we are having now,  and we see blue skies!  Great excitement all round! 
There is a small bar on one of the islands, where we enjoyed a few beers and met up again with cruisers we had met before. There is a good community here, many people spend years on their yachts in the same broader area - and we are getting to know more and more of them.

Enjoying beers with AlleyCat, GrisGris and some back-packers
Buying Bananas from a passing Kuna - notice the patchwork sail
Panamanian playboys?
Blue Skies!