YO. HO. YO. HO. a PIRATES life for MEEEEE!

Trip Start Aug 03, 2011
Trip End Mar 01, 2012

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Where I stayed
ships Casiopea & Impetus
What I did
sailed and drank like a pirate!

Flag of Panama  , Kuna Yala,
Wednesday, September 21, 2011

three years ago when i started planning this trip, the San Blas Islands, off of Panama's east coast, were on the MUST SEE LIST. especially once i learned that you could go by SAILBOAT through the islands to Colombia's border. say what?! don’t have to tell me twice!! Fact, there are no safe drivable roads for tourists to enter Colombia from Panama, you have to either enter by air or sea. we opted for SEA.

i have put off writing this because words can’t capture the SUPER BAD ASS experience. so…here it goes…sailboat. eight days at sea. through hundreds of uninhibited islands. PACKED full of palm trees, coconuts and white sandy beaches. warm. crystal clear water. teal. green. aqua. and blue riptides. clown fish. nemos. and ship wrecks now home to thousands of other tropical fish that i can’t name. starfish. concha shells. dolphins. snapper. flying fish. and tuna. i could go on and on...it was UNREAL. and EVERYTHING i hoped it would be.

San Blas is home to the Kunas. when passing through to get where the sailboats waited for us, i counted four/five initial islands that were JAMED packed with their homes, picture below. Throughout the rest of our trip only two/three/four little grass huts on any given island. no electricity. no running water. everything is cooked over a fire. they make a living by selling fish. crab. lobster. concha. coconuts. rain water. and BEER to the boats that pass through. the women make beaded jewelry and sown tapestries to sell to visitors as well. by canoe they paddle up to the side of your boat with their daily caught goods…let the negotiation begin. ha, i love it! our first evening on the boat we purchased FIVE lobster for EIGHT DOLLARS. WORD! naturally, the farther you went out the less and less huts there were. and it was common for an island to have NO ONE living on it at all. BOMB ASS.

through our of travels we had become friends with two cousins from the Isle of Man and wanted to make the voyage with them. biggest downside of booking a boat is being stuck with bad company for six/eight days. lucky for us there was an overly tan. chiseled. curly fro. pooka-shell necklace wearing Captain staying at our hostel and he looked like he knew how to have the most fun per minute. you bet we booked with him. we knew we would be in good party hands. the thing about EL CAPI-TON is that he had all the money right but never the time…we’re going to leave tomorrow, aka two days later. it’s going to be a fifteen minute boat ride to the sailboats, aka an hour. good thing we have the 'every minute is an adventure’ mentality.

BONUS, because we signed on early we waited on the boat for a few days until it was filled up. they wanted seventeen passengers and two captains. one for each boat. for anyone WHO HASN’T been on a sailboat, THAT’S SO MANY. ADULT. BODIES ON TOP OF ONE ANOTHER. picture this…there is no running water on the boat. equals no showers. BLAZIN sun all day long. equals sweaty bodies. NO fans at night. equals double sweaty bodies. LOTS of PIRATE booze. equals lots of secretion through the pours and triple sweaty bodies. bathing suit is a staple. and by the end of the week I had forgotten what shoes were. as SWEATY AS ALL THAT SOUNDS…i was LOVIN every minute of it!

our head boat Captain, who had a five six Arnold Schwarzenegger body, everything was PIRATE…PIRATE. PIRATE. PIRATE…PIRATE punch. PIRATE fish. PIRATE stew. PIRATE parh-tee. PIRATE porridge. YES, i said porridge. the three bears made it sounds JUST RIGHT but. eww. no amount of PIRATE honey could hide the fact that it was sticky. warm. and lumpy. ha.

we spent the days, island hopping. swimming. snorkling. kayaking. hammock laying. beach baseball. AND sweating. the nights were spent with HUGE bon fires. card games. PIRATE punch. AND sweating. there was hardly any sleep and many sunrises greeted us as we were still consumed by the endless card games and silly PIRATE sayings that had developed over the week. everything was shared. drinks. food. seats. beds. personal space. deck shower sessions. laughs. inside jokes. pictures. whoo.whoo.whoos. wees. whees. and BEwwwws…

we signed up for a week of sailing through paradise and ended up leaving with a group of people who became our PIRATE San Blas family. THANK YOU. for your company and friendship!!

Fun Facts:
-Rasta Man - by Culture, was played at least thirty times that trip. ENJOY!
-there were eleven different types of snapper fish in the San Blas Island region.
-PIRATE punch: is made with RUM. powdered vanilla. lime. and water. the stronger you want it the less water you put in.  
Panama’s President: one of the afternoons we were snorkeling and playing on an island when a helicopter came swooping. keep in mind that the island is the size of half a football field, fifty yards. practically capsizes the kyak. off steps guards and the President himself where he spent the afternoon with his family sunbathing and consuming adult beverages. closest i’ve ever been to a president.
-sting rays would swim around the boats at night. if you flashed a light on the water you could see an average three/four. CRAZY.  
-you are more likely to die from getting hit on the head by a falling coconut than you are to be attacked by a shark. put that in your back pocket.


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mom on

very beautiful did you learn how to sail? mom

Nate & Anne on

Wow. Just WOW!!! So happy for you both, and jealous! Keep soaking up the fun and sharing the good times. Vicarious living!

Amy on

Best Trip Everrrrrrrr.... I agree it was hard to hit up the blog writing about something that is too hard to express in words! Enjoy the rest of your trip.. If you are in Peru in the next Month thats where you will find us.. Ecuador didnt want a bar of us... I Loved Bogota and hope you did too!

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