Stopping by Esmerelda Village and Isla San Telmo

By now, after spending 6 days and nights in the islands, we had finally decompressed from our time in Panama City, and had gotten back into the swing of life on the boat in primitive anchorages. We have our own routines. I get up each morning and check our sailmail and download the weather. Then I get the weather faxes in time to come on the SSB at 8:40 am to give my weather forecast on our regular little informal Perlas Islands Cruisers Net.

One of the things we had heard on the net was that a boat we know, WINDSONG, with Frank, a guy I had jammed with in P.C., was at the Perlas Islands, just around the corner from us at Isla Espiritu Santo. So on Sunday, August 24th, we decided to move there and hook up with him.

Along the way were several places we wanted to stop. So, after we pulled the anchor up in Cocos at about 9:30 am, we took RHAPSODY a couple of miles north until we were just off the beach from the little village of Esmeralda and dropped the anchor there. When we pulled in, the very first person that greeted us was Manuel, whom we had met several days before when we'd first arrived at Cocos. There were also a couple of dugout canoes filled with eager young kids, smiling and checking out the boat and us. We took the dinghy into shore, ostensibly to go to the tiendas and get some bread and other supplies, but also because we wanted to check out the village. Manuel acted as our guide and took us around the town and to the Tiendas.

We gathered an entourage of little ones just as soon as we got to the beach. The children were very happy and curious about us, the dinghy, and RHAPSODY, and it was a very nice day, so everyone was full of smiles and very playful. As we made our way through town, the gaggle of kids became a small crowd as we found the tienda with bread. They had a few loaves of a light croissant-type bread, but nothing that we would consider "sandwich bread". We did buy two loaves of the bread and two onions, and then we volunteered to buy a big box of cookies to share with all of the kids. You should have seen them! One of their fathers came by to create order out of the chaos, and soon they were all lined up, squeezing together and giggling, as we handed out the cookies. Before it was over, virtually every child in the village had made their way to that Tienda! It was great fun.

From there we went to another tienda, then back to the dinghy where we got a warm send off from the kids who not only had "guarded" the dinghy for us (we could tell because they were bouncing up and down on it when we got back), but also helped us launch it, and even swam out a ways with us to make sure we got off ok.

That was a really fun little visit!

From Esmeralda we pulled up anchor and motored out to the island at the mouth of the bay called I. San Telmo, where we were told we could, and where we did, find a WWII era Japanese submarine that had gone aground on the island. We dropped anchor again a few hundred yards from the beach, got in the dinghy, and in a short while had located the sub. It was just a small two-man sub, stuck in the sand just off the beach, in remarkable shape for a 65-yr-old wreck. The water was very clear and bright green and it was an interesting place to stop.

After about an hour and a bite of lunch at San Telmo, we upped RHAPSODY's anchor and made our way to Isla Espirtu Santos, another small island just a few miles north, just off of the larger Isla Del Rey.