Survivor Sets, Exploring Isla Chapera again, and more Snorkeling
The next day, we got up to a beautiful day in a beautiful place. We were
anxious to do more exploring and snorkeling, but, inasmuch as these things
are best done at low tide, and it was high when we awoke, we decided to have
a nice breakfast first. After pancakes with butter and jam and fruit juice
we were raring to go, so we decided to do a dinghy ride while waiting for
the tide to change.
We took the dinghy out around the reef and south down the east side of
Mogo Mogo. As we passed the cove where we had seen the "Survivor" structures the
day before, we could see that there was a lot of activity today. In
addition to the wooden structures there were now several scaffold like
constructions, several brightly colored umbrellas, and a small hoard of
people working on the set. Rather than take the dinghy into the cove,
we decided to just pass by the mouth slowly so as not to disturb their
work. By the way, you can see the tracks of our dinghy exploration and
the location of the "Survivor" sets by clicking here
or on the chart at the top of this page.
After we passed the cove, we pulled the dinghy ashore at a long beach
on the southeast side of Mogo Mogo. We walked up and down the beach doing
the usual perusal of wildlife, beach refuse, seashells, and so on.
After collecting a few souvenirs, we got back in the dinghy and motored
back, slowly, by the mouth of the "Survivor" bay again and took a few
pictures and some footage.
Then, in the dinghy, we went back to the north cove where we had tried to anchor
RHAPSODY the day before. There were several pangas anchored there
and on the beach
(see "Survivor Set #2" on the detailed map)
we could see a small crowd of
people setting up some blue tents. Since it did not look too imposing,
we decided to land the dinghy on the beach and check it out.
Walking up to the blue tent we were soon greeted by a tall, good-looking
Panamanian man with a walkie-talkie in hand, who spoke excellent English.
He explained that this indeed was a second set for "Survivor", and that if we'd
like, he would show us around. We accepted his kind invitation. A few steps
thru the jungle led us across the narrow isthmus of the island to the
west side, where there were perhaps 10-12 people busily building a T.V.
set. A woman came out and introduced herself as the Production Designer
for the series, now filming the Serbian & Israeli versions, and explained that they
were building a stage and a game of some sort. We did not feel inclined to take photographs or footage,
although they were very nice and friendly, we felt it would probably be
out of place to impose on them in such a way.
After perhaps 10 minutes, we bid her "adios and buen suerte", and
made our way back across the isthmus to the side of the island where
the dinghy was tied. The tall production assistant kindly asked
us if we would like a soft drink or water or anything, but we declined.
However, we did ask if they knew of any wild mango trees on the island.
They didn't, but they did show us a lime tree and encouraged us to
gather dozens of limes to take with us.
Back in the dinghy, we returned to RHAPSODY for a light lunch
and to prepare for snorkeling and exploring at low tide. When it
came around, we got back in the dinghy, with the anchor and snorkeling
gear, and first went back to the reef-islet that I had snorkeled
the previous day. We landed the dinghy on the tiny
coral strewn beach of the reef-islet and went snorkeling from there.
The snorkeling was nice, if not spectacular, but when we got back
to the dinghy, the tide had gone out an additional foot or so,
leaving the dinghy high and dry on a rocky, coral-covered reef.
With some exertion, we managed to put down the dinghy wheels and
get it over the reef back into the water without doing any
much damage to the (soft) bottom of the boat.
From there we took the dinghy across the channel back to the
beach on Chapera that we had visited the previous day, the one
we refer to as "Talcum Powder Beach". From here we were able
to gear up and snorkel along the reef at one end of the beach.
Once again, although the visibility wasn't great, perhaps 15-20',
it was still pretty good, and we saw a plethora of wildlife,
tons of parrotfish, large schools of grunts, angelfish, and
lots of beautiful coral formations, as we swam along the reef.
There was a bit of a current, so we swam slowly upcurrent for
about 45 minutes before turning and running back down current
to the beach where we had pulled up the dinghy.
Out of the water, we did another walk of the powdery sand beach.
We went back to where we had seen the cat tracks the day before,
but there were no new ones, just the remnants of the ones that
had been made yesterday, quickly being obliterated by the wind
We spent quite a bit of time on the beach, once again just
admiring the beauty and tranquility of the place. Finally
at about 4:00 p.m. we got back into the dinghy and headed
back to RHAPSODY for sunset, cocktails, a nice dinner. The
anchorage was a little rolly, but not so bad that we could
The next morning, we got up and weighed anchor bound for Contadora.
Wouldn't you know it, as we were leaving, the two Humpback Whales
swam by again! We grabbed the cameras and tried to photograph them,
but once again they evaded our efforts as we made our way out of