Cruisers Clubhouse, Volleyball and Potluck
We didn't do much our first night at the anchorage except to relax and
have our evening cocktails. The next day, BLUE SKY, with Breeze
and Debbie aboard, pulled into the anchorage, came on the radio,
and suggested an afternoon "low contact" volleyball game. The cruisers,
in cahoots with the Kuna elder on Nuinudup, have contrived to set up
a "clubhouse" of sorts on the island. There is a crude table
made of bamboo, a number of benches made from fallen palm
logs, and a space has been cleared to set up a volleyball net.
The Kuna elder, Carlos, tends the area, raking it each day, so when you visit
it, it is a very special place.
We combined our visit to the beach with a community trash burning
session. About 4-5 boats' worth of couples, including Bob and Sandy from SAPPHIRE,
Bob and Susie from SUNRISE, as well as Breeze and Debbie,
plus singlehander Jorge on SORRENTILLA, all came to shore. While Bob started the
fire, Breeze set up the volleyball court, a funny crooked affair, with a few palm trees
in-bounds for variety's sake, and soon we were all tapping the volleyball
back and forth over the net.
We were joined by several Kunas. Carlos, the elder of the island,
was a game, if inexperienced, volleyball player, and Demetrio and
Navarro from nearby Banedup also joined us, playing the game
exuberantly. The game went on for several hours with people rotating
in and out to take breaks, drink beers or cocktails, and chat about
Towards the end of the game, as things were winding down and
Breeze was taking down the net, I was talking to Demetrio and
fathomed that he knew how to play a little guitar. Since Breeze
and I had jammed in Chichime, I suggested that we all get together
the next day on Nuinudup for a little jam session. Debbie
further suggested we turn it into a potluck dinner, an idea which
everyone quickly warmed to, and so everybody agreed to meet back
the next day for more fun.
We did a little dinghy exploring the next day, visiting Roberto
and his son's home on one tiny isla, then across to Banedup, where we went to its small tienda
and bought some fresh (baguette-like) Kuna bread and a half of case of beer
for the potluck. Later, in the early afternoon, folks began congregating on
Nuinudup. All of the group from the previous day were there,
joined by 5 Dutch & German "backpackers" who were on a charter from San
Blas to Cartegena, along with their skipper, Mike, on WINDSEEKER.
First, a rousing couple of rounds of volleyball were played, then cruisers from
BRISA and BLUEPRINT joined us with their potlucks. Soon the guitars and a hand drum
were broken out and the music began.
Demetrio played us some kind of a native
Panamanian or Kuna song, which was nice, even if we didn't
understand a single word, and Breeze joined me in a bunch
of Grateful Dead and other cover songs. Everyone set out
their potluck foods and spread them out on the table. There
was a big chicken salad, some tasty pork and beans, cole slaw, kuna bread,
cheeses, salami's, chips & salsa, and in general it was a very tasty meal.
The Kuna guys particularly seemed to enjoy eating this variety
of, what must be to them, strange foods.
The party wound down as the sun set and everyone returned
to their boats in their dinghies.