5 days of mostly rain at Chichime

As the weather forecasts grew increasingly dim, boats in the San Blas were scurrying for good protected anchorages. We debated going to the East Lemmons, where we had also already been, and where there would be some other boats to socialize with. However, in the end we rejected it, as we heard boat after boat on the VHF decide to go there. After our experience with boats dragging in Linton, we did not want to find ourselves in a crowded anchorage with high winds and rain.

Instead, we decided to sit out the rain in Chichime, the first anchorage we had visited in the San Blas. There's good holding, and although generally unprotected from the winds, it has good reef protection from the seas and promised to be comfortable. It's only about 5 miles from Porvenir, so we were there by 3:00 on Thursday afternoon.

When we arrived, there were about 5 boats at Chichime (as opposed to the 17 or so at the arguably smaller anchorage at the Lemmons), one of which was some cruising buddies on BAGUERA. After we arrived, I took the dinghy over to Peter and Nicki's boat for a quick cocktail and how-do.

Shortly thereafter, as I got back onto RHAPSODY, the winds picked up and it began to rain. It rained pretty steady for several days. About the most succinct thing you can say about our 5 nights spent in Chichime was that we got plenty of rain to fill our water tanks; they were chock full by the time we left. Also, it was interesting to see the boats come and go while we remained there. At one time it got down to 2 boats (us and one other), and at another time there were as many as 11-12 boats in the anchorage.

It was clear enough on one day for us to take the dinghy the 2 miles or so over to the East Lemmons, where we rendezvoused with SAPPHIRE. Our transmission was leaking ATF fluid, and we were almost out, but a VHF call had turned up several boats, SAPPHIRE among them, that were willing to give us a spare quart of ATF fluid. We spent a couple hours on SAPPHIRE chatting with Bob and Sandy before eventually heading back to RHAPSODY.