Back to Nargana for Internet and then Porvenir to Check Out
From Green Island, we motored about 5 nm back to Nargana,
where we spent two nights
and one day. We needed to post some new webpages and check our email, and this is
the only place in the San Blas that has reliable wi-fi internet service. In addition
to checking our email, in Nargana we unsuccessfully tried to find some bread, but
had luck getting a few additional gallons of diesel fuel. We took on 12 gallons of
diesel from Federico, as well as transferring our deck stocks of 25 gallons into our
main tanks for the upcoming passage. Finally, as the afternoon wore on, we did
the dinghy drill for the first time in 6 weeks, putting DITTY up on the foredeck
where we spent about an hour cleaning the accumulated bottom crud off of
On Thursday morning, it was time to head up to Porvenir to check out. We left
Nargana bright and early, at about 6:30 a.m., and were able to sail the entire
25 nm to Porvenir, only using the motor to leave the Nargana channel and enter
the Porvenir channel. Along the way we had a line in the water and were fortunate
enough to catch another nice Wahoo. As soon as we got to Nargana, I cleaned the
Wahoo, and while cleaning it, an ulu came by with some Kuna's selling lobsters.
So, for our last days in the San Blas, we got 5 nice lobsters for $12.
Shortly after that we were approached by Nestor in his ulu,
a Kuna we had met on an earlier visit, and, since our dinghy was not in the water,
he volunteered to take his ulu back to Wichibhuala to get some bread for us.
We accepted his offer, and for $2 plus a 1$ fee for getting it, about an hour later,
he returned with 20 baguettes of the local "Madu" bread. So that night for
dinner we had fresh lobster and fresh bread. It was a delicious and a fitting
San Blas going-away dinner.
On Friday morning, we did the dinghy drill and went into the Immigration Office
to attempt to renew our visas. It's an ongoing story - we thought perhaps we
could get one more month's renewal on our Marinero's Visa, which expires December 24th,
since there was a blank slot on the visa yet to be filled in. However, when we
went into Ricardo's office (he's the immigration official), he told us that unfortunately,
since we had now been in Panama for 6 months since we checked into Pedregal last
June, there was no way he could renew our visa again. It was a good thing we had
planned on leaving the San Blas and heading to Bocas Del Toro in the next few days.
Today is the 12th, and this gives us just another 12 days to get to BDT and leave
and re-enter the country to start the visa cycle over again, especially in view
of the upcoming holidays.
After Ricardo and the immigration stuff we went to Alexi, the Port Captain's
office. Here we paid $69 to renew our cruising permit, which also expires
December 24th, for another 3 months, so now it's good until March 12th. We
also had to give Alexi another $16 to get a local zarpe to Bocas Del Toro,
a necessary piece of paper that we will have to present to the Port Captain
in BDT when we arrive there.
Finally, after the paperwork was all done, we returned to RHAPSODY, did the dinghy
drill one more time, putting DITTY back up on the foredeck, and got
RHAPSODY ready for the long passage to BDT. We had an early dinner, read a bit,
and it was lights out by 9:00 pm, as we're planning on getting up early
the next morning, around 5:00 am, for our departure to Bocas Del Toro.
Overall, we have spent just under 6 weeks in the San Blas Islands. And although
we've enjoyed many places we've visited on our grand adventure with RHAPSODY,
none has grabbed us so much as this beautiful and very special place in the
world. We look back fondly on our times here and will always remember the lovely
islands, the friends we made, and most of all the wonderful Kuna People.
Great Memories of the San Blas Islands