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 her.

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