May 15, 2006

Update from Great Bridge, Virginia, USA

Hi...sorry I haven't been writing.

We left Columbia in November to go to the San Blas (Panama), the place that we had been going to when our engine died. We had Thanksgiving at Coco Banderos with our friends on Macy. The husband's birthday just happened to be on that very day. He said that all he really wanted for his fiftieth birthday was for a lady to jump out of his cake. So we made a cake, then dressed up one of my Barbies up in a bikini and positioned her with her legs in the cake.

Then we went to the Swimming Pool, another San Blas site. We had Mom's birthday there. I went to the beach there daily with Jan (pronounced "yan") and David on Haxebase, and Ian on Aquilla. We made a lot of sand palaces for the hermit crabs that populated the island. It was a very clean island because a man named Reggie, who lived with his wife on a boat called Runner, cleaned it up every morning. He had been anchored in that anchorage for several years. They had several fish tanks on board their boat. The wife went out snorkeling every few days to catch new fish for the tank and release the other ones. When I visited the boat (because our propane was down) they had a blenny that the other fish kept trying to eat, a teeny teeny lobster, a cleaning shrimp, and several yellowtail damselfish.


We left there to go to another deserted island. This island had no hermies (hermit crabs) but it did have Yellowtail Snapper! These usually small fish has wonderfully sweet flesh and very small mouths. We caught two very large ones of this fish and a pretty good sized mutton snapper that bit Mom. We left there to go to the island where Granny and Uncle Chris were meeting us. Granny stayed on the island that had a "hotel". These hotel rooms were packed dirt floor, bamboo walls, and palm frond roofs. Uncle Chris slept on the boat. We had Christmas on our boat with them. Granny and I made palm frond fish ornaments for the Christmas tree (which was tinsel.)

In the San Blas, the Kuna indians haven't changed much for hundreds of years. They make long strings of beads, which are then wrapped intricately around wrists or ankles to make beautiful patterns such as animals or spirals. They make intricately sewn panel called "molas" for their blouses. And they make their boats out of burnt logs. They call them "ulus". Mom bought a carved wooden fish for $5. He is a carving of a Little Tunny and we have him mounted on the wall in Zora. He is so cool!



We went back to the Swimming Pool after Granny and Uncle Chris had left. We met our old friends on Williwaw, a trawler, who we had not seen since Grenada. In the meantime, my friend Jesse had gotten a calico kitten, Smudge. Smudge was blind in one eye and had been a stray in Venezuela.


Then we sailed to Providencia with our friends Mandolin. Providencia is a Columbian-owned island but it is off the coast of Nicaragua, which is on the other side of Panama. We had a tour ride around the island in the back of a pickup truck! Haxebase was there and on our last night we had a cookout party at the Port Captain's house. It was raining, that is why I am so wet!



NEXT PAGE: On to Honduras...