Just when we thought we were leaving Bocas Del Toro… COVID

Three months in Bocas has given us a homey feeling in this nomadic lifestyle, and that meant of course, that it was time to leave soon. But, with COVID, the Guna Yala of the lovely San Blas islands are understandably blocking tourists by road, and sea related travel restrictions are evolving as the world adjusts to this pandemic. So we’re staying put in paradise for now, where we have our own energy from solar, water from our water maker, stored food and access to fresh, and are welcome. We’re in a marina that has implemented it’s own safety measures, with no guests allowed.

We could be tour guides now!

Josh and his terrific girlfriend, Arianne, visited us for a 5 wonderful days, and we packed it in! Check out the Itinerary:

  • Day 1: Imagine being picked up from a Panga ride from the big town of Almirante, being taken to My Happy Place for drinks and tacos on swings with a beach view. Then, taking a 10 min. fast boat Panga ride to arrive at SV Enjoy all plugged into A/C at the lovely Red Frog Marina and Beach Club.
  • Day 2: Why not a couples massage at the Red Frog Spa up in the jungle and meeting many little red frogs along the way? Tacos at Nachyo Mamas, and walk along the beach before Ziplining in the tropical forest jungle canopy, and then walk along the beach and home cooked meal.
  • Day 3: Snorkeling among the coral reefs and sleep over at Zapatilla Cays— two uninhabited islands, surrounded by a coral reef east of Bastimentos Island. Evening entertainment included friends grilling nude on the boat next door…
  • Day 4: Reconnecting with Mika, the howler monkey who only will sprawl across men’s shoulders, and squirrel, Capuchin, and tamarin monkeys rescued by the lovely former cruiser, Francine, on Monkey Island Foundation. Don and I taught Josh how to Freedive off the back of the boat while Arianne SUP’d and snorkled and then we had ended the chill day with a beautiful lobster dinner meal at Villa F&B. Benoit and Fabianne serve a very high end dinner so lovely that we came a second time (the first being our 27th Wedding Anniversary…)
  • Day 5: ending with a lovely day sailing, with Josh and Arianne steering for a while and helping with lines. We also tried dragging Josh and me on a line behind the boat, but initially had to perform a man-over-board when we realized that 5.5 kts is closer to torture than fun (best to stay around 2.5-3 kts). We ended the day much chiller by anchoring in our old South anchorage spot so we could still snorkel over to The Floating Bar for afternoon drinks (yes, there were a few sea lice that weren’t kind).

Lose it if you haven’t used it

Now that it has been over two years as since we have been cruising on Enjoy full-time, it was time to clean house so to speak. We took part in the Bocas Yacht Club and Marina Nautical swap, and brought a bag of office supplies, paper products for snacks, and arts and crafts to the Give and Surf Foundation after school program focus on indigenous communities as well as other under served members of Bocas Del Toro. Now we have room for more boat spares!

Costa Rica run to extend our Panama visa

So, Panama individual Visas are 6 month, while the boat’s cruising permit is 12 months. We had to leave Panama to extend our time here, so Puerto Viajo was the perfect get away for 72 hours. We went with our friend Bev Corey (SV Aseka), whom we’ve been cruising with since Shelter Bay, in Colon. Caribe Shuttle was quite professional, shepherding us over the border between Panama and Cost Rica, and then bringing us to our La Tica y La Gata guest house in Puerto Viejo. It was lovely cooling off in their pool, and the wild Toucan and other local birds were so loud, a work colleague mentioned she heard them in the background during a conference call. The Jaguar Rescue Center had lots of sloths since their moms tend to get killed crossing roads and on electric lines, but no jaguars that we could see!

Once you recognize everyone, it is time to go…

While attending a fundraiser by Give & surf for local schools, we recognized over a dozen folks from local businesses and friends made from many hours of poker and Mexican train dominoes. We ended our run with an Andy Egert Blues Band concert & Motown Experience at Lost Boys Blues Bar. We are glad we made it here and became, for some small time, a part of the community.


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