We left Shelter Bay Marina heading to Bocas Del Toro. The day before we tested the propeller shaft, it seemed to work. It had been awhile since the boat was in the water. We’d grown used to land and had to get our sea legs back. Dad asked if I was up to my shift that night, I was. The next morning I woke up much later than I expected and to my surprise we weren’t at Bocas Del Toro. When we saw land I noticed how big the swells were. There were enormous waves crashing against rocks sending water up to the tops of the cliffs. People were surfing and speed boats were flying by.
Once we got to the island of Colon we tried to anchor. The anchoring spot which was closest to town was full so we anchored outside of the marina. The town was beautiful from afar and had buildings with all sorts of colors. Many buildings were built over the water with their own docks. Taxi boats were flying all over the place and speeding through the anchoring spot. We had the intent of going on land but we stayed on the boat. Dad set up the hammock and I spent the rest of the day reading.
Late the next morning we tried to get to land but the taxi didn’t come. Luckily a man from a boat called Bamboo came and helped. The town was nice, I liked it, many things were within walking distance. We walked back and forth to the same places and by the end of the day I was tired. It had been awhile since we walked that much. The next few days we were still trying to get things in order. Dad bought a new oar, a new motor for the dingy, and other stuff. A couple from Canada introduced themselves to us. They also had kids and were living on a boat called Helos.
On 2/15/20 there was a regatta, Dad was the photographer and I was his assistant. We met a man named Ed and his wife Nila, Ed drove the photography boat. The regatta was surprisingly fun and I got to take a lot of pictures. Ed and Nila were very nice and social. They used to be sailors but their boat was lost in a cyclone and now they are jungle people. Nila makes homemade chocolate starting by picking her own fruit out of the Cacao trees. Later I would learn she makes a lot of other things too. We put up the drone two times. The first time we almost lost it to the water. Near the end of the regatta Ed took us to a bar/restaurant on a 17th century looking boat. There was an after party later that evening with awards and acknowledgements.
Ed and Nila invited us to anchor in front of their house at Shepherd Island and that’s exactly what we did. We spent three days there and we had a wonderful time. There was however one big downer both Linzi and I were being eaten alive. No-see-ums loved us, it was a very one sided love. Ed showed us around the property it was like taking a little hike. Nila gave us food to eat and sent us home with plants from her garden. We played a fun card game called wist which was kind of like hearts but harder. We ate and drank coconuts one day while hanging out in a hammock. I learned that dogs here love fruit. We had dinner together, went to a market, and star gazed together. When we were going to leave Nila came to give us homemade banana bread with cacao on top.
Starfish Beach was where we went next. We swam in the water for hours and played off the back of the boat. Later we went to the beach and like its name we found two starfish. The beach was beautiful but very crowded. After Starfish Beach we went to Escudo de Veraguas which was my favorite island. We swam and jumped off of the boat for almost the whole day. I found out I could dive about nineteen feet. Bryan on this trip has gotten so much better at swimming and is no longer afraid of what’s in the water. That’s mainly because we don’t tell him what’s in the water. The last island we went to before heading back to Shelter Bay Marina was Zapatilla Cay 1. There was a small village there and some locals came to see the boat. We swam in the water but didn’t go on land. Dad had Linzi and me go on a dingy ride so he could record it with the drone.
At 12:30am Dad said it was time to go. Only Dad and I got up to get the boat off the anchor and headed out. I stayed up with him util around three, then went to bed. We saw the Southern Cross and North Star at the same time which was really cool. Dad said it was the first time he ever saw something like that. We listened to music and I couldn’t help but think about poor Mom waking up to music blasting.