Saturday, 20 February 2016

Panama, San Blas, Carti (Unexpected Visitors) 2015-10-18

This afternoon we got an unexpected surprise.

Dale and Becca only just left yesterday, so we've just been sulking around the boat not doing much. We're nearly out of food and water though, so we know we have to head over to Carti village soon to refill the stores. The plan was to lie around all day and then pull up the anchor, but then a storm rolled past. Finally we had some decent rain! We started catching water and showering out on the deck. Our headsail is down at the moment, awaiting repairs. It makes an amazing water catcher. I gathered it up to form a giant bath and started washing my hair for the first time since we left Shelter Bay. The water was coming out brown…

Boats zipping past

We're parked in between the Carti islands and the Carti port attached to the mainland, so little water taxis have been zipping back and forth past us all day. One went past us as I was standing on deck in a bikini and underwear, lathering up in the rain. When they dropped off their passangers and came back past again, I was wringing out my hair on deck. They must have been wondering why there were crazy yacht people showering in the rain, anchored in the middle of nowhere. So they pulled up alongside and pretty soon we had three locals onboard with us - one slightly drunk adult and two younger guys. Germain was the name of the older guy, who would never forget what he was called because he had his name tattooed along his right arm. For when he had drunk too much, he said. He hopped onto our boat with more beer and rum than he could carry - the boys had to keep passing it to us. So we had a party in the rain, cowering under our shade cloth which was bowing down just over our heads from the weight of all the water it was collecting.

Very blurry shot me me and Germain as he shows off his tattoo

The rain was warm and it wasn't windy, so we all had a great time sitting outside drinking rum straight from the bottle. Germain was a tour boat operator and he had many stories about drunken passengers throwing up everywhere and hitting on the laps of his crew, all attractive young kuna boys. The reason for all the alcohol was quickly made clear - they had spent the day entertaining 10 very loud, very drunk women and it seemed that a lot of them had passed out or thrown up. One of the perks seemed to be that they kept any alcohol left behind by their customers. There was a neverending supply!

While I was chatting to Germain in the cockpit, the boys quickly got bored and went to explore the deck. They took one look around our plain little boat and decided to climb the mast. The older guy had been drinking too, and was sensible enough to want a harness. He wasn't visibly drunk, but I was expecting him to just zip up the steps like Garth normally does and I'm glad he didn't! He made it to the first spreader before getting scared and begged to down again. Then the younger boy went up higher, and the competition began. They went up one after another until the older guy didn't want to climb any higher and the younger one was victorious.

The older boy goes up

Let me down!

Eventually they got sick of the mast and started nagging Germain about going home to find some food. I put out nibbles for them, but because we were sitting outside in the rain they had to be gobbled down immediately to avoid getting soaked in water. The boys eventually won, and they dragged their boss back onto the brightly coloured tour boat to head home. They left us the rum and beers, but somehow sharing a bottle of rum in the rain immediately lost its charm without a cockpit full of happy locals.

Xxx Monique


  1. I loved the Kunas and applaud your laid back hospitality. They see life entirely differently than most of us and are always ready to socialize. We should be more like them. Bravo!

    1. They were all so friendly, it was such a pleasure getting a chance to sit down and actually hang out with some of the locals! I think our tiny, dirty boat and the fact that I was showering in the rain is what drew them to us!