|Weighing the Luggage|
We love it when friends come to visit us down here in Paradise, especially when our friends come from cold places. This past week we were lucky enough to have Frank (who we sailed around the world with on the Picton Castle), Suzanne and Alex come down to thaw out from the New York winter. They arrived via a white knuckle airplane ride into Nargana.
|The Airport "Gate"|
Before they came, Frank asked how they would find us outside the airport. I told him not to worry, that we would find him. Little did they know that the airport in Nargana is just a pot-holed concrete slab on a small island. There is a small shack and an outhouse. When you leave, they weigh your bags on a meat hook. We anchor just beyond the “airstrip” and as soon as we see the plane dodge the many masts in the harbor, we hop in the dingy and make our way to the dingy dock, hop out barefooted, walk up the dirt path to the plane and greet them as they step out of the tiny tin box. I am pretty sure there are not real seats but rather bus seats with some seat belts attached to them. When my Dad flew out, he told me that just before they took off, one of the passengers noticed the door where the luggage was stowed was open and told the pilot. The pilot just shrugged and took off anyway – flying the 30 minutes to Panama City with the cargo door open the whole way! But don’t worry, I am told flying is safer than driving.
|Mola Lisa Showing Off Her Goods|
Anyway, the pastey white travelers got here safe and sound and we spent the next week taking them around our idea of Paradise. We sailed over to the “Pool”, so named because one part of the anchorage is shallow and then there is a large drop off, so the color of the water changes from a clear green in the shallow end to a deep blue in the deep end.
|Let Sleeping Sharks Lie|
|Frank and Suzanne in the Central Holendays|
Lisa, the famous Mola maker came by in her Ulu (dugout canoe), came on board to display her Molas and Suzanne and Alex each got a few as souvenirs. We took them to the Central Holendays (where no one goes) and anchored behind a reef where the gentle roar of the ocean never stops. We went snorkeling and spied on a sleeping nurse shark, making sure not to disturb it too much.
We took them to our favorite island nicknamed “Disneydup”. All of the names of the islands in San Blas end in “dup”.
We set up a hammock camp on the island, cooked a rotisserie chicken over the fire, drank beer, roasted marshmallows and chilled out. We got up the next day and repeated, except for the chicken part. This time we made ceviche and maybe a hot dog or something for Frank. When not on the island, the day was spent sprawled out on the lounge sleeping, in the cockpit reading, down below playing cards or just telling stories and laughing. A lot.
|Bloody Mary Beach Brunch|
After we had our fill of Disneydup, we boogied over to the West Cocos (about a mile away) where we had a Bloody Mary brunch on the beach (fried eggs, bacon and hash browns cooked on the cast iron skillet over the fire).
Alex and Suzanne were actually productive and got in a little yoga on the beach – after a few bloodies, of course! Even Niko tried to participate in the action.
|Suzanne Sporting the Wasalladup Swimsuit|
We then made our way over to Wasalladup (a picture perfect tiny island that we had all to ourselves) and had a swim floatie party in the crystal clear water.
|Alba Marina's "Restaurant"|
We then had to sadly make our way back to Nargara for the last super which entailed going to our favorite “restaurant” in Nargana. It is Alba Marina’s (a Kuna woman) hut where she makes the best friend chicken and french fries and has the coldest $1 beers on the island. Before we went to dinner, we took went on a dingy ride up the Rio Diablo where we swam in fresh water and took a nice long bath! The next morning our now tanned friends got back in the tin can and took off for Panama City and then on to NYC, where another snow storm was rumored to be waiting.
|More Tropical Yoga|
|Niko Demonstrates Downward Dog|
|Swim Floatie Party|
|Palm Tree Posing|
|Suzanne Watching TV Kuna Style|
|Suzanne and Alex Chilling Out|
|Going Up the Rio Diablo|