San Blas is the closest thing you get to paradise in the Caribbean and we’ve been lucky to be able to share it with a good group of visitors spread out over the months we’ve been here. With the visitors we’ve been able to explore the islands, the snorkeling spots, and enjoy our time onboard Stella Polaris.
Maren, Bente & Frode
First out in July were Maren, Bente and Frode. The girls joined us for two weeks and Frode for three.
The video above showcases their visit. I really enjoyed filming and editing the underwater segment! You can read more about their visit here.
Elisabeth & Torger
At the end of August, Elisabeth and Torger joined us for two excellent weeks filled with free-diving, great food and Splendor. When they were onboard we met the fabled bull shark in Hollandaise. This is a bull shark many people talk about, but few people have seen. We are now some of the few, because when we were trying to swim out of the reef, he came cruising in. There was no doubt who was at the top of the pecking order, because he swam like the boss he is. We can also thank Togga for introducing the boardgame Splendor to us. We spent many evenings scheming over the table, trying to outsmart each other. The game was an instant hit and has been played with every visitor since.
Hanne & PC
When we came back from a 6 week visit to Norway, Hanne and Per Christian were waiting for us in Panama City. They spent 2 weeks with us cruising around in mixed weather. It was obvious when they were here that the rainy season wasn’t quite over, but we spent the days enjoying the islands and embracing the sun when it was out. When they went ashore to enjoy Panama City, we had a couple of days to sail back to Linton and resupply.
Anne Marie & Runar
Runar og Anne Marie were supposed to join us on Monday November 21st, but a passport issue, as well as Hurricane Otto put a small stop to that. We were weathering the “hurricane” in the anchorage by Linton Bay Marina. I say “hurricane” because it was a hurricane well offshore, but where we were located we only saw max winds of around 39 knots. Together with heavy rains, the wind still managed to block the road going to Linton by washing it out and collapsing trees and powerlines on it. The result was that Runar and Anne Marie spent the night in a bed and breakfast about 45 minutes away from us and didn’t get to us before the Wednesday. As luck would have it, the weather improved and they were able to enjoy sensational weather with us. We then had a terrific week, enjoying their company and cooking. They also embraced Splendor and introduced us to Skip-bo, so the evenings flew away in board/card games.
My childhood friend Christian joined us at the end of November and spent two excellent weeks with us. We sailed from Yansaladup to Coco Bandero, followed by Hollandaise, before we returned to Yansaladup (this has been the standard visitor circle and has been a success with all our visitors). Christian was the first visitor that came out to us and returned to land in San Blas, which meant that we didn’t have to sail back to Linton to pick-up and/or drop off. It proved to be a good formula, because it meant that he could maximize his time here and not have to endure the 8-9 hours sail to Linton, which could be a trying experience, usually with the wind on the nose, no matter which way we sailed. Instead Christian was picked up in Panama City by Tito, driven over the mountains in a 4×4 and dropped off in Carti, where Gustavio transported him in a speedboat out to Yansaladup where we were anchored. We went on an epic crocodile safari dinghy trip up Rio Diablo where Christian certainly looked the part in his Crocodile Hunter shirt and bush-hat. We didn’t see any crocs, but saw monkeys and birds. In the evenings we played Splendor, talked at lengths and enjoyed our share of Abuelo. Christian and I were also able to bring out our inner nerds by playing D&D in paradise. If you don’t know what D&D is … You’re not our brand of nerd 😉
The same boat that brought Christian ashore, brought my mom out three days later. She’s spending Christmas and New Years with friends in Miami, but jumped on a plane and came down to spend a week with us before the Holidays kick in. It was fantastic to have mom onboard, because now she fully understands what we’re doing and everything we talk about. She lucked out with the weather and showed up pale, but left us with a healthy tan. Since the river tour had been such a success with Christian, we did it again with mom and to our surprise, we actually saw a good sized crocodile this time. We also enjoyed one of our best sails when we sailed from Waisaladup to Yansaladup doing over 7 knots on just the genoa.
When we waved good-bye to mom, it was the last time we had visitors from home here in San Blas and we won’t have anyone else join us before Helge and Camilla sign on at the end of January. We have much to do before then … most importantly: celebrate the Holidays and transit the Panama Canal. Both will be tons of fun 🙂 Looking back at the time we’ve spent here in San Blas, we are very happy about the people that decided to come and spend time with us. You helped make this a richer and more enjoyable experience. It’s been awesome and we look forward to new visitors in the Pacific.