Paradise is such a broad term. It can be found almost anywhere. It might be a cocktail at sunset, ice cream on a hot day or even a quiet park in the heart of a bustling city. It’s all relative.
When I think of a beach side paradise, I see white sand, crystal clear water and a coconut tree covered island. And, that is exactly what we found when we dropped the anchor in San Blas. This Panamanian archipelago is a sailors bliss.
Spectacular place isn’t it! When I was editing this video I kept thinking to myself “Now that’s the cruising life I signed up for!” Sunsets, Snorkeling, Swimsuits and Sailing…LIFE IS GOOD!
Snorkeling in San Blas
The water is crystal clear from above but it isn’t Bahamas clear once you’re in. It’s still fantastic, I just don’t want to set your expectations too high. We’ve read the Guna Yala people don’t allow SCUBA diving. So, we stuck to snorkeling. Which is no biggie because most of the reefs are shallow enough to free-dive.
The underwater life wasn’t as spectacular as I’d read online. We snorkeled 5 different spots within 10 miles of our anchorage. Some of the coral was healthy while other large chunks were dying. We didn’t see any large schools of fish and only spotted a handful of lobsters (most were tiny little guys). I’ve no business speculating why. But, considering how far this archipelago is from the mainland, I expected it to be exploding with vibrant sea life.
Shopping From Our Sugar Scoops
Seriously, this might be our favorite part of the San Blas islands. These veggie guys come twice per week. They even take requests! You need some milk, eggs or cheese? All you have to do is message them on WhatsApp (everybody in Panama has this app) and let them know. They’ll deliver it all, to your sugar scoops. What was even better, the prices were excellent! Veggie prices were on par with the grocery stores we visited in Portobelo.
We had visitors of all kinds paddling or sailing up in their dug out canoes offering goods and services. “Come to my island, I have Coca-Cola and Ice” or “Spend the day on my beach, for $5 you can lie in the sun, play volleyball and swim.”
The Guna Yala people don’t allow visitors to spear or fish without a special permit. The best way to get fresh seafood is to buy it off one of the many locals peddling their catch du jour.
We also had three women visit selling their molas. A mola is native artwork handmade from cloth and thread. It’s an artform that’s as old as the Guna’s themselves. We didn’t buy any since our space aboard Curiosity is sparse for souvenirs and art work. But, it was an experience to see them and speak with the artists that paddled up to our boat. The Guna prefer not to have their photographs taken. You’ll have to google mola if you want to see this intricate art.
Why leave paradise after a week?
Thanks A Million!
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To see our full map with interactive pins, click here: gonewiththewynns.com/map
- Dates: 10/25 – 11/1/2017
- Anchorage: Yansaladup. You can find it on Active Captain near the Lemon Cays and just east of Cayos Chichime.
- Check Out The Panama Cruising Guide (Eric Bauhaus): http://amzn.to/2rvOIdT
- Cell & WiFi: Until recent years there was zero cell reception in San Blas. We found a 3g signal near Isla Porvenir while our anchorage (5+ miles away) had very intermittent reception. A Cell Booster is a must here if you want a chance at catching a few bars, but there’s no connection guarantees in paradise.
- Cell Signal Booster: https://www.gonewiththewynns.com/product/weboost-4g-booster-kit
Gear Used In This Video
Freedive / Snorkel Gear
- Sony Action Cam: gonewiththewynns.com/product/sony-as300
- Monopod/selfie stick/Floater: http://bit.ly/sandmarc-gopro
- Sony RX With Underwater Housing: http://amzn.to/2iGruuz
- Hammerhead Free-Dive Mask With Camera Mount http://amzn.to/2d5C6SB
- Hammerhead Free-Dive J Snorkel: http://amzn.to/2cjh3dV
- Nikki’s Sporasub Freediving Fins: http://amzn.to/2kIYmlf
- Atomic Mask: http://amzn.to/2uuqsZf
- Omer Snorkel: http://amzn.to/2uxCjEb
- Omer Freediving Fins: http://amzn.to/2kIhljK
Sailing Specific Gear
- iPad Pro http://amzn.to/2d9Oopf Sailing Apps Used:
- Iridium Go and Predict Wind for weather and communications: bit.ly/PredictWindIridium
- Quatix 5 Watches: https://www.gonewiththewynns.com/product/quatix-5-marine-watch
Cameras Used to Capture This Video
Full Review Of All Our Camera Gear: gonewiththewynns.com/camera-gear-review-2017
- Sony A7ii: com/product/sony-a7ii
- Rode Mic: https://bhpho.to/2hUNFA8
- Sony 24 – 70mm f4 lens: com/product/sony-24-70
- Sony RX (small pocket cam): gonewiththewynns.com/product/productsony-dsc-rx100m-iii-cyber-shot-digital-still-camera
- Gorilla Tripod: http://amzn.to/2A0zwIa