In 1698 William Patterson, a cofounder of the bank of England, organized and financed an expedition to found a settlement in the bay of Puerto Escoses. The 1300 Scots who built Fort Andrew, of which today only ruins remain, ender up having a terrible time, faced with starvation and disease. In the end the project became a fiasco and after less than two years in the Darien, region those that remained alive returned to Scotland. Just after they left, a fleet with reinforcements arrived from Scotland and made a second attempt to survive. They suffered the same problems as the predecessors and Fort Andrew was given up for good in 1702. Of the nearly 3000 people involved, over 2000 died. Fort Andrew is hardly recognizable. This is the only attempt the Scots ever made to colonize in America.
Sooner or later it had to happen, Today was that day a bit stressful I guess I should have studied the chart more. I felt pretty confident we have 3 navigation programs 2 guide books, we should be able to get around the islands with out running aground. Nope as we headed between point of land and a small island where at least 30 men in Cayucos were fishing. we started to see bottom. When I checked the depth it said 10ft. I slowed down and continued on 9,8,7,6 checked chart plotted said we are in the right place. Mistress needs 5ft 7in shallow on both sides hard to turn around. Left or right. I chose left we came to a stop, the keel in a sand bar. A little while later an older guy in a dug out canoe came paddling over to us. I’m sure the first thing he said is “ Its shallow here.” He spoke no English but a little Spanish I spoke no Kuna so Spanish it would be. We decided to put out a stern anchor line and winch ourselves free. We put our spare anchor line out the back of the boat, then into the dinghy. The plan was to row out to deep water then drop the anchor. Once it was set we would get to work. We did all this, which took about an hour then started winding the line became taut, so it must be doing something. Another small boat approached 2 young guys curious as to what was going on, some how they thought we had the anchor stuck not really paying attention to them they jumped in the water and pulled the anchor out of the bottom. They then took the anchor of tied the line on there boat and attempted to pull us off, with Mistress in reverse and them pulling we started having some success. Then suddenly everything stopped, the rope was around the prop. Now I think felt really bad, we were sick to our stomachs. They dove back in the water and started unwinding the rope some needed to be cut out. Another motorboat approached, we were becoming the local attraction. After 1 1/2 hours of diving, cutting, and pulling fibers out of the shaft we finally had it clean again. By now it was in the afternoon, the tide was going down we were settling more into the sand, constantly boats of all sizes went by us to have a look, or offer words of encouragement in Kuna. We tried digging the sand around the keel til sundown. High tide was scheduled for around noon the next day. As it got darker the boat heeled more and more, listing 25 degrees on its side, bobbing gently it was like a funhouse inside, no level surface that we could sleep upon. At daybreak we put out the anchor again, and kept the line taught hoping the rising tide would pull us free. Every 15min we gave it a flew more turns. Around 11:30am we started moving slowly, the shell on the bottom which I had been staring at was now behind us. Suddenly we floated free pulling on the anchor we moved to deep water but it seemed it was stuck a fishing boat came along the side of us with 4 men whom had earlier asked us for 500 to pull the boat off. We tried again to pull the anchor it would not budge. we were drifting to shallow water again. One of the men wanted to dive down and lift it by hand. Too dangerous I told them to cut the line, they could have the anchor. I just wanted to get going. We headed toward an anchorage not far away to put the last days events behind us. As they say……. “Its all part of the adventure.”