We made it safely to this small island , where there is a Kuna operated Immigration office,a hotel, restaurant, and frequent flights to Panama city. There is no village but still considered the capital of Kuna Yala.
Our engine ran well, but we needed to pump out the bilge about every 15 minutes, water still trickles in. We kept ahead it the whole way. soon as the anchor was down, we shut off the incoming through-hull, to make sure we stayed dry. There was just one other boat, a trawler, in the anchorage, when we sailed in. The weather was unsettled, so for the next few hours we watched as 4 other boats joined us.That night we had a very uncomfortable sleep. The waves and wind tossing us around. The next morning just after daybreak, I noticed us getting closer to the trawler. We were dragging the anchor, and on second look they were churning up sand close to the reef. We turned on the motor, and used full power to move to a safe area, pulling the anchor behind us. Some how we managed to miss the other boats in the anchorage in the excitement I didn’t notice that there were a total of 4 boats dragging including us all at the same time. All this caused by a squall with very high winds. we had been warned about the sudden, “out of no where squalls”, that come through the San Blas. A father and son from the Brazilian boat, Allegro, came over and offered to help when they saw us struggling with the manual winch. We dropped and reset the anchor probably 4 times before it bit in. we were very grateful for the two strong men for there help. Not feeling confident of getting a good sleep that night after a day of high winds we took an offer by a local to move to a spot that was more secure. the problem being a coral bed with just about six inches of sand on top, not good holding. Nester a Kuna Guide and sometimes charter boat crew, lead us to a spot just off the dock amongst the huts. What a difference, The next afternoon we dinghied to the store with a small bar and patio on the side. We toured the small island of Wichubhuala with Nester who agreed to crew on Mistress for our next leg. He showed us his physical qualities by climbing a coconut tree.
All supplies bought to these islands come by boat, the main ones being trade boats from Colombia. We watched coconut being loaded and goods being unloaded. Even children helped out. Our best place that we found was from the patio of the local hangout.We met some interesting guys who were eager to share info about their way of life, and find out about us. Gabriel, a local who runs the ferry to the airport, told us his favourite music is “Gons and Roshes”. Because we said we had never heard of it, he told the bartender to play it for us….apparently , he likes Rock….. Guns and Roses.