Welcome to paradise, Panama

Km 17 952

When we see our boat for the first time, we wonder how we will sleep and live in it with 19 people for the next 5 days. The boat is a bit bigger than the classic sailing boats. It looks like a mix between an old fishing boat and a sailing boat. The interior is fortunately much nicer than a fishing boat. Upstairs there is the navigation centre, the kitchen and a small sofa. A few steps lead down to the water level where all the beds are located. 7 sleep in the stern, 4 in the middle, 7 in the bow. There are also two bathrooms downstairs, a shower is upstairs. The beds are small but quite comfortable with each one having a light and a small fan, some with a small window looking directly out to the sea. We all meet up on deck and get to know each other as we leave the port of Cartagena. Goodbye Colombia!

The first two days are very hard. The boat was rocking between the waves, everyone was feeling bad and it was difficult to sleep. We had planned to watch a lot of movies during the crossing, but in the end we just lay on the cushions on the deck, staring at the horizon and concentrating on trying not to throw up. Some don’t succeed and have to bend their heads over the water. What a nice atmosphere!

On the second day, we finally see the mountains of Panama in the distance. One more hour of boat and we can also see the first islands. We set course for one of them. When we pass behind the coral reef, the sea becomes calmer and everyone finally takes a deep breath. The worst is behind us! A few dolphins accompany us in our last moments of sailing, then we drop anchor between 3 small islands. The coconut palms invite us to jump in the water and swim to one of the islands to explore and walk on the white sand. We walk around the island, then return to the boat to eat.

The next 3 days are similar, but it’s a huge joy. Every day we visit new islands, some inhabited, some deserted. We swim, snorkel in the coral reef (Kati even sees a shark) and eat very well. On one of the islands we play beach volleyball, on another we have a campfire at night to celebrate. Even a midnight swim (or almost) with luminescent plankton is part of the programme. The other travellers are all very nice and we have a great time. Although, the waves during the sailing parts make us happy to leave the boat. Here we are in Panama! We put our bikes back together while the others take a bus. But the goodbyes are not for ever, we will soon meet again in Panama City and surely also during other trips around the globe!

To see all photos, please click here:
Welcome to paradise

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