Isla Puyadas

We’re anchored in front of a tiny island a few miles north of Isla Tigre. We wanted to anchor at Niadup at the Devil Cays, but when we were approaching a thunderstorm came up and the charts were again horribly inaccurate, so we didn’t dare entering. Today was almost no swell, so we have it smooth here at Isla Puyadas as well (unless another thunderstorm… Continue reading »


Snug as a Bug

Todays trip from Tupile to Snug Harbour was straightforward and without complications. The water is finally clear again (near the mainland the many rivers discharge lots of mud and sand into the sea), which is, next to good light, the second important requirement for eye-ball navigation. In the morning is was nicely sunny, but when we entered the new anchorage a thunderstorm cloud built up… Continue reading »


Advanced Course in Eyeball Navigation

Today’s task was to motor the 2.8 miles from Isla Mono to San Ignacio de Tupile. Sounds ridiculously easy, but navigating through the reefs in somewhat murky water took us 2 hours and all our nerves. Birgit at the helm tried to look at the dephtsounder, the chartplotter in the cockpit (with a completely wrong chart, but showing heading and speed) and the more accurate… Continue reading »


Isla Mono

Yesterday we used the fair weather to get to our next anchorage at Isla Mono. It took us 7 hours (!) for the mere 20 miles since navigation is so treacherous in these waters. Finding our way through the reefs we had several close encounters with non-charted coral heads. The good part was we cought a big barracuda so we had barracuda steaks for dinner,… Continue reading »


Trouble in paradise

This morning we visited Ustupu, the largest village in the San Blas, once more to buy some things. We thought that a settlement of that size must have some rubbish collection system, so we took a bag with plastic rubbish with us. When asking around where to put it the people just pointed to the shore–already full with litter. We couldn’t believe it and asked… Continue reading »



We reached the largest village of Kuna Yala, Ustupu, after motoring (as almost always here in the rainy season) 15 miles up from Isla Pinos. A place to buy cheap beer (yea!), to check the internet (WiFi at the school), and to leave quickly again. It’s not a very pretty place and people are rather unfriendly. The local coast guard station checked our papers. Our… Continue reading »


Isla Pinos

We’re still anchored in the shallow waters between Isla Pino and the mainland. The village on the island is small, but pretty and tidy. Yesterday we walked up to the “back of the whale” (in Kuna the island is called “Tupbak” that means whale and refers to the shape of the island) to the antenna mast on top of the island and encountered capuchin monkeys,… Continue reading »


When navigation becomes a thrill

Today around noon we motored the few miles from Mulatupu to Isla Pino. For this island, our cruising guide recommends to anchor at a depth of only 2.5 meters, which is way too shallow for our taste (that would leave about 30 cm under the keel). So we aimed at a spot further offshore where it is supposed to have at least 4 meters. However,… Continue reading »



When the fishermen in Puerto Escoces told us that their village was a “ciudad” (a town), we just smiled to ourselves, but after motoring 12 nm to get to the bay we discovered that Mulatupu is indeed a town. About 5000 Kuna live packed on this island (some parts of it artificially raised), there’s several markets, a bakery, but the best bread is sold from… Continue reading »


Fancy evening out

Yesterday we got chatting with Kunas from the village Malatupu who come to Puerto Escoces to fish and harvest fruit and veggies from the gardens they have here. At the moment 3 men and 2 boys stay in one of the huts that are built on the reef. Instead of asking for presents and trying to sell us overpriced veggies (like the Kuna in Puerto… Continue reading »


Anchoring games in Puerto Escoces

We’re still in the quiet bay of Puerto Escoces, there’s not much to do here, no hiking trails and the water is too murky for snorkeling after the heavy rains. Yesterday we took the dinghy around the bay in the hope of catching a glimpse of a crocodile (according to the fishermen there are many around here), but couldn’t spot one. We saw some hornbills… Continue reading »


Thunderstorms in Puerto Escoces

We’ve just experienced how fierce thunderstorms can be in the San Blas Islands. It started like a normal thunderstorm at 5 o’clock in the morning, but by 6 o’clock the wind accelerated to 40 knots sustained, visibility went down to a few metres, so we turned the engine on, kept a look at the GPS and were prepared to set the anchor newly in case… Continue reading »


Soooooooo much water!

Today it poured down incredibly for hours. There were times when we couldn’t see the shores of the bay through the dense curtains of rainwater. We filled up both watertanks, all jerrycans and buckets–no more worries about saving water in the next time. The monkeys in the surrounding mountains seem to be not that happy with rain. Each time it starts they loudly utter their… Continue reading »


Puerto Perme to Puerto Escoces

We spent two days in the calm anchorage of Puerto Perme (Perme means “bay” in the Kuna language), visited the two adjourning villages Anachucuna and Pueblo Nuevo. The Kuna there are friendly, we were invited to three houses and got to chat with the people. Their huts are basic, most walls made from bamboo (quite practical, the people inside can see out, but you can’t… Continue reading »


Leeloo brought us dinner

We spent another day in Sapzurro yesterday, waiting for the swell to go down. During the night, there was some commotion on deck, then we heard the clip-clap of the catflap and Leeloo delivered a squid to our cabin. After ungratefully refusing her generous gifts of mice, moles, birds, snakes and frogs for years, we decided it would be a shame to waste the little… Continue reading »

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