A PERIPATETIC JOURNEY
not all who wander are lost
After a fast and uneventful downwind passage from Colombia, we made landfall at Waisaladup in the Holandes Cays, San Blas Islands, the morning of New Year's Eve.
Above are some photos taken of our anchorage by drone. What a beautiful place! We stayed here at Waisaladup for two days, enjoying time with friends and relaxing into 2018.
This island is inhabited by an extended Kuna family. Although the women stayed inside most of the time, we met the children and most of the men. We asked if we could come to the island and have a bonfire for New Year's Eve. Not only did the islanders give us permission, they gathered coconut husks and dried palm fronds to fuel the fire. They even started the fire before we came over to the beach. Some men and children joined us for the fire, and we talked with them as best we could given the language differences. Fortunately, there were a few in our group who manage quite well in Spanish! It was a fun evening, with people from four different boats (7 children and 10 adults) celebrating both our safe passage and the New Year. In true cruiser fashion, most of us didn't ring in the New Year that night, but greeted it the next morning instead.
Kendall and Sherrie spent a relaxing New Year's Day drinking instant cappuccino and baking snickerdoodles for the island residents as thanks for the fire the night before. Kendall researched and wrote down some remarks in Spanish that she clearly didn't deliver as skillfully as she had hoped, judging from the perplexed looks from the Kuna. We think they got the gist, though, and they seemed happy to accept the cookies.
That day, we were also visited by Venancio, a Kuna mola-maker, who displayed his wares in Element's cockpit. Usually, a Kuna selling molas will approach a boat in their dugout canoes and if welcomed aboard will ask the boat owners if they will invite friends on neighboring boats to come over to see the molas. The molas are colorful and beautiful and it was difficult to choose which ones to purchase. But of course purchase we did!
The road up into the mountains was sometimes concrete, but more often it was rutted and bumpy. It is only one lane, so if two cars going in the opposite direction meet, either one has to back up until they can make some room, or they just squeeze by each other while the passengers try not to think of the steep drop-off on the right. There is a lot of coffee growing up in the mountains and it has to get downhill to be sold somehow. On our way back down to Santa Marta we encountered at least six of these trucks slowly making their way downhill.
McGlynn family 5 (Isla, Marin, Eoin, Kendall, and Brian) sailing Counting Stars