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San Blas Islands, Panama

San Blas

San Blas

Interesting set of islands.  Only have time for a brief update due to limited connectivity. There are 360 islands in this chain spreasd out over 100 miles; where only the Kuna are allowed to live here, but we can sail and anchor here.  Most islands have a protective barrier reef around them, making navigation interesting. Lucky for us a guy named Bauhaus did a detailed navigation of the area a few years ago and wrote a book. It is perfect.

Went snorkeling the other day, tropical reef fish, schools of jacks, are out of the blue a huge ray flew past.  Water is about 85 and that special turquoise reserved for tropical places.

Kuna Woman

Kuna Woman

The Kuna moved to the islands about 100 years ago. They were in the Darien between Colombia and Panama, a wet jungle now occupied by two remaining tribes, the Ember and the Wounaan . In 1925 they asked and received the rights by the Panamanian government for the govern themselves.  We need to play by tier rules here.

A main way for the Kuna to make money are their Molas – multi-layered cloth designs cleverly created with needle and threads of many colors, plus cutting one layer to see the the ones below.,

They are a small people, but live to an unusually old age and have been studied because of that.

We have the occasional cell phone access – so this blog entry is via cell.

The winds have been light but we’ve been able to sail each trip between islands – we usually pick about islands about 10 miles apart. Usually three or four other sailboats at the anchorages – usually we are the only US flagged vessel.

Looking forward to Colombia and meeting Samantha and Matt after the San Blas.