Beer bottles litter the table, along with a small bottle of single malt scotch travelers whiskey and an odd assortment of wine vessels. Guitar strings ring in wonderful symphony along with rhythmic spoons, a whaling harmonica and bucket drum. The evening is merry and joy with drunken singing and laughter, sweet music filling the air (or at least it is thought so in the ears of the drunkards). Scottish folk songs a play with a flurry at the finger tips of Calum Wood of “The Banana Sessions”, while his newly made Fiancé Jennifer sings along in accompaniment with her sweet voice and the rest of us just try to sing what we know.
It is a fine night of celebrations for sure when a traveling couple from Scotland get engaged upon a tropical beach backed by a fiery red setting sun across the pacific ocean, and that is exactly what this night is all about.
Sitting at the bar eating dinner the betrothed pair walk in and announce the news, I was all set for a quite night and that just all went out the window, rounds of Panama Beer started to flow, out came Calum’s guitar and a bottle of whiskey he had brought from Scotland for the occasion and the night went on to the early morn, loud with merriment. My Scottish and Irish ancestry writhed to my heart and filled me with eager joy to embrace culture and heritage I have never fully understood though feel strangely apart of! What a great evening it became when a band of American brothers joined us, I pulled out my Harmonica, they started to sing and play songs they knew on the communal guitar, while a trash bin became a drum and one brother pulled the spoons from some used ice-cream bowls, wiped them clean and proceeded to come together with his hands. “oh spoon man!”
We have made a great group of friends here at surf point, and it is sad to think they will all be gone when we return from Coiba Island. We will leave in a couple of days and be gone for about 2 weeks and there will be the same Santa Catalina when we return, though not the same wonderful companions we have come to enjoy. The festive night of merriment left all the next day with sore heads and less vigour to head to the water for a daily surf session. I attempted, though after a few rides I came back with my tail between my legs to sleep in a hammock. Every time I fell from the board and got tumbled in the waves, my brain shook and was left aching and pulsating. That day was a day of rest
Today we played Frisbee; the sunset glowed golden, and we hopped and skipped amongst the pools in the sand, chasing and throwing the small plastic disc as we laughed and leaped after it. Paradise is sweet and full of fleeting moments of glory. Departure to Coiba looms closer though there are some issues arising. There is mixed opinion as to whether we will be allowed to do the trip by the ANAM park rangers, some people say yeah no problem, others say no way. I have tracked down the phone number of the head ranger (thanks to Mike my mate who runs Fluid Adventures here and is actual the lead doubter of our case), and we are organizing to get someone to talk on our behalf to the Jefe Grande, or head ranger about our case. Yann the proprietor, of where we are staying, is happy to help, he speaks French, Spanish and English, we will see what happens once we are ready to call.
On a great note, Allie and I will be doing three days of guiding for 3 of Fluid Adventures clients, in turn we make enough money to pay for our trips food, get a free boat ride to Coiba and have our park fees paid for. We then plan to leave right after the trip with clients is done. Fingers crossed it all comes together.