Thursday, June 28, 2012

Isla Coiba; Feb 5th 2012: A Family

Bringing in the Launcha on logs.

Trip Log:
Distance: 12 KNM
Weather: Sunny with light winds
Dinner: fried coconut fish with fried plantains and coconut rice
We awoke relaxed, and headed off for the mainland, we came across one more sea snake as we covered the final stretch to the mainland, and this one was much more nervous and dove deep as soon as it noticed my boat.
A big crossing lots of talking, more dolphins and Brown Boobies chasingIMG_4203 Flying fish, it was amazing to see the fish take flight trying to avoid the dolphins below, then have the Boobie Birds come after them in the air, the fish would drop back into the water and the birds would follow suite, snagging the fish below the surface. The game would then continue in the sky with Frigate birds then Chasing the Boobies to get them to drop their catch, a strange food circle.
Land, and people.
We stopped for lunch and siesta in Bahia Hondo. We then pushed on come 3 pm for another bay with a river and possible camp. Allie not in the mood for paddling or being in kayak, wanted a shower, a bed and someone else to cook meals and openly stated this laughing at the unlikely hood of that.
Mucking about in the open deep blue water.

We pulled in to a bay to land near a river, the surf was pretty big and slammed the beach hard,after waiting for the big rollers to pass we worked our way in with the waves,  following a small wave; then I looked back to see bigger sets coming again, and realizing we were right on the break zone I calmly but bluntly told Allie to back paddle and to not stop. She kind of froze smiled and said “OK!”, and we back paddled, I reminded her not to stop and a big face loomed up on us. We rode up the face of the first wave just as it crested and broke partially over us. “Don’t stop” I calmly reminded Allie, the next wave was also big and steep but we are outside the break zone, and we push up and over its steep peak, still paddling backwards, Allie stated “My heart is POUNDING!”. We were clear again and reminded of how easy the surf had been to us so far.
All hands on deck
We line up to wait for a smaller set to come again when a guy whistles from down the beach and waves usplace over to a sheltered corner that has small waves wrapping into it, though is very rocky and has no good camp spots. We had avoided that end as it was obvious a house was down there, however now we followed the guidance of the “Senor” and pulled up on the rocky section of the beach. This is how we meet Felix Hernade and his Family. They quickly and excitedly offered us a place to stay, helped carry the boats to their homestead, helped us carry our gear up to their house, and excitedly questioned us about what we were doing. That night we found ourselves with a room, a meal, a shower in the nearby stream and a family to talk and laugh with despite our struggling Spanish. Actually I think we (Allie and I) both did really well with our Spanish and communicated quite a lot as well as learned a bunch more words for things.
Our restaurant for our stay.

Dogs, chickens, ducks roamed the property freely .We helped bring up their Launcha (boat) with Felix’s sons using logs to roll it up the beach, and we brought up the fish they had caught us for dinner. That night the radio broadcasts that there are protestors in Panama and Costa Rica blocking the Pan America Highway, not sure for what reason, we couldn’t translate enough. We ate Fried Plantains (starchy Bananas) and fried Fish, it is delicious. Our Beds are just planks with light mattresses on top. I Slept with ants on me ( no one’s fault but mine) and had to wake up to wipe them off numerous times in the night.
Moving the rolling logs up, in order to roll the boat above the high tide line

Dinner, Breakfast and Lunch.
Fried Fish, fried Plantain and Coffee; Dinner, Breakfast and Lunch

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