Thursday, December 29, 2011

A Little Tarnish on the San Blas – late night boat attack.

kunaIMG_8460 The other night while we were standing baby arrival watch the VHF radio was busy with info on an attack in the anchorage in Nargana. In the west anchorage there was a French single hander anchored. We were anchored next to him a few days earlier. A ulla (dugout canoe) with two locals onboard came up to the boat and asked to borrow a bailer. When the owner went below to get the bailer the two locals came onboard. They tied up the skipper and in the process drew blood. They stole a number of items including money and liquor. The skipper freed himself after the assailants left. He fired off a flair and made some VHF calls. The powerboat Seascape went over in their dinghy to assist. Eventually the Kuna police were contacted and they came out in their launcha. When they saw the amount of blood on the floor they kicked into high gear. The skipper was not seriously hurt or cut. They took him out to search for the assailants and to shore for care. The robbers apparently left the boat in a hurry and used a machete to cut the line they tied up with, leaving a portion on the boat. The next morning you can see the owner in the picture above getting ready to head to town to walk around the docks in Nargana with the line trying to match it any of the boats tied up.The Kunas are generally very friendly, mellow and trust worthy – they’d have to be to live as densely as they do on the small islands.  Most of their supplies comes in on small Columbian supply boats. Alcohol and coke don’t make for trustworthy in any population.

When you cruise around the San Blas islands one thing that stands out is the number of shipwrecks. Some are clearly old, but many are recent from this season. Here is a pretty double ender that went on the reef at the entrance to Proviner on XMAS eve. Seeing the boat up on the reef in the early morning when we entered Proviner was kind of sickening -  But by the grace of God go I.
provenir  The boat hit the reef named Sail Rock on the chart. The yellow is reef and the gray island.
kunaIMG_8408 A steel Columbian trader on the reef
On a lighter note, we had a great sail up from the San Blas back to Colon. It was blowing 16 to 22 kts all the way and we were hitting 8 to 10 kts boat speed. Pretty fun, but I felt sorry for the folks going down (east bound) to the San Blas, as it was right into the teeth of it – swells and wind. We talked with our friends on Lions Paw on the way back. They had ducked into an anchorage to get out of the beating and saw us sailing by.
We are back in Shelter Bay Marina in Colon now. Chris left today to head to Panama City and flight out in the morning. She’s going to her Mom’s 80th birthday party. Me, I’m going to do boat work. Haul next week and put some expensive bottom paint on Jeorgia. Also gotta straighten out some engine issues – Definition of Cruising: Fixing your boat in exotic ports.

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