|ARCHIVED JOURNAL ENTRIES
and wise. Your favorite sailing family are still living and exploring the beautiful coastal waters and islands along the
north coast of the Republic of Panama. You can find corresponding pictures by clicking on the Photo Album button
above. And don't forget, you can always look at our previous explorations by clicking on the archived Journal Entries
(above) and the corresponding archived Photo Albums on the Photo Album page.
9 months later and still enjoying Panama. We have recently moved Southern Belle to the archipelago of Bocas Del
Toro. This is a beautiful island group located approximately 200 nautical miles west of Kuna Yala. Since our last
update we visited the USA for the express purpose of seeing our first grandchild, Tristan Salley. We started in New
Orleans at the second weekend of the Jazz and Heritage Festival (always a good time), and then visited family all
along the way up to Nashville, Tennessee where Gabriel and Jennifer live. Tristan is a gorgeous little boy, and don't
worry we have included some pictures of him along with this update.
Once we returned to Southern Bell in early June we spent our time in the San Blas Islands running private charters
and getting involved with the Kuna Indian community. The chartering has been great. We have met people from all
over the world, and everybody has been wonderful. We even had our good friends Bill, Vicky and their daughter Caylie
visit from New Orleans. We had a great time with our budddies! Of course, the San Blas Islands are so gorgeous it
is hard to be unhappy while there. In between chartering we visited and worked with some of our Kuna friends. For
example, we helped our good friend Glomildo Vallie Smith get a restaurant/bar started in one of the outer island
groups. Glomildo and his family kind of adopted us. When his niece, Cipu, gave birth to a little boy they named him
George Joshua Smith. We also visited the Robeson Island Group where our friend Justino lives with his family. We
loaded the entire boys soccer team, and many of the parents, onto Southern Belle and sailed them over to the island
of Naranjo Grande for a three day inter-island soccer tournament. Fifteen islands participated. Our Robeson boys
took second place! We had a big celebration aboard Southern Belle all the way back to their home island. You have
never seen such a happy group of kids!
In September we took a break from chartering and sailed over to Bocas Del Toro to check it out and celebrate
Joshua's 11th birthday. We had a great time and met some very nice people. There is a large ex-pat community in
Bocas Del Toro and Joshua met some of the kids who live and attend school there. The school is called the Tangerine
School and goes up to 6th grade. During this visit we decided we would move Southern Belle to this area during
December, and Joshua would enroll in the school beginning in January.
But first we had to sail back over to Kuna Yala to take care of some charter guests who had reserved space during
November. November was solid work! We entertained 6 groups of guests for periods of 3 to 4 days each. We even
had a couple from Switzerland over Thanksgiving. It was their first Thanksgiving meal, and a good one too! We were
all very lucky because November is typically a nasty month with much rain and lightning. This year was muy tranquilo
and mostly sunny. By the end of November the crew of Southern Belle was tired from entertaining and ready for a
new location, so we took off for Bocas Del Toro.
While we are not too far from our previous cruising grounds, Bocas Del Toro is much different. Some of the
complete with Beef Wellington. Hmmmm hmmmmm! On New Years eve we started out with a daytime party at a
lovely resort called Los Secretos and that evening attended another party at the Cosmic Crab Restaurant where we
had a big buffet. We had a great view looking across the water at Bocas Town and could see all of the fireworks
displays. It was amazing! All of the grocery stores in town are owned by Chinese families and they all went nuts
setting off enormous fireworks displays! The fireworks lasted for over 45 minutes without a break. We all finally
got to bed around 2:00 AM which is a rare thing for us these days.
basis. Melinda and I just sit around all day eating bon bons and watching daytime TV. Of course, if you believe that I
have an Island in Bocas I want to sell you! We have actually started chartering again. We have taken 4 seperate
groups out for day charters since we have been here. We want to start offering private overnight charters again, but
with Joshua in school everyday it's something that we have to work out. We will keep you all posted in our next web
OK that's it for this journal entry. Remember, anytime is a great time to visit the beautiful north coast of Panama.
So come on down! Until our next update we wish you all fair winds and following seas!
|More Panama April - Dec 2011
|Cayos Zapatillos, Bocas Del Toro, Panama