Growing Roots In Providencia

We’d hoped to be on our way to Bocas del Toro, in Panama, by now. However, as usual, the weather had different plans for us, which was insanely frustrating. The latest window was slim, so Scott let me make the decision whether to stay or go.

Good news, the winds were supposed to die off briefly on Tuesday, before picking back up again on Wednesday. Bad news, this wouldn’t give the seas nearly enough time to lay down. Since I wasn’t up for traveling in 6-7 foot swells, with possible breaking waves on top, I chose to pass.

Good news, it turned out to be the right decision, as the winds never died. We heard from boats arriving in the harbor that they’d had a miserable go. Bad news, our next window wouldn’t be for at least another week. As I said, it was becoming insanely frustrating, even Howard was contemplating jumping ship.

Good news, we were on island for Carnival time! We’d never been to a proper carnival celebration (the parade in Isla Mujeres was disappointing), and planned to go to town one night for the festivities.  Bad news, people that travel to attend Carnival on Providencia aren’t the best lot, and it was a zoo in town, so it seemed safer to stay on the boat, especially at night.

Good news, lots of reggae music was being played from the town dock. Bad news, as you might imagine, it was at a ridiculous volume, and went on until after 3 am. This made sleep challenging, even with my ear plugs in.

Good news, many new boats arrived in a flotilla. They are Colombians, all flying large country flags, as well as smaller ones, making the anchorage bustling and colorful.

Bad news, boats in the flotilla weren’t the greatest at anchoring, and many boats drug anchor, resulting in at least one collision. Two boats that were rafted together (on the left) drifted into a third boat (on the right). Those onboard the two rafted boats were oblivious to what was going on, until after impact.

As they broke free, the two boats snagged the third’s anchor line, and almost drifted back to collide again.

It was a stressful go for those of us who’d been safely anchored here for weeks.  We held our breath, and prepared to fend off anyone coming our way. Luckily, by dusk, everyone seemed to be set, and all held through the night.

We’re here for at least another week. Good news, it’s beautiful here, and there are things that we enjoy seeing and doing. Bad news, most of them are out of walking distance. With local transportation being iffy at best, we’re stuck with paying to rent a buggy, which adds up.

Good news, the snorkeling is great, and there are many places to explore for fishing. Bad news, with stronger winds, visibility for snorkeling isn’t the greatest, and it’s too much of a hard time on the windward side of the island for fishing.

Good news, liquor here is cheap! A bottle of Smirnoff vodka is $8.00 in the grocery stores. Bad news, people here for carnival  are buying up the stock.

Good news, we’re not on a set schedule per say. Bad news, our insurance wants us farther south by July 1st, for coverage against any named storm damage. Yeah, yeah, hurricanes don’t come this far south….I give you Hurricane Sandy, that hit New York at the end of October….never say never.

The forecast is riddled with tropical lows these days. They don’t directly affect us, as a hurricane or tropical storm, but instead make the winds difficult to travel in. And, the chance of squalls gets greater this time of year, so Scott wants to get farther south sooner than later.

Good news, we’d hoped to travel to San Andres from here, another Colombian island 10-12 hours south, and after that, the Albuquerque Cays, where Scott planned on some fishing and snorkeling. Bad news, with all the weather delays, we may be doing a three to four day run straight to Bocas del Toro…bummer. You know how I love a multi-day passage!

It seems that we’re growing roots here in Providencia…we may have to pay taxes! Here are some random photos from the past few days.

“Shells Sink, Dreams Float. Life’s Good On Our Boat!”



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