Our current home here in Bocas del Toro is in a slip at Bocas Marina. Thanks to the Island Plantation website, for providing a great overview. Our marina is just across the water from Bocas Town, but unfortunately there is no road through the clump of trees that stands between us and the rest of the island.
So, like most everyone else in the area, we rely on water taxis to get to town. The marina offers a free ride four times a day, which is great, and it’s only five minutes from pier to pier.
It’s relatively quiet here, as many cruisers leave their boats and travel home for hurricane season. The long-term liveaboards here have been very friendly and helpful, with suggestions on where to eat and how to find this and that (hardware, propane, etc.).
Many things are brought to Bocas del Toro, and the marina, from David (pronounced Da-veed). Someone makes the nine hour round trip 2-3 times a week, bringing back whatever is needed or wanted (oil for diesel motors, potting soil, mint…yes, it isn’t sold here on the island; basil, but no mint). It’s not a short hop, but much closer than the 20 hour round trip drive to Panama City. Scott decided to send our alternator out to David for repair, as we had no luck with it in Cancun.
The Calypso Cantina bar here serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. It’s a low-key place, that sits on the end of the peninsula, near the pier that leads out to the fuel dock.
Most days, it’s pretty darned quiet at the cantina, but on Friday, they fire up the big grill for barbecue night. Steaks, burgers and pizza are some of the featured items on the menu, and it’s standing room only for grilled food and live music.
Scott and I are addicted to the pizza, with it’s homemade herb crust, roasted veggies, and fresh mozzarella and basil..delish! Each Friday, a different selection of desserts are offered. Last week, I had a hazelnut torte that was the best sweet treat I’d had since the Sugarbakers cake I had shipped to Key West in December (yes, I had it shipped there. I’m telling you, the stuff is awesome).
Every Saturday morning, the “veg” boat arrives. It’s a convenient way for us to load up on some produce, without having to haul it back from town.
The boat is supposed to come at 9am, but island time is never firm, so Scott and I usually grab a seat near the water, and enjoy the view while we wait.
Howard loves veg boat day too, when he gets to enjoy a good chew on a pineapple top.
The water here isn’t very clear at first glance, having more of a murky, green hue to it, but the visibility looking down from the docks is surprising. I’m always amazed at what I can easily see in the shallow waters near the fuel dock.
Icky things bob around in the deeper water.
We pulled into our slip here, so the cockpit offers a view out toward town.
Many different forms of boats go by, with people using all types of paddles. The ladies below are paddling an inflatable, rigid bottom dinghy..minus the inflatable part (they’re sitting at what would be the bow).
This group has lost motor power, so have gone to rowing…with whatever is handy (notice the man in front, using a 2×4). The young boy seems to have the job of figure head.
Scott is in love with the many long, long, long pangas that travel back and forth.
We’ve done a lot of cleaning and maintenance projects while attached to the pier. I have cleaned and washed every inch inside, including walls, ceilings and blinds. The contents of every cabinet, drawer and closet has been emptied out and cleaned, allowing a check for leaks, mold or bugs; so far so good!
A fresh coat of deck paint was applied, especially exciting for me. The before and after was so satisfying!
We enjoyed some lobster for dinner, purchased from a local man who rowed up to our cockpit in his canoe (Scott hasn’t had a chance to scout the area for fish and lobster options yet). $20.00 for four, not a bad deal.
Getting on and off Sea Life has been challenging, as our finger pier resembled something out of a fun house. Notice the almost 45 degree slant.
Thankfully, the pier was recently repaired. It’s not completely level, but a huge improvement and much appreciated. It had been a hard go for me, with height-challenged legs.
After a few weeks of boat work, Scott finally lowered the Aluminum Princess down into the water, in preparation for her many explorations while here in Bocas. She sits in an open slip, right across from ours.
So we are settled in here, and are all three enjoying our stay!
Here are more photos of the scenes from Bocas Marina.
“Shells Sink, Dreams Float. Life’s Good On Our Boat!”