Escudo de Veraguas

We raised anchor at dawn, saying our final farwell to Bocas Town, as it faded out of sight.

Our next stop would be Escudo de Veraguas, a remote island located ten miles off of mainland Panama. Until 1995 the island remained largely uninhabited; but in recent years, fishermen from nearby coastal towns began using the island as a base for fishing parties, and later settled permanently.

It was a short, eight hour, uneventful run. We passed local fisherman along the way, and the first large, commercial tanker since traveling off the U.S. coast.

The skies threatened to rain most of the way, but as Escudo de Veraguas came into view, bright sun broke through to welcome us.

We approached the island’s west side, but with winds predicted to blow from the northwest, Scott chose to move around to the south side, providing us more protection at anchor.

As we rounded the corner, sandy beaches gave way to beautifully interesting rocky coastline. We had the place all to ourselves and enjoyed mountain views of the mainland in the distance, and gorgeous Escudo de Veraguas off of our starboard side.

Scott took the dinghy out to investigate. He soon returned, and insisted that I drop everything and come out with him. Stop cleaning, and preparing dinner….no problem!

The coastline here is like something Walt Disney dreamed up. Rocky shores and islands, both smooth and jagged, topped with trees of all textures, types and sizes, that melt into clear green-blue water.

Lush, green foliage covers the tops of some formations, like a thick head of hair.

In other areas, trees dangle on, or off of, the edge, their roots trailing down below. We’re not sure how these things manage to survive and grow!

Along sandy beach areas, trees seemed rooted in air.

There is a clear line between soil and rock.

We wove in and out of nooks with small beaches, under rock arches, and past narrow caves.

The area reminded us of calendar photos we’ve seen of Indonesia’s rock islands, in the western Pacific Ocean; it was truly other-worldly.

We enjoyed time on the long, sandy beach off of our bow. It was covered in lots of interesting, “natural” trash; logs, rocks, shells and many loosely rooted coconut palms.

Howard loved the quiet anchorage, free from noisy pangas. He enjoyed happy hour up on the flybridge with us, and considers it his domain.

Sea Life is sporting a new look these days:

The idea came from a van we saw parked in Bocas Town, with stickers from countries it had visited. Scott got to work ordering stickers, and we also took the opportunity to plug the blog as we travel.

We hated to leave Escudo, but while winds and swells were down, it was time to keep moving. Here are many, many more photos of this beautiful island.

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