Sailing to Colombia, 3

Waisalup is a small island owned by Julio (actually his wife).

Part III–Chillin’ in Waisalup

There is a small village on the windward side consisting of about six huts and a well…that’s it!  We camped on the leeward side only a few minutes walk across.

Kuna Yala Village

There were colorful reefs and amazing snorkeling.  This was a time I really wished my camera had an underwater case.  I saw and swam with a barracuda, sting rays, turtles and schools of colorful fish numbering over a hundred at times.  Swimming in the canyons between the reefs was incredible.  Here are a few pictures that Evan took.  I enhanced them a bit in iPhoto so you can get a little idea of the reefs.

image courtesy of Evan Griffith

image courtesy of Evan Griffith

image courtesy of Evan Griffith

image courtesy of Evan Griffith

After two incredible days and nights on Waisalup it was time to pack up and leave.  I am pretty sure that any of us would have gladly stayed longer.

Life's a Beach

Evan Takes a Break

Main Street, Waisalup

A new wrinkle came up.  From San Blas Archipelago to Cartagena is the roughest part of the trip (we knew that from the beginning.  It is 40 hours, at best, on open ocean, which is challenging under the fairest of conditions.  Humberto and Carlito informed us that the weather was pretty bad on the ocean with very high seas.  They suggested that we sail to Sapzurro, Colombia instead which is just over the Panama border.  We would stay closer to land and as a bonus we would spend one more day and night on another Kuna Yala island about 70 miles southeast.  We unanimously agreed, packed up our boats and set off.

Sailing Away

Not long into the morning, as I was manning the tiller, we caught a large Mackeral on our stern line.  Humberto pulled him in…about 25 pounds worth and we cleaned him up.  We had enough fish to feed both boats, 15 people, three meals.  First we made sashimi for breakfast…the freshest ever, served with wasabi, pineapple and coffee.  Fillets were cut and later roasted for dinner.  For lunch, Humberto made a soup of the remaining parts.  We ate really good once again!

Half a day later we arrived at Isla Pino.  This is a larger Kuna settlement of about 250 people.  It has a school and church buildings as well as many huts.  We were brought ashore in two cedar log canoes, five at a time.  They really rocked and pitched in the surf, and we thought we would capsize several times.  The Kuna pilots joked that they rode seven routinely.  I said, “Yeah, but you guys are smaller than us big clumsy gringos.”

Ours was Slightly Longer

Playing with the Kuna Yala Kids on Isla Pino

Humberto’s friend Dave invited us to his house and his family fixed lunch for us.  We spent a leisurely afternoon and returned to our boats as they were having a tribal meeting that night and we were politely not invited.

to be continued


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6 Responses to Sailing to Colombia, 3

  1. Judie April 1, 2011 at 10:58 am #

    Unbelievable, Philip! I’m left speechless and in awe of where you are. This is truely an adventure now! Thanks so much for continuting to share your experiences thru written word and photos. Magnificent!
    Much love,

    • admin April 1, 2011 at 12:53 pm #

      Con mucho gusto Judie!

  2. Stephanie April 4, 2011 at 1:19 pm #

    Sounds like an amazing experience. Sailing from Panama to Colombia is something I really wanted to do, but I only found out about what a great option it is after I started traveling and met others who had done it. At that point, I already had a flight from Panama City to Colombia.

    Glad you got to experience it and tell us all about it. I’m putting this on my list of things to go back and do another time.

    • admin April 11, 2011 at 2:37 pm #

      Thanks Stephanie. Just got my computer working again thus the late response. Check out your boat and captain really well! If you find a Columbian named Humberto with a sailboat called Odessey II he is a real winner!

  3. mira malcolm April 27, 2011 at 7:37 am #

    Hi, My name is Mira Malcolm and I am one of Diana’s students at Carmel High. When she learned I was planning on traveling to ecuador after my trip to Peru she told me to see your website. I am very interested in all the fabulous places you are traveling and was hoping if you could give me and my aunt some good places to go see and do when we are traveling.
    We were planning to fly to ecuador after peru but I’m up for going to other places near peru too. I was wondering if you think ecuador is a good choice compared to the other countris surounding peru and if so where we should go when we arive there.
    Thank you so much for your time, it means so much to me!
    Mira Malcolm
    please email me back at ……..

    • Philip April 27, 2011 at 12:18 pm #

      Hi Mira–I am sending you an email response.–P

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