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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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