We enjoyed a lazy morning, reading, blogging, and breakfast. We thought we would try to circle back to Ogopsibudup where we caught a glimpse of internet before going to our next anchorage. However, wifi alluded us, so we moved onward and stayed within the Holandes Cays.
We motored 9 miles to the Holandes Cays, which is a set of 21 mostly uninhabited islands broken into 3 groups: Western, Eastern, and Central Holandes Cays. These are a favorite stop for cruisers as it lies behind a 7-mile protected barrier reef. The Guna refer to these islands as the “Kaimou” and the Columbian traders refer to the Holandes Cays as “Mauqui.”
Our destination is the most popular anchorage in San Blas, the swimming pool anchorage which is located between Banedup and BBQ island in the Eastern Holandes Cays.
Four other boats were already at this anchorage when we arrived, but the bay is large enough for everyone. The spot we picked gave us an unobstructed view of the reef from the bow and an island view from the stern. We jumped in the pretty water, checked the anchor, and snorkeled over to the reef.
The sea floor was covered in huge sand dollars, both live and dead. We picked a few as souvenirs and moved on toward the reef where we were greeted by a majestic spotted eagle ray that had a 6’ wing span. He was so beautiful gliding through the water! There were several coral heads, a few fish, and even some new coral head growing among the grass. On the way back, I found a beautiful sea biscuit and Matt pointed out a really thick stingray with a stubbed tail. He had some girth! We hovered and watched him glide by not even giving us a second glance.
As we were drying off on the sugar scoops, another dugout arrived selling more molas. This master mola marker’s name was “Venancio” and his molas were extremely elaborate and intricate, but since I had bought one yesterday, I just admired.
BBQ island got its name from the many barbeques cruisers have on the island. We thought we’d check it out, so we hopped in Sweetie, pulled her up on the beach, and started walking toward the make-shift bonfire. A local and his son approached us and informed us that there is a $3 per person charge for tourists. Hmmm. We did not bring any money, considering we came over in our swimsuits, so turned around and left. I can appreciate his entrepreneurial spirit, but $3 per person seems a bit unreasonable to walk around a very tiny island. They had a few hammocks, a hut (which is where they live, we assume), and a few make shift tables.
We checked out another nearby island to see if it could work as an impromptu substitute for bbq island. Sweetie was left ashore and we started walking around, but before we got too far, we were immediately attacked by no-seeums. Poor Matt, his body is littered with bug bites, guess he is much sweeter than Wayne and I.
Back to the boat for pork chops and baked potatoes.
Lots of Islands Visited:
- Holandes Cay
- BBQ Island