Sea Biscuits. Treasures of the sea.

Canbombia: The Friendly Island

We needed to clean the boat and start a few boat projects now that our guests have left.  But first we had to run a small errand for our friend Louis on “Freya.”  Our plan was to stop in Banedup (E. Lemons), then head to Salardup, then explore Canbombia, Nargana, and a few other new islands.

First, back to the East Lemons to give Louis some items I brought back with me from the states.  As we were anchoring in the “high rent” district up toward the reef, Louis came by in his dinghy and told us to meet him ashore for lunch.

We set Sugar Shack and headed toward Banedup.  It was a slow day at the bar, so we were able to order us up some chicken and coconut rice.  We caught up with Louis and enjoyed a really juicy chicken lunch.

The boat was a mess and it was driving Matt and I crazy.  I started in on the laundry as that took the longest and would require us to make more energy and water.  After we set the first load out to dry, we headed over to “Freya” for sundowners.   A quiet evening with friends.

The next day, Mariah, Louis’s crew offered to give me a massage for my birthday which I jumped at.  She does a combination of massages and it felt wonderful.  Newly refreshed, I jumped in the water and went in search of sea biscuits.  On my last visit here, we found a lot of them around the corner of Nuinundup and I wanted to get a few more for friends back in the states.

Sea Biscuits. Treasures of the sea.

Sea Biscuits. Treasures of the sea.

Next, we were on the move toward Salardup where it is less crowded.  Our friends “Itchy Foot” and “Wandering Rose” both had guests onboard and were planning on being in the same anchorage.  Funny that we knew 2 of the 5 boats anchored here.  We arrived after lunch and went for a snorkel.  Matt had the Hawaiian sling in hand with the hopes of catching some lobster.  We found 3 lobsters but were unable to catch them as they are fast little buggers!

We cleaned up and headed to shore see Larry, the local Kuna onshore, for some cold beers.  Our friends from “Itchy Foot” and “Wandering Rose” joined us for some beers.  It was a good group of cruisers and guests enjoying the local way of life.

Impromptu gathering on the beach

Impromptu gathering on the beach

We motored past a long island called Myriadup which is in the process of being cleaned up for tourism.  They brought in local workers who stayed on island (in the blue tents), to clear the mangroves.  As we went past, it looked really good and very similar to Salt Whistle Bay-one of our favorite spots in the Caribbean.

Myriadup under clean up.

Myriadup under clean up.

As we approached the western end of Canbombia, we witnessed a local fisherman using a huge cast net.  Very fascinating to watch.

Local Kuna fishing with an enormous cast net.

Local Kuna fishing with an enormous cast net.

It took us a few tries to catch the hook, but we finally dug Davey in at 2.7 meters of water.  Canbombia is a really pretty anchorage surrounded by reefs.  The water is clear and blue, the island is clean and trees are abundant.  3 pangas approached us immediately, each selling something different.  One had pulpo (octopus), one had crab, and one sold us 3 medium size lobsters for $12.  There seems to be two established Kuna residents on either side of the island.

Hernando lives at the larger of the two establishments and was hosting a dinner.  We went over and asked him to add us for dinner so we could join our friends on “Wandering Rose” who were anchored here as well.  Hernando was the chef and he has lived on island for 3 years and will never go back to Panama. He has one natural son and the rest of the bunch of kids are cousins visiting during school break.  All of the kids go to school in Panama and stay with other relatives.

He had a nice little set up with logs for benches, molas for side coverage, a tarp for a roof, and a little battery pack for light.  Coco Loco’s were served which is a coconut cut open (with coconut juice) and added rum.  Made for a festive table.  The menu consisted of lobster, crab and coconut rice.  Hernando is an exceedingly friendly and jovial man.  He tries very hard to please his guests and went out of his way to make sure we were happy – and we were very happy!  He alone, makes it worth visiting Canbombia!

Dinner with Herando and Wandering Rose crew.

Dinner with Herando and Wandering Rose crew.

The next day we went back to the island to explore and walk around.  The had a nice little dirt path that took your around the entire island in about 20 minutes.  Along the way we saw several semi dead Portuguese manawars which have been spotted all across the San Blas islands.  These are very poisonous creatures and cause severe pain when they sting you.

Canbombia walking path around island.

Canbombia walking path around island.

Hernando’s next-door neighbor had several pigs, one running around and three in pens as well as a large trap area for his lobster, crab, and small fish that he serves tourists.  Hernando then pulled out his lobster trap (lower left corner) and his nephew showed off a catch.

Animals on Canbombia island.

Animals on Canbombia island.

Boat projects in Canbombia:

  • Pressure wash topsides
  • Clean Waterline
  • Scrub heads (bathrooms)
  • Bleach shells, sea biscuits

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