Underway to a new adventure.

Texas Friends In the House: Part II

Birthday celebration!  Today, the 16th of January was my actual birthday and it started off with breakfast pancakes and Rose!  We took our Texas friends over to “Element” where they served us delicious pancakes.  What better way to start the day than with friends, pancakes and Rose?

Pancakes and Rose

Pancakes and Rose

It was a beautiful day, the sun was out, the sky was blue and we were all in good spirits.  Everyone enjoyed the water and treasure hunting.  We found two types of conch shells: the regular conch and helmet conch which have a much prettier shell.  The regular conch was extracted and quickly served for an afternoon snack.  Josh made a great sauce and fried them up in a pan.

Conch fritters coming up...

Conch fritters coming up…

We had invited several boats over to celebrate my milestone birthday.  Friends, new and old included: w/ Darren and Kelly from “Mischief”, Jon, Mia and Teo from “Itchy Foot”, Shawn, Sherrie, Paige, Jordan, Manuel, and Nadja from “Element”, Dave and Mary from “Wandering Rose,” Mark and Angie from “Una Mas” and off course, Josh, Sara, Lisa, Matt and I.

Everyone bought a variety of appetizers, Matt made his famous tasty ribs, and libations were had by all – including jello shots.

The birthday cupcakes and the angel food cake were brought out and quickly disappeared– sweet way to start the next 50 years.  A special thanx to Lisa for saving the birthday wish!

Birthday Party on Sugar Shack

Birthday Party on Sugar Shack

Birthday on the boat with cruiser friends.

Birthday on the boat with cruiser friends.

Next morning everyone got up to go snorkeling and treasure hunting.  Always something fun to be found in the sea: shells, conch, lobster.

We decided to pull up anchor and head to Gunboat island.  Lucky for us we had just enough wind to turn off the engines and unfurl the jib for a little sail.  It was a quick, but delightful trip.  As we approached the anchorage we noticed how roly it was as the wind was coming in from a different direction.  We were going to give it a try, but as we slowed to drop the anchor it was apparent that this would not be a comfortable spot.  So, we left Gunboat island and headed to Salardup where there are several surrounding islands.

Underway to a new adventure.

Underway to a new adventure.

Matt had anchored here for 9 days while I was in the states and made friends with the locals.  Larry, runs the island for 4 months, during season.  He is a cross fit instructor in Panama during the rest of the year.  He is super lovely and welcoming and provided us with some cold beer.

A massive ship named Thalassaabout 130’+ was anchored here. She carried 43 crew, most of them students from the Netherlands on a 6-month study abroad program.  They camped on the island for a few days and were preparing to provision in Panama and then head back to the Netherlands.

Thalassa massive ship with dozens of students.

Thalassa massive ship with dozens of students.

Invading Salardup

Invading Salardup

The next day we pulled up anchor and headed to the Western most part of the Holandes Cays.  This is not the touristy part, but the more isolated islands of Waisaldup and Akuadargana.  We took Sweetie to Waisaldup first, but there was not much to do on this tiny little island besides have a beer and sit in the sand.  So, after we finished our cold beverage we headed to Akuadargana.

This was a much bigger island that had several huts which appeared to be for rent and a main congresso (meeting space) where the locals gathered.  As we entered the congresso, we noticed they had a TV!  What?  Crazy.  The boys went to explore as the girls did a little shopping.  They had molas, jewelry, purses, and head bands.

New island for all of us - AKUADARAGANA

New island for all of us – AKUADARAGANA

They also sold pure coconut oil which I had to buy to support the locals.

100% Pure coconut oil - love it

100% Pure coconut oil – love it

Thursday morning meant Lisa had to leave us.  Her panga was scheduled to pick her up early in the morning.  Unfortunately, it was raining.  We put her backpack and small carry on in trash bags and gave her a few extra bags to sit on in the panga.  It was a wet and stormy ride.  During the height of the storm, the panga stopped, said he was “lost” and asked passengers to bail water out of the panga.  I think Lisa thought she might have to swim to shore.  Luckily, the storm passed, she made it to shore, caught her 4×4 and her plane back to Texas.

As she went through her harrowing experience, I had one of my own.  My stitches had to come out.  I had asked Matt and Sara to assist.  We got out the medical bag, magnifying glass, flashlight, and scissors.  The trick is to pull the whisker, cut below the knot and pull the stitch out.  Easier said then done, especially when you can’t see all 3 stitches.  They managed to get 2 of the 3 out, with only a wee bit of pain.

Surgery at its best on Sugar Shack

Surgery at its best on Sugar Shack

As we were lounging around, a young woman came up on a SUP with a dog.  We were both from the states and she was excited to see another American boat.  She asked if we had an apple charger and we did, so she said she and her husband would come back later to pick it up.  They came around sundowner time and we enjoyed some libations.  Matt was cooking up a special treat, lobster risotto and we invited our new friends Adam and Alyssa from “Heritage” to stay.  Great conversation and scrumptious meal!

Dinner - lobsters!

Dinner – lobsters!

TEXAS FRIENDS IN THE HOUSE – CONTINUES…STAY TUNED FOR PART III

See Texas Friends in the House Part I on previous post.

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