Sugar Shack in Bocas del Toro

Bocas del Toro: The Bastimentos Island

The water in the Bocas are clear, but green.  Not the beautiful blue or turquoise we found in the San Blas Islands.  There also was an unpleasant odor where we were anchored near Bocas Town so we decided to find a new place to drop the hook.  Our friends on “Wandering Rose” headed over to Bastimentos earlier so that is where we decided to go as well.

We stowed all of our tools that were out for various projects, rolled up the rain shades (as it has been raining a lot) and prepped the boat for a short 4-mile motor.  Even though it is not very far to this new island, it is along a path riddled with reefs and mangroves.  We had all of our charts up (GPS, Navionics, and Bauhaus) and made our way safely to a new, more secluded anchorage.

Isla Bastimentos is one of the larger islands in the archipelago and home to the sleepy town of Old Bank, the Salt Creek indigenous community, and the Isla Bastimentos National Marine Park. It is also home to the Red Frog Beach Resort and Marina.  It is said that this island has some of the most stunning beaches of all the Bocas islands.  But they are all on the windward side facing the sea. Which makes for great surfing, but bad swimming.

Getting to the Red Frog Beach Resort and Marina was a short dinghy ride through a mangrove forest that makes you feel a bit like Indiana Jones discovering a hidden village.  We left late in the afternoon and had only planned on staying ashore for a few hours.  Upon arrival, there is a nice little dinghy dock and a resort worker asking for $5 per person to enter their establishment.  What, I have to pay money to spend money at your resort?  Well, ok, since we get wrist bands and can use them over the course of several days.

Red Frog Marina

Red Frog Marina

It is a rather large resort with several beaches, a marina, zip line, small market, and many places to eat.

Red Frog Marina and Resort.

Red Frog Marina and Resort.

Along the way they had these beautiful trees with roots that resembled mangrove roots.  Anyone know the type of tree this is?

Beautiful tree - do you know what it is?

Beautiful tree – do you know what it is?

It was a short 15-minute walk to The Point Beach Restaurant and look out point. The Point Restaurant was really nice and elevated to give you a sweeping view of the beach and ocean.  They served tasty island drinks and food, but it was a bit overpriced (beer was $2.50).

Photo on left was this pretty little palm tree growing out of the rocks.  Photo on right is The Point restaurant and photo below are the crashing waves on the beach.

The Point Beach at Red Frog

The Point Beach at Red Frog

Evidently, they are experiencing harsher weather conditions than normal as the waves were huge.

We worked on a few more projects as the rain stole our days ashore away. Our rain shades were working great but there are two small corners that are exposed.  These two open bimini corners allow the rain to come in and it makes our cockpit all wet.  It was challenging to create a pattern, but Matt was relentless.  We tried and tried and nothing seemed to work so we will have to keep at this project.

The dinghy fuel tank cover was another project Matt made early in his sewing career.  It was fine, but we wanted to add pockets and fix a few things, so we remade it in red.

Fuel Tank Creating a Pattern

Fuel Tank Creating a Pattern

We made two large pockets in the front and back that will fit two sippy cups each.  The flap on the top is where we put gasoline into the tank and the side has slight openings for the straps that lock the tank to the dinghy (see white cable at bottom of image).  Yep, we have to lock the fuel tank to the dinghy to prevent it from walking away.  Completed and on the fuel tank.

Dinghy Fuel Tank Cover

Dinghy Fuel Tank Cover

The wind instruments have been a major pain in our A$$!  We replaced the wind indicator at the top of the mast, but they still are not working properly.  Sometimes they show the wind direction, but no speed, while others they show the speed and no direction.

Matt first went up our 70′ mast to see if the wind instrument was working.  Which did not seem to be the case.  He is working on the windex which is in front of the mast just below the two wind indicators which are a top the mast.

Matt up the top of our 70' mast.

Matt up the top of our 70′ mast.

Before we spend $500 for one instrument (we will need 2), Matt wanted to see if switching them would work.  Nope!  Looks like we will order one replacement to see if it works and if it does, we will order another and replace the port side instrument.

Wind instrument repair?

Wind instrument repair?

PROJECTS WORKED IN BASTIMENTOS:

  • Sewed new dinghy fuel tank cover
  • Worked on wind instruments
    • This is a work in progress, need new instruments which Wayne is bringing
Sugar Shack in Bocas del Toro

Sugar Shack in Bocas del Toro

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