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Mistral of Portsmouth - Completing our visit to San Blas …

This is why we are sailing around the world! The islands are really beautiful - picture postcard perfect. After 2 nights, we decided to explore more and sailed down to Gunboat - an atoll surrounded by reef and one tiny island. The entrance into the atoll was on the southern side - a narrow but deep and safe channel provided we could see it. The trick is to enter the atoll with the sun behind us, me stretched over the front of the boat (think titanic pose!) with polarised glasses, holding a walkie talkie so I can tell Chris to go right or left to avoid coral and shallow waters - the sea bed goes from 20 meters to 2 instantaneously so running aground is a very real possibility without a huge amount of caution. Not withstanding this, we anchored within swimming distance of the reef which was glorious for snorkelling. Another day in paradise.

Fortunately, we still have plenty of provisions on board … Tim had promised fresh fish and worked hard to hook one. Unfortunately, a bigger fish got to his fish before he did - very disappointing! We will keep trying.

We moved west from Gunboat Cay, knowing we had only one more day before we needed to set sail for Panama. We anchored at Chichimei Caye - a popular island with a number of our ARC friends already there. We explored the island in the tender - very cautiously over the coral as even in the tender, it’s easy to run aground. The sea is the most beautiful panoply of colours.

Another lovely sunset, a more functional meal as we then got ourselves ready for a 12 hour night sail to Shelter Bay Marina. We needed to arrive around 9am ready to be measured by officials in charge of the Panama transit. The marina is opposite Colon at the Atlantic entrance to the Panama Canal. The adventure continues.




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