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BriZo - San Blas archipelago, Panama – Friday 10th Jan 2014

Had to slow the boat down over the last 12 hours to ensure we arrived with good visibility into the reef strewn San Blas Islands. Anchored safely at Porvenir, which is a tiny sand strip with coconut palms, and the Customs / Immigration clearance house, and that’s about it -  Oh Yes, and a very short airport strip which is the length of the island.

During the passage from St Lucia our log showed 1111 nautical miles in 5 days 17 hours, so averaging approx. 200nm per day in the first 4 days, whilst skirting the coast lines of Venezuela, Columbia and Panama. This was a surprisingly windy passage although renowned to be so, and so it proved to be - with 12 of the last 24 hours in Gale Force 8 gusting 40 knots at times and very high, confused seas. As we were running with the wind and waves behind us, BriZo took it all in her stride easily. We hope that the other ARC members following us a week from now have slightly more favourable conditions.

It was good to be safely inside the reefs and tucked in at anchor and our friends, on Seaduced and Susie Two who were there to greet us. They had been cruising the ABC’s and Columbia over Christmas. After checking in with Customs and Immigration, all done without a word of English but plenty of cash, we had a quick walk around the island, (15 minutes) checked out the landing strip that our son Lloyd will fly in on in a weeks time, cleaned the salt from the decks, then we were ready to cook the Crayfish we just purchased from a local boat, open a bottle of wine and have our first full nights sleep in a week. Since then we have been cruising these tiny attractive Islands and meeting the friendly local Kuna peoples that occupy them in a very traditional lifestyle.

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