Bocas del Toro

From one corner of the Caribbean to the other, we are now tucked into the southwest corner in Bocas del Toro, Panama.  This is a pretty archipelago of mangrove islets resembling fluffy green cotton balls dotting the water in every direction.  We can surmise why it is so green, since each day it rains a little or a lot.  It is rainy season after all and a welcome relief to the constant salt-spray of our last few anchorages.  Just keep those water spouts far away!

Testing out the new laundry machine one sunny morning there was almost enough time to dry the sheets before the rains came... oops!

Bocas Town is centered on a colorful main street on both the water-side and land-side.   There are markets, artisans and restaurants all along the way that draw boaters and backpackers alike, including a fantastic gourmet store.

There are two main marinas in the area of impressive size.  It worked out such that we were able to visit each on respective days to watch the USA play in the World Cup soccer games.  

Bocas Marina

Red Frog Marina


Here we ran into cruising friends dating waaay back from the Eastern Carib ~ Allen & Patricia (Nauti-Nauti) and John & Jerie (Peking).  

We'd last seen them in the Rio Dulce before our big boatyard project was complete.  

Catching up with old (& new) friends is one of the best parts of cruising... there are always new stories to be told!

Peking has a few extra residents with their son's family and granddaughter visiting from China.  I actually cannot think of two further extremes of environment, going from Shanghai to Red Frog Marina on an isolated island and nature preserve! 


Esther is taking Spanish classes during her visit to add to her English and Mandarin and playing along with the band on her harmonica ~ not bad for a 4 year old!

We're having fun hanging out with Allen & Patricia at anchor over guitar sessions and even getting some boat work done.  

They helped us re-sew our sun shades with their new Sailrite machine and at one point had TWO sewing machines going when Patricia sewed together pillows for my molas. 

After a few weeks here we will begin to head east again.  As beautiful as this area is we are missing the underwater world and reefs for swimming.  The waters here in Bocas do clear up if a bit green, but there is mostly sea grass and mangroves to see.  There may be outer reefs for diving or surfing, depending on weather.

Luckily this time of year the winds can be favorable to head east out of this SW Carib cubby hole, similar to the NW Carib when leaving Guatemala.  Hope our luck holds!

© M&M 2019