Day 2 |
Apr 05, 2012

San Blas Islands, Panama

By Hans-Peter Reinthaler, Biologist

Co-ordinates: 09°33´N, 78°52´W
Weather: cloudy with rain showers
Air Temperature: 28°C

Coconut Palms and sandy beaches –that’s what one first notices upon first arriving in the San Blas Islands, but these tiny little islands in front of the Caribbean coast of Panama have much more to offer visitors.

The Silver Explorer anchored early in the morning near Perro Island. Calm sea, a cloudy sky and an outside temperature from 28 degrees welcomed our guests to this archipelago.
After the formalities with the local Kuna authorities were made, we started with the disembarkation of the guests. The ride in the Zodiac was short and a white sandy beach with coconut palms and groups of Kuna people received the guests shoreside. This morning I was Zodiac driver for disembarkation. Everything went wonderfully until the last shuttle, as suddenly a rain shower came down and our guests got wet before they got into the boat. The shower was of very short duration and soon afterwards everyone and everything was dry again and enjoying the dance performance of the local Kuna community.

Simple rhythmic music was accompanied by dances, expressing the movement and behavior of different animals like, for example, the bird dance. One of the most interesting things when visiting a Kuna village are the molas or hand-sewn adornments. A huge variety with all kind of motifs and colors were exhibited for sale. The prices range from 5 dollars for a small item up to 200 dollars for big blankets.

After the dance performance and shopping, water sport activities were on the program: snorkeling, swimming and kayaking. The place offered a really good opportunity for snorkeling and to see a lot of underwater fauna, as an old wreck lying near the shore was covered with corals, anemones, sponges and bristle worms.

Guests enjoyed very much to see the colorful underwater world of the Caribbean. With all these activities the morning went by very quickly and at 1 pm the Silver Explorer set sail for our next destination: Cartagena in Colombia.

But the day was still not finished. In the afternoon my colleague Christian Walter, our historian on board, gave a lecture on the Spanish Expeditions into the Caribbean. His topic focused on the question of what led the Spanish Crown to send expeditions to that region and whether the Spaniards found what they were looking for.

Afternoon Tea and the daily Recap & Briefing finished the activities for this afternoon. In the evening Captain Adam Boczek invited our guests to the traditional Captain’s Welcome Cocktail Party and afterwards our guests enjoyed a delightful dinner as the Silver Explorer sailed through the Caribbean Sea.