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Old 14-12-2014, 06:50   #16
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Re: San blas cruising from nw florida

In the spirit of learning...

It is my understanding that anchoring, even in The Flats, is now prohibited unless you are awaiting pilot to transit. Regardless, as Jason learned, there is really no good reason to anchor there otherwise.

If you want to anchor somewhere realtively close to the Atlantic approach then try Naranja Abajo. A small island with good anchorage about 7.5 nm from the break water. It makes a nice stop for a short shake down run or if you are running late and want to drop the hook for the night.

Re Wifi in the San Blas. I don't know of any Internet Cafes per se, but Internet service is available via Digicel using a cellular modem. Covers most of the San Blas.

Re ATMs. None in the San Blas. Some cruisers do hop land transport from Carti launcha docks on the mainland to make a cash/provisioning runs.

One of the veggie boats, there are multiple now, sometimes carries beer/box wine.

You can buy beer at more reasonable prices than was paid in Jason's adventure at some of the local tiendas.

Shelter Bay is spendy, but you can clear in right there from the comfort of the dock or the bar.

Some people will go to any extreme to save a few bucks, but at some point you have to question the rationality of their risk/reward logic. A small amount of research would have saved the owner both time & money. I've noticed a strong correlation between these two behaviors in some individuals...the phrase "self defeating" comes to mind. Maybe others can learn from this example.
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Old 14-12-2014, 07:09   #17
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Re: San blas cruising from nw florida

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Originally Posted by jasonk View Post
Hey, thanks Paul. Maybe it was naivete. I probably would have been more careful if I was the skipper. Probably more like complacency, on my part

Take care,
Jason
complacency is probably a perfect description. Hope the next crew job goes smoother.
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Old 14-12-2014, 07:23   #18
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Re: San blas cruising from nw florida

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Re Wifi in the San Blas. I don't know of any Internet Cafes per se,
Elephante provides an internet service via satellite link and an ethernet connection (no wifi). Nargana has free wifi with bad accessibility, and the school allows one to use their computers at certain times for internet.

However, it is so cheap and easy to use cellular in the San Blas, and the speed and connectivity is now great compared to the past.

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Old 14-12-2014, 07:56   #19
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Re: San blas cruising from nw florida

First i will respond to Chrisco, the op, and then in another posting respond to jason.

Chrisco - take everything Jason wrote and put in the fireplace. Complete nonsense.

Second, we did the run from Florida to the San Blas. We left Miami and sailed around to Charlottes Harbor to see our 1st sailing instructor to say thanks and then did a 3-4 day (we think) to Isla Mejuras. From there we hoped down the coast a bit and checked out marina/resort in southern Mexico that i can not remember but we laid on a mooring ball. From there we headed down to Belize and then down to the Rio Dulce for a couple of weeks. From the Rio we went over the to the Bay Islands of Honduras and worked our way on to the Vivorios. From there we went to Providencea and San Andreas before going over to Bocas Del Toros. We sailed down the coast to Colon but NEVER go ashore there and then on down to Portobelo and on down to the San Blas.

We left Miami in January and as Gord (i think) said you really have to watch the weather and run like heck when you got a good wx window and sit out the blows and blows come fairly regular and fairly stong. So you must be patient but as is said all good things come to those who are patient.

Even though you have checked into Panama you need to check in with the Kunas and pay their fee. Oh while checking in if you want to make them feel a bit better about you get one their flags and replace you Panama flag with one from Kuna Yala. It does go a long way.

When you get close to using up all your days just check out and head over to Cartagena and check in there and enjoy a great city. Then check out and back to the San Blas and check in and enjoy it again.

We loved it and the only problem we had was at one wedding we went to we were careful not to drink to much but unfortunatly a German boat did not and created havoic for the 4 boats there on anchor. Their home made brew is strong.

I would probably do the same trip again if i was in the same position but please note that it is a long way down there and it will take some time and you really need to watch the weather.
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Old 14-12-2014, 08:04   #20
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Re: San blas cruising from nw florida

Jason -- please do all a favor and stay home or get on your mega yacht and stay off small boats. Your attitude is something all who go behind you have to deal with as the officials remember such things for a long time.

Why did you not clear in at Porotobello? We did when we sailed back from Cartegena. Why do you think C&I should speak English. We have checked into over 30 countries or so and more than a few do not speak English and we work at it without any issues. As for Colon, it is known as one of the most dangerous ports in the world so why in the world would you go there?

Both the Admiral and i read your posting and just shook our heads. I will say no more as I do not want the moderators to chastise me.
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Old 14-12-2014, 08:20   #21
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Re: San blas cruising from nw florida

There is no longer any customs in Portobello, although there may be immigration still. Shelter Bay Marina also no longer has customs, but they do have immigration.

If one needs to check in at Colon, a night in Shelter Bay Marina - with free bus service into Colon, where there are ATM's and the main customs/immigration offices (and provisioning and outfitting) - is cheaper than what Jason ended up paying. Not to mention much more convenient and you don't have to go to jail.

Jason's tale was a complete cock-up on his and his captain's part alone. It had nothing at all to do with Colon and, given their attitudes and strategies, could/would have happened anywhere those two went - even though Colon is a ****-hole like he describes.

If there is a lesson in his tale, it is to do and act the complete opposite as he describes.

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