We lost the wind at sunset and motored through the night. At sunrise we approached Isla Isabelle. This is a wildlife refuge and protected island. The anchorage was small and the surge was pretty scary…decided against it. On to San Blas!
Right before we arrived in the San Blas area, Ken began pulling in his fishing line. We had been dragging it for 30 minutes or so. As he reeled it in, he noticed that he had something on his hook. What was it…..looks weird! As it got closer, we noticed that it was not a weird flat fish, it was two! Two yellow fin tuna on the same lure! We pulled the fish in and dropped anchor in Bahia Matanchen. Wow….this is a beautiful anchorage and we were the only boat there. We had been warned about the jejenes (microscopic mosquitoes). First night, no mosquitoes, this is awesome!
Second day we went ashore. As we were approaching the shore in our dinghy, we noticed a man waving a couple of signs. We aimed toward him. “Barro” grabbed our dinghy painter and pulled us in. One of the “signs” that he was waiving happened to be his restaurant menu. We joined him and enjoyed a wonderful fresh shrimp lunch on the beach under a palapa roof. He gave us a lot of information and let us know that if we went into San Blas he would keep his eye on Tiny Dancer, our dinghy. This is an extremely important service as the tide can come up and if you have not pulled the dinghy up on the beach far enough, it can be washed away and end up at sea.
We enjoyed our afternoon with Barro and headed back to Slow Dancer. Apparently, the jejenes hang out on the beach and follow you out to your boat! Yikes….break out the arsenol! Mosquito coils, Citronella candles, sprays and lotions. We battled, but eventually won.
The next day we grabbed a cab (thanks to Barro) and traveled into the town of San Blas. We explored the small town and gave in to a guy calling us in to the San Blas Social Club and had a beer, while we learned about this small village.
The next day we were joined by our friends on Nilaya. We introduced them to Barro and now he had two dinghies to watch over.
On our last day in Mantanchen we left Slow Dancer and Tiny Dancer and took a panga into the jungle. Wow….crocodiles and iguanas on the shores, colorful birds and large turtles. What a great experience!
The next day, we upped the anchor and continued south.