Caribbean Cruises | Offshore Sailing
WINTER Caribbean Cruise 2013 – 2014
Schooner Alliance will be heading south again this winter with an exciting schedule of island hopping and offshore sailing.
We will depart the Chesapeake Bay in mid December and sail straight to the San Blas Islands of Panama. In late February we start heading north with a stopover in Portobelo Panama, Isla Providencia Colombia (off the coast of Nicaragua), and Isla Guanaja Honduras. Alliance will be back in the Chesapeake Bay by the first of April.
For the more adventurous traveler who wants to get away from it all you should experience the San Blas Islands of Panama! The San Blas Islands are located at the base of the rainforest in the Kuna Yala territory of Panama and are inhabited by the Kuna Indians. Kuna Yala consists of 365 tiny palm covered islands that are mostly uninhabited. The Kunas live in grass thatch huts many of which do not have running water or electricity.
Kuna women are known for the beautiful Mola tapestries that they hand stitch into intricate tapestries.
The men spend their days fishing from the cayuco or log canoe. The local catch is the delicious spiny lobster, spider crab, conch, and octopus, plus a variety of different fish.
In Kuna Yala there are no large resorts crowded with tourists. What you will find is peace and quiet in undisturbed anchorages. Here we make our own entertainment on board the ship with board games and cards, playing a tune on the guitar, or reading a book. Most likely though we will retire early after a sun-soaked day of sailing and snorkeling in the tropical blue waters of the San Blas. The local Kuna Indians follow the sun with their daily routine – early to bed and early to rise – as most of the islands do not have electricity.
One amazing experience is to take a dugout canoe excursion up a river on the mainland into the rainforest of Kuna Yala. Here we experience a virgin rainforest up close as we glide up the river on a handmade log canoe.
The Isthmus of Panama connects North and South America and is only 40 miles wide at the narrowest point.
From Panama City there are 2 options for getting to the San Blas if you are not arriving on a boat. You can fly from the regional airport in downtown Panama City, to El Porvenir – one of the San Blas Islands. Air Panama has daily flights to San Blas. It is about a 30 minute flight from Panama City to the islands. The other option is to take a 4 wheel drive vehicle ride from the city through the rainforest and to the Kuna Yala territory. It is approximately a 2.5 hour trip, one hour of which is on the paved Panamerica Highway, and the rest of the trip is through the rainforest on a rough dirt road where 4 wheel drive is a must.
The staterooms on Alliance are very comfortable with plenty of headroom, opening ports or skylights, a double bunk, sink, hanging locker, and private head with shower. We have plenty of hot water, so we are not roughing it aboard Alliance! Of course we do like to be as ecologically responsible as possible, so nothing is wasted. We conserve water and electricity, and garbage is separated and disposed of properly. We eat all of the fish that we catch, and buy as much local food as possible to support the local economy.
We are looking forward to another visit to the San Blas this winter!
Contact us: Phone: (757) 639-1233 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org