s/y Nine of Cups
Bahia Pina, Panama to Bahia de Caraquez, Ecuador
July 2008
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After topping off the diesel tanks in La Palma, we headed down the river and into Golfo de
San Miguel. We anchored the night in a lovely, calm anchorage at Punta Garachine. We left
very early the next morning (0200) and headed to Bahia Pina, close to Colombian Border
and the Darien Gap.We arrived with sunrise and were anchored by 0900. The preferred
anchorage near the Tropical Star Resort was "full" with fishing and naval vessels so we
anchored across the bay which was rolly and unsettled.

The following morning, the naval vessels had left and after a quick reconnoiter by "Hello
World", we moved to the calmer anchorage near the Tropical Star. We were not, however,
allowed onto the resort grounds and only the captain was allowed ashore to pay for diesel to
top off our tanks.
Every day a new group of vendors appeared
and offered us a great assortment of wares.
Early morning arrival into Bahia Pina, but there
are no pineapples here, we' re told.
This gives new meaning to "at home"
We never turned anyone away. They always
offered something that we liked and we were
supporting the local economy!. We bought
jewelry and the mask to the left from these
young girls and then David decided he'd like a
locally  handcarved paddle which they gladly
sold to him right from their own cayuga. One
evening a group of fellows from the Panamian
naval vessel "Alcon" stopped by to chat and
had a beer with us. Luis, a lieutenant in the
Panamanian Navy offered to act as our guide
to the village of Puerto Pina the next day and
we took him up on his offer.
We hadn't seen how to approach the town
since the beach looked rather ominous
with large rollers. A hidden river entrance
took us inland and gave us quite a rapids
ride following heavy rains. We ended up
turning around and tying up at a small
dock about a mile away from town. The
walk in was quite pleasant and shaded.
A welcome sign confirmed we were in the
right place in the heart of the Darien.
The local cantina was pretty empty so
early in the day.
A typical back street in town
Dugout canoes in everyone's yard...this
is the transportation of choice here.
Main Street, Puerto Pina...Luis hides
from the camera.
It didn't take us long to find a cold beer!
A shy girl peeks at us.
Colorful parasol, cute kid...nice photo.
We didn't need the bird guide for this one.
Or this one either!
The river was home to lots of birds
including the egret above.
Colorful parumas, the wraparound skirts
worn by the women, hang on the line.
Colorful view of local boats.
Night heron during the day.
The foliage was lush and beautiful.
Moonrise in Bahia Pina
We had a lovely escort on our departure.
David had the fishing line out within
minutes of our departure.
Within an hour, we had two small tuna
aboard, cleaned and ready for the fridge.
We crossed the Equator for the 5th time
in Nine of Cups.
David pays tribute to Neptune with a tot of
rum as we cross the Equator .
We arrived around 0530 in Bahia after a
rather lumpy motor-sail of 77 hours.
We left Panama behind and began a
new adventure in Ecuador. We arrived
before dawn in time for the high tide
and Tripp Martin at Puerto Amistad
was on hand with the local pilot to
escort us across the bar at the entrance
to the Rio Chone. "Hello World"
moored and the crew returned to
Germany for a couple of months. We
anchored in the Rio Chone off the
lovely little town of Bahia de Caraquez
for a month or two to finish replacing
fuel tanks, make some repairs and
prepare for heading on.
Come to  Bahia de Caraquez,
Ecuador with us!