Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Panama Day 6

We woke to another grey day. Remember now, this is the dry season, right?

This is NOT a black n white photo, and no, I have not photoshopped it. I am also not complaining because, like vampires, I avoid the sun when possible.

We began the day fairly early with a breakfast and hopped in a boat to go out to a far island to do a little snorkling. This boat moved at a fair clip and we had the great good fortune to be always under a clearing in the weather. But as we moved farther into the open waters, the choppy seas began to pound us and these fiberglass benches were hard on the tush.... and we weren't even half way to the far island waaayyyy ovverrrr there!

After about the 5th jarring slam, I said, "Look, I don't want to sound like I'm against the idea of going all the way out there, but, can I just ask, 'Why are we.....What are we doing all that way over there again?'" It was quickly decided that as the skies were decidedly worsening, we'd make a u-turn and head over to this cute spot, where the snorkling was okay, not great due to the weather..... no promises. I thought "okay, now we're talkin'!"

Cute, huh? They had a restaurant and some cabins on piers for rent.

Now the bar was littered with liquor bottles of all sorts but they had no ice. no ice..... the beer was cold....ish.

Nevermind. The snorkling was fine and as we were the first boat to arrive, we were quickly joined by several others with tourists. We along with everyone else placed lunch orders and stood around, snorkled, took photos.

And then this happened:

This happened for about 90 minutes with NO let-up. I was genuinely frightened at one point. As it intensified, I moved behind the bar along with 4 fellow tourists. I watched the men in the kitchen through the pass-through and wondered it I could fit through the opening. There was a door but you had to go around back of the building and this meant getting soaked and in danger to stay dry and safe.

We stayed as pleasant as you could hope to under the circumstances No one was wigging out. What could you do? Better question was "How much more was headed our way?"

The men in the kitchen laughed when John jokingly asked, "Where's the lunch?" Right, except no one had ordered soup and there was no dry place to even stand and eat.

It did eventually let up enough to serve the meals and we watched all the others pile into their respective boats and peel off. Our driver got into his and raced around in large circles bilging the rain water out the stern.

Then we gathered up our stuff and climbed in. On the way back to Bocas, we found, finally, sloths. They just hang around in the high canopy of the trees on Sloth Island. If someone had told me that, I would not have been straining my eyes all this time.

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