At Anchor in the San Blas Islands, Panama

Today (Saturday) we are at anchor in the San Blas Islands off the coast of Panama.  This is a chain of 365 different islands all clustered together and have been inhabited ever since the first explorers of Central and South America arrived.

There is no electricity, no running water and with rising sea levels they will all be soon washed into the sea. Houses are constructed of bamboo and bathroom facilities are  each located at the end of a narrow walkway out into the ocean with a little privacy fence.

The contrast between the luxury of the ship’s facilities and the poverty of these islands is staggering. To get to one of the islands we anchored out and were taken ashore in the lifeboats.  Narrow streets with no vehicular traffic are lined with children, kittens, puppies and women selling colourful sewing.  If you take a picture they ask for “one dollar”.  If a family has four kids and two kittens, the price is “six dollar”.

Overnight we move on to the Panama Canal.  We enter the mouth at 5:00 a.m. for the day long transit to the Pacific Ocean.  Not sure if we are taking the old canal or the new one.