Sunday, March 22, 2009

New Friends and Old

Two days ago we pulled into Bahia Honda, Panama. We'd spent 2 nights near surf spots and 2 other nights at a remote island snorkeling and working on the mast. As we pulled into Bahia Honda, which I think is one of the most beautiful places we've been, we spotted two boats we recognized from the week before in the Pedregal Marina. As we anchored, we waved as they putted over in their dinghy. New friends from the sailboats King's Way and 401(k) wanted us to come to dinner. As they were chatting with us, an older man in a local cayuca (log canoe) rowed over from shore to greet us. Domingo is a 70 year old who lives and farms fruit on the stretch of seemingly deserted land at the north of the bay. He welcomed us, asked us questions, made an appointment to show us the town on the island in the middle of the bay in the morning, and told us his grown son would come out later to say hi. This was the beginning of fruit deliveries to our boat.

Over the last few days we've received 4 pineapples, about 10 oranges, a papaya, 2 noni (don't know how to prepare those!), a few grapefruit, green plantains, and some pipas (green coconuts to drink the water out of) last night while we were walking around with Domingo's daughter's family. This is all wonderful except that every time they bring fruit, they ask if we have one thing or the other for them. We've been asked for everything from sunblock, gasoline, batteries, acetaminophen, and a bikini for Olivia, Domingo's daughter-in-law. I like the trading concept but I was starting to feel like they viewed us as their personal tienda. Then last night, we bumped into Rosalin (Domingo's daughter), Edwin, and Daisy, their 4-year old daughter, on the beach. We wanted to take a walk and didn't know any trails. They showed us around the finca (plantation) which looks more like jungle with fruit trees scattered randomly throughout. They showed us Domingo's old house, beautiful 10-foot nests hanging from a palm tree, and tried to find howler monkey's to show us. The whole time they asked us questions and told us about their home. They didn't once ask for anything. It allowed me to relax and enjoy getting to know them. At the end of the evening, we met up with Domingo and he gave us 3 small pompano-type fish for our dinner.

Then, this morning, we saw a double masted sailboat anchored across the bay. It had come in during the night. We watched (it's always a treat to meet fellow cruisers- there aren't so many of us down here) it pull anchor and motor over to our part of the bay. As it approached, Brian said, that looks like Java Moon. "No, it couldn't be. He's in Mexico still isn't he?" I said. "It sure does look like him." Well, as it got closer, we saw, IT WAS our friend, Skip Hess on Java Moon. We met Skip last year in La Paz, Mexico. We spent a lot of time together there. HOW COOL to meet up with a familiar friendly face. Since he's a single hander he's pretty happy to meet up with people he knows as well. In fact, he's been helping Brian all afternoon pulling old wires on the mast. We decided to spend an extra night here so we can have dinner with him. Tomorrow morning we'll head up to the Morro Negrito surf camp again. There's another swell coming.

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