With the winds backing off, the stank level steadily increases due to a lack of AC aboard the Natural Mystic. We stew in our own juices as the tropical heat and mind numbing humidity bakes us into a frenzy.
We’ve found refuge in the familiar comforts of the Caribbean Sea again. After our adventures to Playa Diablo, we stumbled upon a decent reef break. It’s about a 30 minute walk from the docks over sharp reef, across 2 channels and over some more crunchy, coral daggers. Bootyless travelers need not apply. Dizzy and I have been making the most out of the 3-5′ slabs lying down, while Kyber and MulletHawk choose a more evolved approach to wave riding. We’ve had the place to ourselves for the last two days. Today, the locals flocked on their day off so it was crowded with a gang of SpongeBobs.
When we feel like hacking through the rainforest, we don our machetes to explore the remnants of Fort Sherman. Abandoned bunkers being overgrown by the dense jungle create an eerie setting. There’s an elaborate maze of tunnels with creepy-crawlers lurking around every corner. The leaf cutter ants have a overwhelming population here. Their paths are more like highways as thousands of these little workaholics commute every hour. The biodiversity of this area is staggering. We’ve seen Octopuses, stingrays, anteaters, cranes, birds of prey, butterflies, a few different monkeys, eels, an unidentified mammal or two, 20 billion biting flies, mosquitoes and other annoying insects. There’s never a dull moment.
The bio-diesel powered EarthRace ship docked here and we got a chance to meet the crew of this unique vessle. It resembles a villains escape vehicle from a James Bond movie. Go to EarthRace.net for more info about their quest to break the world record for circumnavigation.
The local Panamanians have been treating us well. Shelter Bay is a safe spot compared to the crime riddled, thug saturated streets of Colon. They are in the midst of an upgrade here. Workers are digging a trench for a pool, which they desperately need. They also plan to build hotel rooms for those tired of sleeping in the cramped beds of their ships.
Struggling to function in this tropical sauna, we remain chipper despite the flooding from our pores. Lidocaine has become our basting sauce in an effort to ease our sunburnt skin. Hopefully, we’ll soon be off to Bocas Del Toro and then on through the canal towards the swell saturated Pacific.
Stay tuned for a montage of self portraits shot while sloshing around on the big blue.