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July, 2009:

My dinner last night…

uh... I'm gonna need a bigger cutting board....

uh... I'm gonna need a bigger cutting board....

So yesterday, I just finish a three-night trip. The food supply has been totally wiped out, and here I am thinking. What the hell am I gonna eat tonight? I’ve got little more than rice, pasta, and some oreo-like cookies. Hardly my idea of a meal. What to do???

Lo and behold, a couple of Kuna row up to Andiamo and offer me this BEHEMOTH of a lobster. By far, the biggest single lobster I’ve ever had. This big bertha weighed at least 6 pounds. They wanted $15 for it, we settled on $8. This thing was so huge, I didn’t even need a side dish. The tail and the antennas alone would stuff me good.

Get a load of that baby, she sure was yummy. And yeah, I ate the whole thing… 🙂

Now Accepting Amazon Payments!

I’m always trying to find new and easier ways for present and future Andiamo guests to make their deposits and pay for their trips! Amazon just released their new Amazon Payments service, and I’m actually excited about it. I’m a regular Amazon customer, as well as have an Amazon Store on this site. It just sounds like a great fit. Now with this new payment service provided by Amazon, people have at least a choice on how to pay their deposits (and trips) online.

Unfortunately, however, Google Pay gave Andiamo the heave-ho due to their policy of not processing payments for travel that includes overnight accommodations. So despite the fact that I announced not that long ago that we were accepting Google Pay, at this time we are not able to. Sorry for any inconvenience.

Let me know what you think of Amazon Pay! Leave a comment or drop me a note!

The Great Andiamo-Kuna Waterpipe Controversy, Part III

I found myself in disbelief that the waterpipe had STILL not been fixed within one day of them having the parts I’d bought and sent back to them. The whole point of me going to the city a couple of days earlier than I had planned to was to get the pipe fixed sooner than later.

I had been calling Dino each day from the city to check on the repairs. Each day he’d say that they were going to finish it “manana”. I just found myself getting more and more frustrated, and not happy with the fact that the villagers probably still held me responsible for the fact that the waterpipe had not yet been put back in service. It would be nearly a week by now. This was getting beyond ridiculous. (more…)

The Great Andiamo-Kuna Waterpipe Controversy… Part Deux

When we left off in Part I, I was just getting back to Carti after finishing a 2-night trip. The weather was just ok, and the guests were in a bit of a hurry to catch their ride back to Panama City. I taxied Andiamo to its anchoring spot, and dropped the hook (yes, this time VERY far away from the waterpipe’s location, geez, always a smart-ass in every crowd…) 😛 .

The guests’ lancha had been waiting, and came alongside Andiamo to take them and their bags aboard. Strangely, another lancha showed up on the opposite side of Andiamo, and came alongside. There was a kuna guy standing on the bow. He was very animated and anxious. He yelled at me in unintelligible spanish as the lancha drew just a little too close to Andiamo’s unfendered topsides for my comfort. I asked them to stay a bit more away from the boat so as not to hit and mark up the hull paint. I just had it touched up in Cartagena last month! I have enough trouble keeping marks off the hull paint as it is. I asked them to wait a minute. (more…)

Panama City’s New Cinta Costera!

Last week, I was walking along the Panama City’s waterfront, where they had just completed the Cinta Costera project. This basically was a massive project where they overhauled Panama’s waterfront from a drab and chaotic two-way street, and a rather run-down marina/yacht club and converted it into a pretty impressive open space and traffic thoroughfare. I took these pics because I was just so impressed at how damn good the waterfront looks now compared to before.

What’s most interesting about this improvement project is the fact that they finished it in less than 18 months! Pretty amazing when you consider that the project includes several bridges and overpasses as well as an extension of several thousand cubic feet of earth to create more shoreline. The fact that something like this can be completed in record time in a place like Panama makes it all the more impressive.

I for one surely plan on spending more time out here when I’m in the city.

The Great Andiamo-Kuna Waterpipe Controversy… Part I

It was another trip-ending in Carti’ without a hitch. Carti’ is actually a group of four village islands that are close the mainland in San Blas. It serves as an effective thoroughfare in and out of San Blas due to the fact that the only road into San Blas from Panama’s InterAmericana highway ends there. It also has an airport, which is the other reason it’s such a key access spot for tourists and Kuna alike.

Andiamo typically starts and finishes its trips in Carti’, making use of this good access. It’s also a great place to leave Andiamo there when I head to the city in between trips. Dino, my faithful kuna guy takes care of Andiamo while I’m gone and gets her ready for the next trip. He also makes sure that Lucy stays alive, fed, and at least somewhat entertained.

This particular time around, the anchorage was rather crowded with quite a few other boats. I decided to anchor Andiamo in a spot that lies closer between the islands in a protected channel. This is usually a safe place, because the boat is protected on all sides except for some slight exposure to the north. On the southern end of this same channel, there is a 3-inch PVC pipe that delivers fresh water from the Carti’ River on the mainland via a neighboring island. It sits along the bottom in about 25 feet of water. On most days you can see it in plain sight through the clear water. Most of the boaters in the area know to anchor well away from it, as I do. (more…)

Sail from Cartagena to San Blas, Panama – Dec. 4th (approx)

Andiamo will be sailing to San Blas, Panama from Cartagena, Colombia on Dec 4th (approx). This sail includes 2 nights sailing around San Blas after an overnight sail from Cartagena. There are currently six spots available. For more information and to book a reservation, please go to Our Panama/Colombia page for more details and to book a reservation!