About Yacht Latina Panama

About Yacht Latina: http://www.yachtlatina.com

San blas islands

It is with great excitement that we announce our expansion our yacht cruises into all 3 incredible archipelagos of Panama! More destinations means more fun and more choices for your cruising adventures. – The San Blas Islands – this is where we started our cruising service and it remains our most popular destination with over 300 islands and 10+ yachts to choose from ranging from sailing catamarans to prolific monohulls. – Bocas Del Toro – Situated in the warm Caribbean waters near the border of Costa Rica, this is where Jimmy Buffet chooses to vacation (yeah, for real). Set sail for a new island each day! – The Pearl Islands – Originally named by the Spaniards who discovered the group of Pacific islands in 1513 and named them for their bountiful pearl stores found in this area, these islands were frequently used by Pirates in the years that followed.  Our sailing trips range from 3 days to 2 weeks, are all-inclusive (captain, meals, and accomodations) and are perfectly designed for families and couples.

-gilligan

Sailing report from Captain George – Escudo Trip

sail san blas

Hola Amigos,
We recently sailed out to a beautiful island called Escudo de Veraguas.  Escudo lies about 40 Nautical miles east of our home here in Bocas Town, and about 15 miles off of the mainland.  The island is uninhabited except for one or two Guaymi Indian families that live there.
One Indian fellow, Mauricio, also works with a group involved with the conservancy of sea turtles.  On all of the beaches there are dozens of turtle nests.  Each nest is marked and dated so they know when the eggs will hatch.  Then these volunteers and workers make sure the baby turtles make it safely to the ocean without getting eaten by birds.
We took 7 hours to sail there and the weather was beautiful.  Underway we caught one Creval Jack and released it because they are not very tasty as far as fish goes.  The first night we stayed and played on the South side of the island, and then moved over to the north side of the island.
Both anchorages were beautiful.  On the second day we hired Mauricio to take us on a circumnavigation tour of the whole island.  When he came over to meet us he had a canvas sack full of baby turtles that had just hatched.  We released them off the stern of the yacht.  It was quite a sight.
All of the inlets, coves, nooks, and crannies on this island are just spectacular.  And the snorkeling is also awesome.  On the second night, a group of Indian fisherman came by and sold us lobsters and big crabs for a very reasonable price. A delicious feast ensued.
Cheers to all from the sailing Salleys!
George, Melinda, and Joshua
Sent from my iPad

Yacht Latina Trip Review – The Curtises

We recently caught up with the Curtis couple upon their return from a Yacht Latina sailing trip in the San Blas.

San Blas Yacht Latina

Sailing aboard Yacht Latina’s 50′ Gulfstar Monohull with Capt Dave and his wife Elizabeth:
Dave and Elizabeth were outstanding.  Elizabeth’s cooking is amazing, and she does a really good job of keeping a neat, clean, and tidy ship.  Dave is very good with catering to whatever the client wants to do.  We fished, snorkeled, explored some islands, and learned a little bit about sailing.  He has a calm demeanor and is very engaging.  Dave and Elizabeth also do a very good job with the Kuna.  They get information from other boats and networks on weather, boat traffic, sea conditions, and any other happenings in the region.  They also are very polite with the Kuna and buy lobster/fish/coconuts from them to support their lifestyle.
We had a very good trip and would definitely do this again.
Thanks,
Jonathan
 50 Gulfstar San Blas Islands

San Blas Trip report from Mitzi and Bill: Fantastic times on the 50′ Gulfstar Monohull

san blas children
Hi Lita ~  Sorry to be so long in saying “Muchas Gracias” for all your help booking our trip!  We had a fantastic time….just exactly what we were looking for, relaxation, peaceful, no stress.
Capt Dave & Eli were just fantastic!!  Eli made me a birthday dinner complete with cake & candles!!  Capt Dave was so kind getting us in/out of the dinghy when snorkeling.  He also gave us a super concert singing and playing a mean guitar!  We are hoping to sail with them again in Bocas and hope we remain friends forever.
Sorry I cannot send complete pics as my new camera doesn’t want to talk to my new computer so am waiting for my niece to come next month and get me hooked together.  I won’t forget!
Many thanks and you can use us for a recommendation for you, Yacht Latina and your fantastic cruises anytime!
Hugs, Mitzi & Bill

Welcoming a new (to us) 50′ Gulfstar sailing yacht to our fleet

50′ Sailing Ketch Monohull – San Blas Islands

This Yacht is a 50 foot ketch rigged monohull with tons of space both on deck and below. She provides room for up to 6 guests with both double and single accomodations, available in three staterooms. A large main salon for dining and gathering is stationed midship. The gallery is well stocked with all the provisions and ingredients needed for great meals and libations while sailing or anchored. Her spacious cockpit has a Bimini cover to provide shade during the day and is a great place to check out that beautiful Caribbean island sunset. The large decks on board let you sun bath in comfort.  Snorkel gear is included and we have a large dinghy with a 15 hp Yamaha to deliver you to the best reefs and islands. Fishing tackle is also available for your use.

 

  

 

Welcoming a new (to us) 43′ sailing yacht to the fleet

43′ Monohull – San Blas Islands

An owners version Elan 43, 1989 sailing yacht featuring 3 cabins and 2 bathrooms.  The yacht has been updated recently with newer running gear, safety equipment, and additional convenience items.  Can accommodate up to 6 passengers for San Blas Island OR Cartagena trips.  Captain George and wife Sandra are excellent hosts and very knowledgeable about the area.  Available for private charter or individuals wishing to join an existing cruise.

To view our entire fleet of vessels visit our vessels page

For booking information (either San Blas or trips to Cartagena) visit our booking request page

 

BoatPicMainSm Boat Layout

Meal time Cabin Isla Pero

 

An interview with Captain George

We recently had a chance to sit down and visit with Captain George Salley, who has been pleasing Yacht Latina guests with iconic sailing cruises aboard his 42′ catamaran in the San Blas Islands.  George is an expert cruiser and wonderful person to hang out with.  Here are a few tidbits from our conversation.

Capt George

Captain George Salley

YL – How long have you lived in Panama?

CG  – We have been in Panama since December 2008.

YL – Tell us about your yacht?

CG – Southern Belle is a 42-foot Fountaine Pajot Catamaran built in 1995. We bought her in 2003 and have lived aboard since 2006. She is well equipped for blue water cruising. You can get a much more detailed description of how she is outfitted on the Yacht Latina website.

YL – What are your favorite islands to visit in the San Blas and why?

CG – We love the Lemmon Cays because they have outstanding beaches and great reef for snorkeling. We also adore the Robeson Cays because the people are fantastic.

YL – What are your favorite aspects of the Guna Yala?

CG – The clear blue water, the beautiful islands, and the wonderful Kuna Indians

YL – What is your most memorable moment with guests sailing in the San Blas?

CG – Playing music on the foredeck while we watch the sun set into the Caribbean Sea

YL – Well, thanks for the chat Captain George (and also Melinda & Josh…).  Great to catch up with you!

Yacht Latina cruisers: If you’d like to meet captain George or get pricing on a sailing trip click the Contact Us link on the website.

    

An inside look at the Kuna – New issues for an emerging culture

Palm Trees at dusk

Dusk in the Kuna Yala

Here again to talk about why and how various rumor is about. Rumor about difficulties of operating yachts for trips in the San Blas (Kuna Yala). It is June 2012 and I was only this week again in the local congresso ‘hall’. (A quaint place where three or four ‘elders’ lay in hammocks and smoke, and presumably listen, but also every so often erupt into dialogue with no one in particular.)  There does seem to be a point to the proceedings somewhere, but any one discussion moves from one evening to the next with the focus being more on how much can be said on the matter. Still, where we come from perhaps we have learned impatience?

So some time in the past, like more than 2 years ago, a few island ‘cabana’ owners, or hotels as they call them too, became a little jealous that some visitors chose the relative comfort and freedom of seeing San blas from a yacht. Since the incumbent older congresso members appear to be unseat-able (or unhammockable) they eventually have felt pressured into speaking up on behalf of these hotel owners. (-by the way I have several hotel owner friends and allies out here) So – the way of all bogged down political structures, slowly more and more congresso members have defaulted to the line of least resistance and verbalized that maybe its better to discourage the yachts from operating here.

Thing is, all those Kuna people around me, that I see almost daily, include the most active younger business men, one of the customs officials who issues boating permits, several hotel owners, and families of congresso members not only poo-poo the subject (as in ‘its so much talk’) but in fact I do not know of any actual control mechanism with respect to which vessels are unwelcome. In fact on the contrary, they ask me when my next trip is!

We have a mixture of old style Kuna and new Kuna. So I said ‘new’ Kuna. That’s what’s happening in San Blas. The real progressives are making good lives in a stunning landscape. They are doing business. Of course, however these are the guys who try and find something of more value than settling into political positions and pointing fingers. As I say -they are doing business -not just putting their hands out for money. (I stop at naming the well know location) Rumors abound too. Like Guna Yala and Kuna Yala. Who wrote that on the web? None of these locals know anything about that.

Anyway, back to being here…these fellows I mix with do not show the resistance to gringos or yachtsmen or the like. As I see it they want to do business, not just put their hands out for money. (un-like some other well know locations). So what’s wrong with that?

Up to early last year I was operating yachts for trips in San Blas. This year I return with much bigger and more comfortable craft. Wow! It was nice. (but what is nice?) What is nice is that despite all the talk I am welcomed with my plans. I don’t really understand people who face open resistance? What of it? We run excellent trips here. We use the local transport. (and that’s also ‘nice’, these guys I knew who worked doing fairly menial stuff for me last year, now have their own lancha businesses. Wouldn’t you? )

So as an ex Civil Engineer I give the local Kuna people real technical help on their much needed water projects. Twenty thousand dollars and no design from a well meaning open sandaled, Europe based ‘fundacion’, is not going to work.  (Though I applaud the sentiments) It needs the correct grade of pipe to be used.

Anyway I am getting to the point soon………

…and the point is………..we do great trips in the (web rated) 5th most unspoiled place in the world. We do yacht trips of three, to whatever, days… tailored to suit your but also very ‘digestible’, since we offer several options like your choice ‘cabin fill’ or charter the whole boat. For digestible read ‘value for money’.  We do great trips and darn if I am not fazed by any talk.  (see above) Have you picked up and browsed Eric Bauhaus ‘Cruising guide to Panama’ recently? I have. Actually I use it every second hour. Why? Because it’s brilliant. Also because he is a pioneer and I like to go where the other yachtsmen don’t bother to read. Hey – German mapping! It’s like German engineering.

So come on out and join us!  We have many San Blas cruises available for this summer.  The San Blas is a magically wonderful place to experience – the idyllic coco-palm lined islands, tranquil and transparent blue seas, a culture of wonderfully friendly peoples, and memories that will last a lifetime.

Cheers and hope to see you soon!

Capt

Photos from a recent cruise

We checked in with Yacht Latina guests Mike and Martha Vuytowecz, Jamuna Berry, and Kara Patrick on their recent trip out to the San Blas Islands and were amazed by the photos they brought back.  The San Blas region never seizes to amaze me with how photogenic it is.  Here are a few highlights from their trip.  Let us know what you think…

San Blas Paddle Boarding

Paddle Boarding in the San Blas

Children in San Blas Islands

Children of the Islands

San Blas Outhouse

Anybody know what this is?

Kayak with Yacht Latina

Kayaking in the San Blas Islands

Lady Lu Image

Relaxing on the Lady Lu

Relaxing on deck

Relaxing on deck

Cultural visit to the islands

Cultural visit to the islands

Huts in the San Blas Islands

Huts in the San Blas Islands

Evening dining aboard Yacht Latina Cruise

Evening dining aboard Yacht Latina Cruise

Trolling at sunset

Trolling at sunset

 

 

 

 

 

 

…memories of San Blas Islands..

This is a video that we did last year and it was a lot of fun with a great bunch of people from all over the world. Three great days sailing through the wilderness of the San Blas Islands, fishing and snorkeling, and sunbathing, and coconut gathering, and then dinner is barbeque of fresh fish and lobster. Some guests left the boat for a night or two in the quaint Kuna Hotels, as they call it. You gotta come and see for yourself.  Enjoy! 

Sailing and Kuna hotels in the islands of San Blas, Panama

 

 

 

 

http://youtu.be/c9PieRUrolA