Jan. 13, Day 2, All Pro Invitational, Panama
With the addition of Raphael Salles, Mika Fernandez, Erik Aeder and Ryan Gaw today our crew is almost complete. The weather remains clear and sunny, but our swell is still minimal and the winds non-existent. The forecast however remains excellent- by tomorrow we should have some wind, by Tuesday the swell and wind, peaking by Friday. We’re planning an offshore expedition out to Escudo Veraguas. If we go, we’d have 24 people on Discovery- should make for some entertainment to say the least!
For our first day of exploration we headed out to circumnavigate Bastimentos island, about 25 miles in total. We stopped at Playa Larga for a few hours so everyone could have a swim and quite a few of the boys got some decent waves. As we haven’t had any rain in a week the waters offshore have cleared nicely and visibility is excellent. When Will James shows up (we’re not sure where he is) we’ll have to give a go at some spearfishing, as fishing is how Will spends his time whenever he’s not chasing massive waves.
The plan was to head around to the south end of Bastimentos to have lunch, but by the time we got there we realized lunch would be served about the same time as dinner (the place was reputed to be very slow), so we just trucked on. For the next hour and a half we traversed through the strangest salt water area I’ve ever seen. Certainly an odd place for boats of our size to venture. Hundreds of tiny islands dotted the horizon, covered with a solid forest of mangroves and our route went right through them. The chart had little more than “uncharted”, but I’d heard there was a way through and somehow we found it. Some of the channels we navigated couldn’t have been more than 3 boat widths wide. Mauricio, Moehau, Joao, Chris, Michael and Ryan all had a go at jumping off the trampoline and riding through under the nacelle (bridge) of Discovery but unlike when we normally do it, with these guys I didn’t slow down. Good old fashioned horsing around. Maurico even got in another “surf”.
By the time we got back to the Careening Cay lodge everyone was starving and ready for a big meal and a few drinks. A great band was playing at the bar, the forecast continues to look positive. So far everyone’s spirits are high and we’re all anticipating another fantastic day tomorrow- let the wind come!