Bocas Brewery

We’d found the BEST attraction in Bocas del Toro!  Home-brewed beer!  The last time we’d been to a brewery was August of 2012 in Nantucket, MA with Darren and Katie at Cisco Brewing.  It was almost too good to be true that Darren and Katie were here with us in Panama sharing this experience!  It was also too good to be true that Brian would soon be drinking a cold IPA…and here we were!IMG_9155

The Bocas Brewery is on the beachfront in the northern end of Bocas del Toro at Isla Colon.  The staff were fabulously hospitable and the atmosphere was relaxed, family friendly, clean, and comfortable.  There was a nice selection of brews from Bocas Brewery and also from Panama City.  We didn’t know which to choose…IMG_9159

So we sampled them all!IMG_9156

Once we’d determined our favorite brews, we moved outside to chill on the beach. The winners were an IPA from Panama City and a Stout from Bocas Brewery.  Ahhh…IMG_8032 IMG_9165

We ordered some food and played on the beach.  I wouldn’t recommend the food – beer yes, but food is still a work in progress as this brewery is under new ownership – good for snacking, small portions and very simple.  IMG_8035 IMG_8037 IMG_9170 IMG_9177

We were joined by our cruiser friends David and Victoria.IMG_9179Bocas Brewery’s atmosphere and refreshment provided a great ending to an already fantastic day.  Nothing beats downtime with friends and a cold beer on the beach!IMG_9160

 

Farewell, Paul!

It was time for Paul to begin his journey back to the states.  We’d had a fabulous adventure with Paul all the way from San Andres, Columbia to Bocas del Toro, Panama.  We were shocked he wasn’t just going to move aboard Rode Trip!  But we were glad he’d be returning home to his wife, Emily, and we hoped we would see both of them soon!  Paul took one last walk through the jungle – “No, it’s a rain forest,” Annika reminded us.IMG_20140505_170510Prior to departing Isla Bastimentos, Paul had completed two goals.  Goal #1 – find a Strawberry Poison-dart Frog.  Check!IMG_9084

Goal #2 – find a Sloth.  Check!
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Everyone went to Bocas Town to bid Paul farewell.IMG_8021 IMG_8023 IMG_9150Safe home, Paul!  We’ll keep sampling the cocktails so we’re ready for your next visit!IMG_20140502_155654

The Red Frog Marina at Bastimentos

The Bocas del Toro archipelago is a group of northwestern, Panamanian islands that separate Almirante Bay from the Caribbean Sea. This archipelago comprises the Bocas del Toro District; Bocas del Toro (or Bocas Town) the major city is located on Isla Colon. Numerous islands, much like a tropical version of Maine, are accessible by ferry, water taxi, and private boat. The archipelago is home to Indigenous people, Panamanians, ex-patriates, and ever wandering cruisers. At a glance, it seemed we would have months worth of cruising opportunities to explore islands.

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First, however, more guests were due to arrive! To accommodate our guests we’d made reservations at a local marina, the Red Frog Marina on Isla Bastimentos. Roughly 5nm from Bocas del Toro on Isla Colon, the Red Frog Marina on Bastimentos boasted excellent water, clean facilities, and a water-shuttle service to/from town. These homey comforts were right in the middle of a tropical rain forest! We were anxious to get Rode Trip docked and explore Bastimentos in preparation for our guests. We were also anxious for a long, pressure-water shower and use of the laundry machines. And so, still with our good friend Paul, we hauled anchor and sailed a beautiful sail to Isla Bastimentos.

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We found the entrance to the marina nestled behind a labyrinth of mangroves. One of our soon to be dock neighbors dinghied toward us in his skiff and met us upon our entry. Stephen (s/v Cinnimon Girl) directed us to our slip; he and another soon to be neighbor, Bob (s/v First Light) assisted with our dock lines. Within minutes Rode Trip was securely docked.IMG_9373IMG_9383

Brian, Paul, and I met with Dock Manager, Lee. Lee was fabulous! Not only did he welcome us to the marina and provide the usual run-down of information (pertaining to wifi access, bathroom door codes, water/electric hook-ups, etc.) but he took time from his busy day to take us on a tour of the area. Lee brought us to the local beaches and restaurants and shared with us what kinds of wildlife we might spot in the rain forest. We were anxious to start walking around the island in search of Sloths, Strawberry Poison-dart Frogs, Monkeys, Snakes…oh no, NOT Snakes!IMG_9376IMG_9378

 

These lovely facilities would be waiting for us later in the evening.IMG_9380And so, after getting acquainted with an unusual new neighbor…we were off into the jungle! This is a Rhinoceros Beetle and we hoped he wouldn’t visit us down at the docks!IMG_8958IMG_8959