(a.k.a. "The Bipi")
23rd - 25th, 2007
We need to head away from Nargana, so we could swim
and make some water – those are things you don’t do where the
bathrooms are right over the water.
We found a great island in the Panama Guide Book for snorkeling
and it was still close to Nargana, but far enough away that water would
be clean. Great!
Dupsormulubipi, or just “Bipi” as we liked to
call it, was about an hour northwest of Nargana.
We anchored in about 8ft of water only 10ft off of the island,
and donned our snorkel gear and headed out to explore the reef. Just off of the boat, we were enveloped by incredible schools
of billions of baitfish. The
baitfish were a massive wall - all lined up and stacked in an almost
barricade between the reef and us.
The closer we swam to the huge school, the more confused the fish
would get and swarmed in unison all around us.
We were all praying that no larger fish would come through and
feed on us as we were passing through it, but eventually we broke
through the wall of fish, there was an incredible reef on the other
side. It was the most
beautiful and healthy reef that we had ever seen. Tremendous fan corals, elkhorn corals, brain corals and many
different corals that we could not even identify. Around the island was a wall of coral, in some places at
least 70 ft deep. There
were many ledges and caves, perfect for hiding the massive amounts of
reef fish that we got to see. There
were Queen Angelfish, large Yellow and Red tail Snappers, an amazing
Goliath Grouper who must have weighed 20lbs, Spiny Lobster and much,
much more! This reef was so
incredible we went back to Dupsormulubipi 3 different times.
Walter's time on Stray Cat was coming to an
end, and we had made arrangements with Federico to have Walter fly out
to Panama City on Tuesday morning at 6:30am. Capt Mark took him to the airport at El Corazon in the dinghy
around 6:15am. Mike
realized shortly after they left, that Walter had forgotten the very
expensive charger for his video camera, and we had no way to get it to
him. Walter was leaving for Moscow the day he returned to NYC, and
him leaving without that charger would be a major inconvenience, for him
and for the crew of Stray Cat.
After about 20 minutes of trying Mike was able to flag down a
cayuco and hitch a ride out to Corazon just before the plane took off,
with Walter and his camera charger, Yeah!!
Walter was a lot of fun and very entertaining.
We got a Russian perspective on a lot of subjects and it was very
interesting to watch a professional filmmaker at work.
It was great to be able to keep such a great record of our
journey and we are looking forward to the film that he will produce
about that leg of the trip.
After Walter's departure, we had one last night on
Nargana and one last meal at Nali’s.
After saying goodbye to all of our new found Kuna friends, we
headed northeast, as we wanted to try another snorkel spot – one that
was rated one of the best in the San Blas, Gannirguinnitdup.
Another bonus was that we were able to make water and do some
laundry at the newest snorkel spot.
We snorkeled around the island, which had quite a
strong current and surge. There
was a huge reef around the island, but it was only a few inches deep.
We saw many rock ledges where lobsters and octopus like to hide
out and there were plenty of Kunas fishing and diving all around us.
We were a little disappointed, as most of the coral looked dead
and we found tons of sea biscuits and sea urchins also dead.
We did pass a couple of coral heads on the swim back to the boat,
with gorgeous and curious fish. Some
of them would swim right between your legs checking you out.
After snorkeling we decided it was time to head West, beginning
our journey toward Colón.
Anchor boy doing his job as we approach another deserted
Great snorkel spot
Paradise aka.. Dupsomulubipi the best snorkeling and coral
reefs so far
We anchored in about 8ft of water just off of Dupsomulubipi
Mike with Bipi in the background
There was a great reef around the entire island
Dupsormulubipi or "bipi" for short
Bipi had the BEST reef with tons of coral and
fish, we swam the reef at least 3 different times
The dinghy at Bipi
There were billions of small feeder fish and we had to swim
through the schools
They would all change direction in unison
We hoped there were not any larger fish feeding on this bait ball
as we had to swim through it many times
Elkhorn coral with blue headed wrasse's
A huge school of Blue Tangs, with Parrotfish and Sergeant
Majors, there was a hierarchy within the school that was exciting to watch
Some of the fan coral was 4ft high and 3ft wide it was an
extremely healthy reef
More Elkhorn coral
The gorgeous angelfish we are not sure of the exact type, most
fish would be in the exact same coral head or area everyday we snorkeled
Walter found a hermit crab that had made a home from a
discarded Bahamian Conch Shell
Sea Biscuit found near bipi
Sea Urchins were everywhere, alive & dead
All of the bumps you see on the shell were once the long black
spines, like that of a porcupine
Bottom side of the Sea Urchin
Cangrejos & Langostas - Crabs and Lobsters, local
fisherman came by the boat everyday to sell us seafood and most of the time we
took them up on it, average price for a lobster was $3ea
A dead crab we saw while snorkeling
A shoe fish!
A Starfish in the shallow water and sea grass, we would see
tons of Starfish at deeper depths from 20-40ft, notice the circular pattern dead
One of the gorgeous corals on Bipi, the colors were stunning!
A type of Angelfish
The only Angelfish we saw of this color
A pelican at Dupsormulubipi
Walter and his friend Crabby
Walter on Dupsormulubipi
Last night on Dupsormulubipi at sunset
Walter's final photo shoot
Stray Cat at Sunset
Gorgeous Sunset at Bipi
Stray Cat at anchor on Bipi
Stray Cat in the swells