Adventure Sail to Panama


Rio Diablo - Nargana - Corazon de Jesus


October 19th - 26th, 2007

Nargana was only a short trip away from the Coco Banderos Cays, so we made the trip in the early afternoon while the light was still good for “eyeball navigation”.  Nargana and its’ sister island Corazon de Jesus, are said to be the most modern islands in Kuna Yala.  The people there have partly given up the traditional Kuna way of life and embraced a more modern way of life.  We needed provisions for the boat, and we were looking forward to dinner out, so we pulled in and anchored next to Nargana, very near the Rio Diablo.  We were also looking to take a few side trips in this area, so Nargana was going to be the place where we would look for a “fixer” – a local who could make some arrangements for us.

We had just gotten Stray Cat anchored when the “Kuna Navy” made its’ appearance - 3 Cayucos, full steam ahead towards the boat.  As usual, there were lots of women and children with Molas and jewelry, but one cayuco was manned by none other than Federico.  Federico Morales was “the fixer” that we had been looking for!  He handed us his card that said “Tour Guides &Yacht Services”.  In about half an hour of conversation and negotiation, Federico had taken our 6 bags of trash for us, set up a trip for us on the Rio Diablo for the following day and he was going to arrange a visit with a traditional Kuna Village on Isla Tigre.  Perfecto!! 

Our guidebook agreed with Federico on which restaurant was the best on the island, so we headed over to Nargana in the dinghy for dinner at Nali’s, and Federico joined us there.  We ordered dinner and while it was being prepared, Federico gave us a tour of the village.  They had a school, a bank, a library, a volleyball/basketball court, stores, hotels and many homes or huts.  Most huts even had satellite television!  Children were running and showing off for us everywhere.  The boys walked on their hands and the girls smiled and giggled and they all wanted you to take their pictures, and then to see their pictures on the LCD screen.  Walter had the huge professional video camera, and was filming the whole scene – he caused quite a stir among the children as they reveled in the opportunity to be on TV.   All of the people we met and talked to were very nice, and you could tell that they had very big hearts.

We headed back to Stray Cat in the dinghy after a good dinner of langostinos, chicken (pollo), rice, potato salad and cole slaw - the motor sputtered a little but got us home – in the rain. 

Los Montanas de Panama

Making passage is a great time to read

We had some wind!

Nargana, the most modern island in all of San Blas

Lots of outhouses and pig cages were set up over the water so "the business" would go right into the water 

The yellow sign on top of the outhouse says "Nali's Cafe", Nali's was a restaurant that we frequented in Nargana

The local kids were very friendly and loved to see their picture in the camera lcd screen

It looks like bunny ears are universal

The Pharmacy and the health office

The maternity ward on Nargana

Malaria is a big problem on the mainland

This was one of the nicer huts on the island, through the front door you can see the television

More local children, they were making their dog smile

The kids were very creative and they had made a swing here

Some of the locals were talented in weaving the bamboo and creating beautiful designs

Tarps were also incorporated for weather proofing

The local people were excellent volleyball players

The local kids could all walk on their hands

The kids would play chicken and fight with their feet 

They loved to show off

National Bank of Panama - Nargana Branch - We were able to get change for $100 bills here

Federico our local guide & Kate

One of the local restaurants

More glamour shots

One of the leaders of the Kuna People

Hammin' it up for the camera

Nali's boat dock and their cayuco, notice the bathroom at the end of the pier on the left

Lunch at Nali's

The boats and the bano

Nali's transportation

Breakfast consisted of heuvos and papas fritas or eggs and french fries

The Kuna People are a beautiful community

Capt Mark and the dinghy

A Colombian Supply boat is on the right side, they would bring rice, sugar & veggies and they would buy coconuts from the locals

The opposite side of the sign at Nali's Cafe read Moyo's Place - The sign is on top of the bath-hut

More supplies being brought in to Nargana

The kitchen at Nali's Cafe

Our Table at Nali's

The toilet at the end of the pier at Nali's, it was a hole and there were large fish hanging around underneath 

Our first Dolphins of the trip

A plane coming in to the El Corazon de Jesus Aeropuerto

Just a couple of bananas left

Stray Cat under sail

Stray Cat's starboard side

The photo shoot

The island of Corazon is just across from Nargana and at this time is only accessible by boat, the boat of school children had just pulled in, that huge cayuco was made from a tree!

Walter, Federico & Capt. Mark in the dinghy on their way back from a shopping trip on Corazon

Walter, Federico, Kate & Capt. Mark

Local Flora

Flowers outside of one of the local huts on El Tigre 

The Volleyball/Basketball Court, very popular games in Nargana and even in the traditional Kuna Village 

Tienda Eidi was the store where we bought supplies, "Eddie" was Federico's brother and it was one of the best stores on Nargana

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