Emelies Travels -

The San Blas "adventure"
2014-12-24  15:51:00

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 "It's going to be the best trip of your lives. You will Visit the most beautiful beaches in the world."
 
Det var vad alla sa.
 
"Reset all your expectations."
 
Det var vad kaptenen sa.
 
De fem kommande dagarna skulle vi tillbringa på skutan Ave Maria som skulle ta oss från Colombia till tre "untouched islands" i San Blas utanför Panama. Vi var mer än taggade, vilket äventyr. De två första dygnen skulle vi spendera ute på det öppna havet, seglandes mot Panama. En seglats som vi var beredda på att den skulle ta allt från 30 till 40 timmar, ute på ett tufft hav med höga vågor. Vi var fullt medvetna om att denna översegling inte skulle vara speciellt trevlig, då alla vi pratat med mer eller mindre legat i en vrå och spytt under alla dessa timmar. Men trots detta menade dem att det var värt det, upplevelsen vid San Blas öarna skulle radera de sämre minnena från havet. Vi var väl förberedda med sjösjukepiller. 
 
Men det blev inte riktigt som vi hade tänkt oss...
 

English version
 
"It's going to be the best trip of your lives. You will Visit the most beautiful beaches in the world."
 
That was what everyone told us.
 
"Reset all your expectations."
 
That was what the captain said.
 
The next five days we were going to spend on the ship Ave Maria that would take us from Cartagena in Colombia to three "untouched islands" in San Blas just outside of Panama. We were more than excited, what an adventure. The first two days we would spend on the open sea, sailing towards Panama. A sailing trip we knew could take anything from 30 to 40 hours, out on the rough seas with big waves. We were fully aware that the oversailing wouldn't be especially pleasant, everyone we talked to told us that they more or less had been laying in a corner, vomited during all those hours. But despite this they told us that it was going to be worth it, the experience at the San Blas islands would erase the bad memories from the sea. We were well prepared with seasickness pills.  
 
But it didn't turned out as we had imagined it...
 
This is what we expected: (picture from google)
 
This is what we got. A beach coverd by tons of rubbish and vultures eating garbage.
 
Glada och förväntansfulla mötte vi resten av passagerarna vid hamnen innan avfärd. Det är lika så bra att jag presenterar de sex nya vännerna;
 
   - Först ut har vi Charlotte, en tatuerare från England. Med mottot "death is not the worst thing that can happen to man" var hon rädd för det mesta här i livet som skulle kunna bita henne. Till exempel; myror, fiskar, fjärilar... ja, till och med vågor.
   - Sedan har vi Milton, en Brasilienare som rest runt överallt och bott i bland annat Australien. Kunnig i de flesta ämnen men hade framför allt oväntade kunskaper inom djur och natur. En ganska tokig man.
   - Vårt enda par i gänget - Megan och Trevor från Kanada.
   - Sam från Australien, gruppens tonåring (21) och spillevink. Han verkade för det mesta ha växtverk i fötterna då de oftast klättrade på väggar, i tak och i andra passagerares ansikten.
   - Lilla Danny, Sam's högra hand, även han från Australien. Den optimistiska och alltid glada grabben i gänget.
   - Och så var det vi, systrarna Sverige såklart, jag och Christine. Skärgårdsseglarna som skulle berätta för alla om segling, men som aldrig lyckades få vett i kaptenen.
 
Åtta obekanta samlade på en främmande segelbåt, vilandes i händerna på kaptenen Paul, 54, från Australien tillsammans med sin Colombiska själsfrände och kock Sindry, 32.
 

English version
 
All happy and excited, we met the rest of the passengers at the port before departure. Here's the six new friends;       
   - First up there is Charlotte, a tattoo artist from England. With the motto "Death is not the worst thing that can happen to man", she was afraid of most things in life that could bite her. For example; ants, fishes, butterflies... yes, even the waves.    
   - Then there is Milton, a Brasilian who has traveled around the world and lived in Australia amongst others. Knowledgeable in most subjects but had particularly unexpected knowledge of animals and nature. A pretty crazy man.    
   - Our only couple - Megan and Trevor from Canada.    
   - Sam from Australia, the teen of the group. He seemed to have growing pains in his feet as they usually climbed on walls, ceilings and other passengers' faces.    
   - Little Danny, Sam's right-hand, also from Australia. The optimistic and always very happy guy in the group.
   - And so it was us, the Swedish sisters of course, me and Christine. Sailors who would tell everyone about sailing, but never managed to get some sense into the captain.  
 
Eight strangers gathered in an unfamiliar sailing boat, resting in the hands of the captain Paul, 54, from Australia with his Colombian soul mate and cook Sindry; 32.
  
Danny, Sam, Megan, Charlotte, Milton, Christine and I
 
 
Det var dags att ge sig av. Vi hoppade i en gummijolle för att ta oss ut till Ave Maria, väl förberedda med svarta sopsäckar runt våra stora backpacks för att skydda dem mot den tropiska fukten där de skulle hållas förvarade under hela resan. Våra dagsväskor däremot slängdes ned underst i jollen utan skydd, och det visade sig att jollen läckte in vatten så det var ett gäng plaskblöta väskor som bars ombord den kvällen. Min kamerautrustning låg och badade i väskan tillsammans med min laptop, det gällde att försöka hitta ett torrt ställe att förvara dem på för att undvika skador. Det var dock omöjligt då varenda hylla, låda och vrå var belamrad av Pauls kläder.
 
   - This is my home, not a luxury hotel. Don’t put sand or saltwater in my boat, öppnade Paul skepparmötet med. Han fortsatte:
 
   - Reset all your expectations, I’m not an entertainer. If you want to have a good experience, it’s up to you to make it happen. I need help steering during the nights, and this is only a job for guys, not girls.
 
Enogh said. Det var inget snack om säkerhet ombord, var vi hade flytvästarna eller hur man skulle agera på en båt. Det var ju trots allt ett gäng landkrabbor ombord som skulle hjälpa till att segla en båt över ett av världens tuffaste hav. Vi lyckades hitta flytvästarna själva ifall att de skulle behövas, och vi lokaliserade livbåten ombord. Sex passagerare kunde den ta, men vi var 10 ombord. Vi hade ju också gummijollen, som i och för sig läckte in vatten – så summa av kardemumma – fyra av oss skulle vara körda ifall något gick snett. Vårt företags slogan var ”The safest and most secure way to San Blas” så vi tänkte inte så mycket mer på det.
 
Leaving the harbour in Cartagena, Colombia
 

English version
 
It was time to leave. We jumped in a dinghy to go out to Ave Maria, well prepared with black garbage bags around our big backpacks to protect them from the tropical moisture where they would be kept throughout the journey. Our daily bags were thrown down at the bottom of the dinghy without protection, and it turned out that the dinghy was leaking water. It was a bunch of soaking wet bags that were carried on board that night. My camera equipment was bathing in the bag along with my laptop, I had to find a dry place to store them in order to avoid injury. However, it was impossible since every shelf, drawer and corner was cluttered by Paul's clothes.      
 
   - This is my home, not a luxury hotel. Do not put sand or saltwater into my boat, captain Paul opened the meeting. He continued:      
 
   - Reset all your expectations, I’m not an entertainer. If you want to have a good experience, it’s up to you to make it happen. I need help steering during the nights, and this is only a job for guys, not girls.
 
Enogh said. There was no talk about safety on board, where the life jackets were or how to act on a boat. It was after all a bunch of landlubbers on board that would help to sail a boat over one of the world's roughest seas. We managed to find the lifejackets on our own in case they were needed, and we localized the lifeboat on board. It could take six passengers, but we were 10 people on board. We also had the rubber dinghy, which in itself was leaking water and air - so the sum of this - four of us would be screwed in case something went wrong. The slogan of our company was "The Safest and most secure way to San Blas" so we did not think much more about it.
 
 
På väg ut blev vi stoppade av hamnpolisen för att vi hade för lite lanternor på för att segla över natten, men på något sätt lyckades Paul komma undan med det och vi fortsatte iväg. Det dröjde inte länge förrän havet började ta över de förväntansfulla vännernas humör. Det var redan sent på natten, så Sam som var först ut med grönt ansikte skulle försöka sova bort sjösjukan och begav sig in till vår hytt i förpiken. Dålig idé, där framme var det som en bergochdalbana så efter fem minuter kom han ut igen och gödde havet. Därefter fortsatte det, en efter en...
 

English version
 
On the way out we were stopped by the port police because we didn't have enough lanterns to sail overnight, but somehow Paul managed to get away with it and we went off. It did not take long until the sea began to take over the mood of the friends. It was already late at night, and Sam was the first out with a green face. He wanted to try to sleep his seasickness off so he went into our room in the forepeak. Bad idea, up front, it was like a roller coaster so after five minutes he came out again and fed the sea. Then it continued, one by one ...
 
 
To be continued....
 
 
Jobba i Australien och Kanada


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Welcome to my blog! I'm writing mostly in Swedish, but feel free to use the google translation tool to read it in your language.
Stockholm, Sweden
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My photography interest started in 2012 when I did my snowseason in Canada. I bought my first DSLR in December 2013 and since then I've been practicing on my own, always trying new things and ame for getting better photos.
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Emelie Persson
Stockholm, Sweden



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In this blog I'm writing about my life as a backpacker and a seasonal worker. I've been traveling the past five years and just can't stop. I'm simply too dependent and the grass is always greener on the other side they say... I hope to inspire and help other Travellers by sharing my experiences through this blog. If there's any questions, don't hesitate to write a comment or contact my mail. And remember, a little comment will inspire me to write more often!


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