Yestersay we experienced carnival.  And what an experience it was!

After checking into our hostel and a few hours spent pouring over all the local stalls we decided to try out the cinema cafe. And it was the coolest cafe I’ve ever been to. As hard as it is to imagine in the cold back in England…. a dark and airconned room with bean bags and popcorn was seriously the best call of the day! We watched the grand Budapest hotel and stuffed ourselves (mainly me) with popcorn.  5 dollars for the biggest tub you’ve ever seen.  I was so happy!

Back in the blistering heat we watched the carnival start to kick off from the balcony of the hostel.  In bocas the tradition for carnival is for the men to dress up as diablos  (devils) and parade the streets looking for other men to challenge them with sticks  which they then whip.  Boys as young as 8 start off as red devils and can add a bit of black to their costume every year for 12 years. After this they start to add bits of white.  The symbolism behind the tradition is that they are banishing the evil out of their lives. The costumes are all handmade by the locals and are extremely scary looking… hence the lack of photos.. I didn’t stray from the balcony while they were about!

After the diablos had been banished for the day,   Carnival Queens were crowned. Dancing girls (One as young as 3!)
paraded the street followed by their class mates playing local instruments and drums. My favourite drum set was attached to the wheels off a wheelie chair.

There were a local dance group on stage who were brilliant and then kids were asked to come up on stage for dance compititions. Our fav was a little tubby boy who couldn’t dance for toffee but was giving it such a go. It was the funniest, most adorable thing I’ve seen in a while!  It was then the adults turn to humiliate themselves and the English contestant did just that. With dance moves that looked more like he was playing football it  looked like something out of the inbetweeners.
This was then followed by a local band with a terrible singer so we decided to call it a night!

Not so Lazy Sunday

We had the best day off this weekend. The day started well with a breakfast buffet and then a woodland walk to the beach where we let our breakfast settle in the hammocks before hiring surf boards.


Let’s just say I spent more time tumbling in the waves then on them.  The most spectacular being when the front of my board dipped ; throwing me flying forwards over it into the water, with the board then flying over my head with the wave and dragging me with it.  However through some stubborn determination I did manage to crouch surf all the way back in on my final go so all was not lost!  Despite the tumbles and the flamboyant bruises that went with them I am absolutely loving surfing. Hopefully by the end of our voyage I’ll be half decent!

After a super quick shower and turn around we then took a 30 minute boat ride through all the mangrove swamps ( no crocodiles spotted mum!) to the green acres chocolate tour.  Instead of taking us to a big factory like we expected , the Green Acres chocolate company actually consists of a house  and a shed set into the most gorgeous botanical garden I’ve ever seen. Robert takes you around his garden showing all the different spices and fruit plants and then afterwards takes you to his shed to explain how he turns the cacao seeds into chocolate as we know it. The chocolate shed itself was very Heath Robinson as all the “machinery” has to be run off solar panel. To top the tour off Robert’s wife then lets your try her brownies and chocolate rum. All in all a really great tour and well worth the 40 dollars we spent!


Robert our tour guide about to lead us through the Rainforest Garden



Robert’s Shed… Better known as the Panama Willy Wonkas

As if that wasn’t enough we ended the day with a lush BBQ outside ( Josh cooked !) Sometimes busy is GOOD 🙂 x



Red frog Marina and Bocas del toro.


The marina where we are staying is located in the Red Frog Estate on Isle de Bastimentos. While it’s nice…it’s not the real panama experience.  On the other side of the island beach bars like Palmar hostel and Nacho Mamas feel much more authentic than the resort’s restaurant.  And cheaper too!  There’s a beach where you can swim on a calm day and surf on a rougher one.


The running joke here is that it’s the velcro marina. With so many live a boards here it’s honestly true.  There’s a nice little community with everyone piling into the 9.45 am taxi boat to get their daily shopping from the town.


Yes this is the ferry.


Bocas town itself has to be the real gem of this whole place. It’s so bustling with life it’s hard to know where to look. There a real mixture of locals and surfer backpackers. Unlike the quiet tracks of the red frog resort it feels really safe.  For me it’s heaven cause it’s full of surfing boutiques and local craft stalls. Plus there’s loads of cafes selling smoothies and cheap food.  Every where you look there’s a hostel or a supermarket and we’ve been slowing trying out the local restaurants.


The highlight of the whole town has to be buying a bikini from a guy who knows Richie Ramone. It’s carnival next week and he’s supposedly visiting him.. I’m definetly going to have my eyes peeled on the look out as we watch the festivities !


In hindsight we perhaps didn’t need to stay so long but there’s so much to explore it really hasn’t mattered. To anyone visiting Panama it’s a must. It’s not like anywhere you’ve ever seen before.

The darker side of paradise

For a while as a kid Ellen Mcarther was my hero. But I could never understand why she gave up the sailing and got so keen on eco matters… that is until I started to sail further afield.

To try and put it in a tangible way..I’ve caught more plastic bags then I have fish, I’ve not been on a single delivery where I havent seen a crisp packet float past and every dingy ride I manage to salvage something from the water.

But that’s just whats on the surface. The real danger is when it breaks down into tiny particles and creates a plastic soup which ocean life mistakes for food. The ocean is slowly becoming swamped with it.  So if you have been enjoying reading about my travels… I ask you to take 30 minutes out of your day and watch this film.  It’s very easy watching and features music by Jack Johnson 🙂

Plastic never disappears… it’s time to rethink how we use it!

Someone get me an ice bath!

Blistering hot morning here in bastimentos… ☉😯


We attempted to hide in the shade and service the winches but even that got too much!snapchat-1737512048

It’s far too hot to work and we have no more indoor jobs so we’re spending the afternoon chilling by the pool 🙂


Bocas del toro

Selinas is quickly becoming mine and Josh’s favourite haunt here in Bocas del Toro. Compared to the pricey restaurants in the Carribean it’s quite a change to be surrounded by fellow travellers and backpackers. There’s a real mix of ages, both young and old and the place has a real good vibe to it. The food is so cheap compared to what we are used to and really good; far surpasses what you would expect from a hostel. Plantain chips and black humus is a new favourite snack of ours!

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Every evening here is different and so far we’ve had 90s music night, live techno Indian music and a reggae band. Last night we were eating tea while watching the snow moon in the hope of seeing the lunar eclipse.  There was a moment of brief excitement at 7.43 ( the proposed best time to see it) when the moon went black until Josh shattered my illusions by pointing out the rain clouds…20170209_213209

Passage one complete! ⛵🌍


8 days, over a 1000 miles and we have crossed the carribean sea. 🌊   Luckily the weather has been pretty kind.. we had consistent 20-25 knots ENE, occasionally gusting 30. Although we did spot 40 when Josh was in the shower hhaha.  Sailing downwind using only the genoa (front sail ) poled out made for a super safe and relatively easy first passage.


That said the swell has been horrendous! Sleeping whilst constantly being rolled over has been interesting and a few dinners have been quite a challenge!

Sadly apart from a few flying fish not much wildlife seen at all.. I’m surprised we didn’t see much dolphins on such a long passage… although David thinks he saw a shark.  But I’m trying not to think about that!


The stars on night watches have been phenomenal and Josh has been teaching me the constallations. Hoping to know them all by the end of our pacific adventure. ☄


We’re all very much looking forward to a rest and some time on land now. Although i am writing this at 3am because I’m currently still in watch mode 😂


Hoping panama will be a fun place to explore 🙂

Goodbye Carribean :'(

The hardest part of sailing by far is always the goodbyes. I’ve met so many amazing people out here and after two seasons of it being my home ground it’s incredibly sad to leave it all behind.

After saying all our goodbyes in Rodney Bay the week before, we spent our last night in the beautiful Marigot bay before setting off at a very leisurely midday!


Luckily goodbyes usually mean seeing somewhere new and the Carribean sea is waiting to be crossed! ⛵🌴