Location: San Blas Islands

It’s 2305, and the day has felt like a week. The amount we are able to pack into the 24-hour day is a feat I never imagined possible. Today I walked out into the galley to see the chefs frantically whipping up banana pancakes. Music was blasting, and bowl after bowl of a new concoction was being cheffed. The batter was giving them trouble, and perfecting the consistency seemed nearly impossible. Each time an edible pancake was successfully cooked, all three chefs would shout for joy. My favorite phrase was, “Now THAT’s a f*ing pancake!!” We decided to do later wake-ups, and the crew was thankful for the extra time in our bunks. The sweet smell of banana pancakes wafted through the salon and into the cabins tickling the noses of a very hungry crew.

We all got up on deck and ate quickly to move into our full day ahead. When we came up this morning, we were met with a new view. The staff woke up at 6 am and got us underway to a new anchorage where we were surrounded by small, mostly uninhabited islands on all sides. The most notable is called barbecue island, known for the man who lives and barbecues on the island. We heard rumors that, if allowed, we would have a barbecue there tonight. After breakfast and cleanup, we split into the same two groups from yesterday and switched activities. Half of us had Nav master, and the others worked on our Rescue Diver certifications. I was in the rescue diver group, which could also be considered an acting class. In our many different roles, we had to drown, panic, exhaust, save, comfort, and, most importantly, rescue. The Nav master class went well – no one cried this time.

We then moved into lunch and had some delicious quesadillas for lunch in the scorching sun. An oceanography class followed cleanup. It was so hot outside that the sweat-inducing salon provided cool relief. We discussed the composition of water, its polarity, covalent bonds, and more. Once finished, we all scurried off into our cabins to get ready for BBQ island. Tom was able to get in touch with the barbecue man, the only inhabitant of the island. His name is Julio, and he said we could bring all of our food with us, cook it over the fire, and he would try to catch some seafood for us. The chefs prepared supplies for burgers, and we bagged them up to be brought over.

We were shuttled to the island by dinghy, which took about 7 minutes. Once we arrived, we had a few free hours, which were spent playing volleyball, walking around the island (it takes about 5 minutes), snorkeling, lying in the sun, lounging in hammocks, and of course, digging holes. As the sun set, beers were being shuttled to the island, and the crew rapidly cleared out the island’s entire supply (EDITOR’s NOTE: the crew each had two beers, which did clear out the island’s supply, but that’s why they’re called barbeque island and not beer island). The roasting of burgers began, and the warm fire felt nice after being in the cool island breeze. The burgers were being churned out with speed, and we all scattered around different parts of the island and ate.

Julio and a few of his friends had caught lobsters for us earlier, and they were roasted just after the burgers were done. I did not witness it, but apparently, the lobsters were violently slaughtered (they were cut in half), leaving some of us disturbed. They were then roasted on the grill and cracked open by the crew. They were sweet, tender, and delicious.

We all sat on the beach and talked until it was time to go. The moon was full, and the chilly island night felt refreshing. To get back to the boat, we all hoisted our bags onto our heads and shoulders in order to wade out to the dinghies. We returned exhausted and full of new memories. Sleep was calling, and we were all off to bed.

9 34 .915′ N
78 40 . 685’W

Hog over and out.

P.S. Hi Shnelkes + Bruckermeiers, I hope you’re traveling the Bay in comfooort.