Nancy and Sam welcome you aboard Windfall, our 1977 Maple Leaf sailboat. Windfall is a center cockpit design, 42' length, 13.5' wide, and 40,000 lbs of cruising fun!

On August 7th, 2010 we set sail on our "No Itinerary" world cruise and enjoying the "Cruising Life" very much! It's a wonderful adventure!!

Saturday, August 17, 2013


Yes, it's true...Windfall is now (sadly) for sale and we are back in the good ol' USA..for now.

         As with most things in life you can't do everything...or at least afford to do everything you want at the same time. So, sadly, we've decided to put Windfall up for sale and invest our time, efforts, and future into our new finca (farm)/fruit/apartment property (not sure what to call it really) located on Bastimentos Island.

     We have had GREAT adventures with Windfall, priceless friends made, and sights most people only dream of but never see. But, our new adventure is "Dos Aguas Finca" (Two Waters Farm) and is worthy of all the dreams Nancy and I have. We've so many plans for the property, including building new casitas (small apartments), a new house, plant acres of tropical fruits and native hardwoods, and provide Nancy (and me she added) with all the gardening she/we can handle!   

     We have Bruce (neighbor on the island) who has a PhD in Botany who is currently growing the tropical and native hardwoods (in his greenhouses) for our 7 1/2 acre farm. Luckily, we've also got some great help with the new construction(s) and others to help with the planting of trees, building trails, and so many other needed projects we've got in store.

     It's always a bit of "culture shock" when Nancy and I return to the USA. So many TV commercials, traffic, people, and abundance of things in the stores...don't get me wrong, it's pretty overwhelming to walk into a Super Walmart and see so much stuff for sale! Nancy and I were like kids in a candy store! Oh, and the prices! Gulp! I actually paid 59 cents a pound for bananas and it's $3.99 for ONE pineapple ...of which we have both growing on our farm for free! Oh well.

     Windfall is moored at a safe and secure place for $150/month, not in a marina costing over $500/month - Saving us $350 per month. We plan to stay in the US for about 9 months, giving us needed funds to a least begin the construction process of the new apartments.  We plan on building 5 apartments with one apartment for Ovidio, his wife Camaria, and their 10 year old son.  Needless to say, they are excited for things to get started as well.

     We've had many people working on the property and getting as much cutting and digging done as possible before Nancy and I returned to the US. We've been very fortunate to have Ovidio as our full time property caretaker, he's been working on the property for the last 7 years and knows it better than anyone.  Before leaving, we purchased for Ovidio (and me)  a new gas weedeater and tools to help with the caring of the property, he's been using a machete to cut the grass and weeds and looks forward to using a weedeater!

     Nancy and I are anxious to return back "home" to Panama. Hopefully Windfall will sell before too long and we can focus on our Dos Aguas Finca. Bastimentos really a beautiful place with long sandy tropic beaches and warm's no wonder Bocas del Toro and Bastimentos Island are world tourist destinations... and growing! There is so much to do and see...Best if you come on down and see for yourself! We're easy to get to with the Bocas airport just minutes away...Oh, and don't forget to bring a hammer and shovel!


Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Land Barons of Panama

     It's official, we are the proud owners of property in Panama on Bastimentos island (about 10-15 minutes by dinghy to Bocas). We've got so much work to do now and we're proud to have Ovidio as our land manager/caretaker. We have had many workers on the property from ditch diggers to dirt haulers to tree cutters in preparation for new construction of casitas (small apartments) to begin 2014  and a new home to be built later).

Ovidio our "Land Manager" - He's awesome!
The crew cutting some hardwood lumber with chainsaw

La Jefa (The Boss)

Future site of "Dos Aguas" (Two Waters) Casitas
     We have had 4 workers digging ditches and hauling dirt (mud) to build up the elevation of our new building site. The land in this area gets a lot of rain runoff from the hillside and makes for a swampy ground. We've met Bruce who lives on Bastimentos who has a PhD in Botany and owns 60 acres of tropical fruit and hardwood trees. We hired Bruce to come and evaluate the land as to what specific and native trees we can grow...which includes everything from tropical fruits to native hardwoods.
      Bruce is currently growing many seedlings for us which will be ready to plant when we return next year. We also have plans for a greenhouse/shadehouse to grow many veggies, fruits, and tropical plants for food and for sale. Looks like Nancy is going into the fruit and plant business! Of course we will also grow fruits and nuts for the local wildlife living on the property like Parrots, Monkeys, and Sloths (pretty cool!). 

 We're returning to the USA for work mid- August ...Hey, somebody's got to pay for this living in Paradise! Ha
     We received 3" of rain in one night - July is one of the wettest months for Caribbean Panama. If you have any leaks in your boat trust'll find them! And quickly!
 More blog coming soon! 

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

It's Official...WE LIVE IN PANAMA !

     We've "Gone Native" and bought 7 1/2 acres on Bastimentos Island in the Caribbean! 
     We are in the Bocas del Toro Archipelago of Panama! 

Our view of Hospital Bight...across is Cayo Nancy (really!)
"Two Waters" (Dos Aguas)....Our new adventure!
Windfall at anchor in front of Two Waters
     We were talking to a realtor about what we would like (vs what we can afford) for a piece of property somewhere close to Bocas. Of course our "wish list" was extensive, out of this world dreams, and beyond any reasonable hope of ever finding the "right property." Our realtor, JB (a ex-Texan) said, "I've got goosebumps...I've got YOUR property, and the owner just called to ask what the property is worth! It's not even listed."
Hey Lady! You want to buy Bananas, Mangos, Limons, Coconuts?
     "Ok", we said, "Let's go check this out." We scheduled a trip with JB to nearby Bastimentos Island just minutes from the touristy town of Bocas.
     As we pulled up to the dock, we found there to be 2 hectars (about 5 acres), a good dock with 10' of water around in the small bay/cove, an unfinished house sitting HIGH upon the hillside, with a nice concrete walk way from the dock to the beginning of the hillside then a graveled path leads up to the house.
The lower part of the property...Note: Concrete walkway (The gardener cuts the grass with a machete)
Welcome to the Jungle!  Our backyard!
   The owner, who's husband works for Army Intelligence, has owned the property for 13 years and loves to garden. Apparently, if you work for Intelligence the Army doesn't want you to own property in foreign countries. Hmmmm. go figure!     The property has a caretaker, Ovidio (Oh-bee-dee-oh), who has lived and worked on the property for 7 years.

     We fell in love with the place and all the possibilities it may have in store.
     "Oh my, what a view from the house", Nancy exclaimed! The front view overlooks the small cove/bay (with a dock), "Hospital Bight" (a big bay), and across to "Cayo Nancy"(Nancy Island) - Hmmmm sounds like a set up...or maybe it's "meant to be!" Ha
     We knew we'd make an offer soon, but the property wasn't "listed"...or even for sale yet! The owner was only called JB to ask what the property would sell for.
     The next day as we entered the realtor's office JB said,"I've got some news..some good, some bad. The bad: There is a friend of the owner coming from Virginia to look at the property and he's been to Bocas many times before. The good news: There is MORE property than we thought."  
     Great, we both thought as we looked at each other, now it's out of our range...which is about $1  Dollar! Our hearts sank. JB was excited to tell us that the property NOW has 7 1/2 acres ..... Great.... Oh, and the family friend is due to arrive later this week....Great...just great...Oh, and the water frontage is not 300 feet wide but it's 412'wide!...Great...great...even better..... We both gulped, lowered our heads, and made our pitiful offer.
      As JB called the owner to say we've made an offer and we put money down on the property
     A large partial of land next to the property just sold for $1.2 Million...which has a lot of zero's beyond our price range!  No folks, property is not cheap in Bocas del Toro, there are many "gringo" houses are listed here in the Bocas area for big dollars.
     Within a day our "humble offering" was surprisingly accepted, the owner asked if the new owners would take good care of the property as she really loves to garden and didn't want the land to go to a developer. I told JB we're putting in a new city dump on the property! He just shook his head and laughed as Nancy gave me "The Look." ( I think you know what I mean).
     So, today we're motoring Windfall to the cove and dropping anchor, then walking the property, taking pictures, and exploring our newest Windfall Adventure. Plus, we're going to jump from the dock into the clear 82 degree water, snorkel around the cove, and view the beautiful nearby colorful corals.
     We even have a name for this beautiful land, "Two Waters" or "Dos Aguas" named for the fresh water stream and the ocean waters on the property. 
     From here, well...only time will tell, but there are a LOT of possibilities for the property, it's outstanding views, and it's beautiful location. Yes, it already has many bananas, coconuts, mango trees, Limons, etc...
The famous "Red Frogs" of Bastimento Island...which also come in Orange, Yellow, Green

Our backyard - Ginger flowers and Bananas
     Bastimentos Island ("Supply"in Spanish) is where in 1504 Christopher Columbus resupplied his ships with food and water before setting off on his 4th voyage....Even Chris liked it here! 
     Now, the island is a laid-back tourist destination with nearby world class surfing, marinas, beaches, snorkeling, diving, caves, horseback riding, and many beach-side hostels, villas, and cool little restaurants that offer the most delicious foods you've tasted! Plus, Bocas (town) is only 3.2 miles away - with an airport. Red Frog Marina & Resort. Red Frog Beach and Turtle Beach are just 3/4 mile away, with water taxis to take you anywhere you wish.
     You can look at the property on Google Earth at  9°20'16.23"N  82°11'32.32"W   It should put you on/near the red rooftop of the house.

   We met with Ovidio, the caretaker/gardener, who offered to show us the entire property line. With machetes in hand, off we went into the jungle, chopping our pathway, crossing streams, and following the survey notes to locate the property markers. Luckily, Ovidio had helped with the survey and knew where the corners and property lines lay, without his help we'd had a hard time finding the corners in that jungle!
Getting the GPS locations of the lines - Hey Ovidio! Wait for me!!

Nancy in our natural freshwater "pool"...... It's refreshing!

To walk off some sore leg muscles, Nancy and I took went to the Red Frog beach to check it out and see what's on the "other side." It's pretty cool! With only a couple beach-front bars, this is a very busy surfer/tourist area. Many surfers come to test waves and skill levels. Or, you can just relax on the deck with your sandy feet up and a cold beverage in hand.
Red Frog Beach - On the backside of "our" island (Bastimentos)

Ahhh...beachfront bar, cold beverage, and comfortable chair...Life is good!
Nancy likes this trail with all the pretty plants and flowers

      Our friend David visited from Portland and we were looking for another adventure. We were told how to find the trail that leads to secluded Turtle Beach. So, with water bottles and snorkel masks in hand, three gringos took to the trail.  
The "secret" trail to Turtle Beach
Sam on Turtle Beach
I saw this in a movie!
     With lush tropic islands just offshore and in the background we were treated to an absolutely wonderful 3/4 mile long beach that was all ours. 

 Turtle Beach - and nobody in sight
If you get lost on the trail....Well.....
     Nancy's neice Suzy and boyfriend Ray came aboard Wndfall to visit for a few days.We decided to try the Batimentos Bat Cave tour...and I have to say it was AWESOME! We had a great time, and even got pretty wet as we explored one of the largest caves in Panama...and only a couple miles past our property! FUN!
Ray and Suzy with our guide....Ray will never be the same!

"Panama Sam" going into the dark abyss

New professional spelunkers - Suzy & Ray
     After all our guests left, Nancy and I needed to finish the dock at the property, the end of it was not fully completed. This makes it much easier for Ovidio, Nancy, and I to get from the boats and onto the property. Ovidio stopped by after we had the lumber delivered and started nailing boards on the dock. He said he built the dock 6 years ago and glad to finally finish it! (Thanks Ovidio!)
     We had the pressure treated lumber delivered by a very large caycuco (hand carved from ONE TREE!) 

This is a BIG Caycuco !

Our first construction project for Two Waters !

    Yes, Nancy and I have a lot of work to do, but we also know this is only another chapter of our life's adventure.
When something is right, it falls right into place as the story goes, and for Nancy and I this is another "windfall" in our life. Hang in there with us, we'll be returning to the states for replenishing the bank kitty and to buy a LOT of lottery tickets!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Hotel Windfall is open for business!

Ahh...Smooth sailing! This is what Admiral "Aunt Nancy" likes!!
     Nancy's niece Christine, and her boyfriend Soham, came aboard Windfall currently anchored at Bocas del Toro Panama to visit, relax, sail, and snorkel with us. We think this blog may have had a little to do with making their decision to come easier.
     We met Christine and Soham at the HUGE Bocas airport, and within minutes we were aboard Windfall unpacking the items we  had them bring down...nobody comes to Windfall empty-handed!
      After an introductory Balboa beer and great food served at the Bocas Cantena we made plans for the few days they have aboard. So,the next morning at the crack of ohhh...lets say...10 O'clock... we raised anchor, and set the mainsail. Light winds prevailed so we set our course and motorsailed toward the beautiful Zapatilla Islands. 
     It's the Leatherback Turtle's egg-laying season. Four of the worlds eight breeds of sea turtles lay eggs on the beaches in the Bocas area.
     The weather gods were smiling as we set anchor in crystal clear 84 degree Caribbean water and jumped in. The water was smooth as glass as we dropped the dinghy anchor in the white sand 10 feet below....Perfect! This is Christine and Soham's first time snorkeling and no better place to start than right here and right now! After a quick lesson of..breath in...breath out...Yep! You've got it! Lets Go! They were soon snorkeling like pros. We snorkeled till we were exhausted. 
      The Zapatilla Park Rangers came out and asked if we anchor tonight to please reduce our cabin lights and to not use our anchor light so not to scare the turtles. "No problema," we replied. We could see the red flashlights of the Turtle Conservatory volunteers working on the beach and searching for the turtle eggs. They take it very seriously here.
     That afternoon, with a soft tropic Caribbean breeze blowing, Christine and Soham walked the island  hand in hand as they enjoyed time alone...a little romantic time together is always nice. I picked them up at the beach at sunset and returned to Windfall sitting peacefully at anchor in the mirrored glass water. After a few cold Balboa beers, Nancy made her (now famous) Chicken Satay (peanut sauce with chicken and rice). That evening we sat in the dim lit cockpit with a nice breeze, cold beverage, enjoying the wonderful quite of the Caribbean water splashing gently against the side of Windfall.

Christine getting her first sailing lesson from Aunt Nancy.             

"Captain Christine" at the helm. She has Windfall sailing with mainsail and jib full of 20 knot wind, and heeled 15 degrees!         Nice job Christine!!

     The next day we decided to sail to Dolphin Bay....but the weather gods were sneaky. First they allowed us to sail in beautiful 15-20 knot winds with calm water....Christine and Soham took turns at the helm as we taught basic sailing skills and noticed the winds were picking up. As we crossed the open water toward Dolphin Bay the waves were short choppy and 3-4 feet. NOT what we wanted for our new crew...and hoping "Mal de Mar" (sea sickness) wouldn't show up. We laughed back at the gods as we entered calm Dolphin Bay and dropped anchor in protected water! Ha! Take THAT weather gods!
     With the water calling us to come on in, we jumped in near the mangroves and swam along the colorful coral and fishes. A great day was had by all.  We spotted a couple of dolphins nearby and we went to investigate with snorkels and fins in hand. Gulp! This was a "little" un-nerving for Christine and Soham. They slipped over the side of the dinghy and into the water where they couldn't see the bottom (80-90 feet deep). But, they did great and passed the test with flying colors! No dolphins came near enough to "play" with us...but they were close enough that you could hear their "clicks" of communication in the water!
Three dolphins coming toward the dinghy!
     With our new crew, experienced, and having sailed in "rough" water and near 30 knot winds, we pronounced them as TRUE crew members of Windfall! As an initiation, we just had to show them the movie EVERY sailboat has aboard...."Captain Ron" with Kurt Russel and Martin Short. This is a MUST see comedy for anyone wanting to sail!
     The next day the weather gods were smiling upon the crew of Windfall, we saw a few dolphins in the bay, but decided to dinghy 3 miles to another bay in search of more dolphins to swim with. No luck! BUT...we did find a great place to snorkel with awesome corals, colorful fish, sea anemones, and hundreds of fish hiding in the mangrove roots along the shore. We spent a couple hours just swimming in the tiny cove.

         On our return to Windfall, we spotted dolphins jumping and surfacing near us! Soon, we were in the water....a "little" nervousness was had by our new crew as they jumped into the deep water with dolphins, but brave they were! Soham saw one dolphin below as we swam in the deep water.
      On their last day aboard Windfall Christine and Soham went to the Oreba organic chocolate farm for a wonderful sunny day adventure.  Then, sadly, they returned to pack for the 5P.M. return flight back to Panama City and then Florida. We know they'll be a little slower at work and school as they daydream of snorkeling the warm Caribbean water and snacking on a delicious piece of Oreba Chocolate.....Mmm-Mmm! I think I'll have a piece right now! 

     We are loving the Bocas area, exploring new bays and coves, and enjoying life aboard Windfall...THIS is why we sail!

Enjoy the pictures!

Snorkel time! This is how we roll!

"Expert snorkeler" Christine in action!

 Soham is a natural at snorkeling! Hope the watch is waterproof!
Sam snorkeling 15 feet below and near huge coral
Nancy spotted and Sam retrieved this beautiful live Conch
"Snorkel talking" to each other.....Only they can understand what is being said! "Huu huu huu.. Hum?? Brrr...mumble"  

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

    Whew! We've been busy doing a few repairs (normal for a cruising boat) and getting in some local adventures as well.
    Nancy helped Rick and Sue (SV Moonshine) as they got ready to leave for home in New York, Nancy sewed a cover for an air conditioner to vent into the hatch and help keep the humidity down as well. Rick had Nancy "Miss Windfall" sign the newest edition of Cruising Outpost as Nancy is one of it's centerfold pictures! Congrats to my Centerfold girl, Nancy! 
Nice job Sue and Nancy, that looks like a Professional made it!
    Made special for the Bocas Fire Department a classic 1928 fire pumper-truck. This "special" pumper-truck carries a full copper pump, copper tank, and copper pipes to pump salty sea water to the fire. (note the wood spoke wheels and hard tires)
   For Windfall, Nancy has made a nice Sun shade / Water catchment to to help cool the inside of the boat AND catch the rain water to fill our water tanks during the rainy times. This works great! And, to help keep the inside of the boat cool she made a wind catcher to direct the breeze into the V-birth hatch. Mike and Janet said it worked great while they were aboard...except when it rained and they had to close the hatch! We're looking for a new design to let wind in yet keep the rain out.
Sun shade/Water catchment (under the boom) and wind catcher for the front hatch. (Those are our bikes in the blue bags).

 Colorful Wounaan treasures that Nancy keeps on display inside Windfall

     We took a trip to the Finca los Monos (The Monkey Farm) Botanical Garden, a 30 acre area filled with plants from all over the world. It was beautiful with the flowers, trees, and many ginger plants, some ginger is eatable while others are just beautiful to look at.The Monkey Farm was true to it's name, we spotted several groups of Howler Monkeys, one with a new baby. With a sharp eye out, we spotted a couple Sloths lounging in the crook  a very tall tree about 70 feet up in the air, one Sloth had a small baby hanging on for dear life I'm sure!
Garden owner, Lynn, guided us on a two hour tour of the gardens, she has an experienced crew to help tend the gardens

Damage from a Rhinoceros beetle to a palm tree

A pretty Torch Ginger flower

Passion Fruit (Maracuya) and it's DEE-licious...when mixed with RUM...of course!
     We were sad to see Rick and Sue leave for home, we've sailed many miles together and had some wonderful adventures from Mexico to Panama. They plan to return next January to continue onto the Rio Dulce area of Guatemala. We hope to see them again. Fair winds and full sails Moonshine!
"Ahh Mate, THAT'S not a knife....THIS is a Knife!"
 Our propane ran out! "No problemo" I said (with Spanish accent) we carry two tanks aboard, then I found the "full tank" was not working...the propane's valve wouldn't function and we had to send both tanks to get filled and repaired. So, off to the local hardware store to buy a microwave to fill in while the tanks are away. Rick and Sue loaned us their propane tank till our's returns...which WAS to be one week, but now we hear it may be TWO weeks! Thanks for the tank Rick!
     This morning, we got a call from the Marina office that our new anchor chain and 7 new batteries arrived and will all be delivered Monday! Whew!! Now there's some work waiting for us on Monday. We not only have to remove and install the seven new batteries, but we also have to remove our old chain, stretch out the 250 feet of NEW anchor chain onto the dock and mark the depths with spray paint and colored wire-ties, then wind all the new chain into the chain locker. Monday is going to be busy for the crew of Windfall for sure. Oh, and now the kitchen faucet leaks...and just to give me something to do, it can't be repaired but has to be replaced! Sheesh! Who said the cruising life is easy, I just want those red sunsets and fruity tropic drinks with the umbrellas!
    We got word our friend, Donna, a 70 year old cruiser who lives full-time aboard her boat in Panama City, is going to be here in the Bocas Marina today! She's coming to visit a friend and asked if we'd introduce ourselves to him, come to find out he's at the end of the same dock we're on! Small world for sure. We'll meet them for dinner at the marina's Calypso Cantena here, the cantena has wonderful food, cheap drinks, and live music once or  twice a, the new managers live on their boat docked right in front of Windfall!We love it here!
     Bocas del Toro is a fun little place, a great cruising community, and wonderful places nearby to swim, dive, or sail to for a day if you like. Many cruisers have come for a week and ended up staying for years! We talked with a cruiser who were setting sails for Florida who said they really don't even feel like leaving Bocas! (We understand how they feel).

Friday, March 29, 2013

Bocas and the local islands - WOW!

  Whew! The crew of Windfall has been busy getting ready for Nancy's sister, Janet, and husband, Mike, to come aboard and spend a week here in Bocas del Toro, Panama. Chores have included slicing fresh sweet pineapples, and stocking the boat with all kinds of fresh veggies and goodies to enjoy.
Yummy fresh pineapple!
     Here at the dock is a group of volunteer's with FLOATING DOCTORS who volunteer their medical services to the local community and nearby islands. Nancy was asked to help with a project for an 5 year old girl with cerebral palsy who is blind and mute. The mother had asked for something to help shower her daughter. Soon the eager volunteers were on the dock measuring, cutting, and gluing a PVC frame for a waist high mesh top table.  Nancy sewed the mesh for the table and the next day went with the two other volunteers to take the table to the mother and daughter. I was going to put a picture of the little girl on this blog...I just couldn't, it really rips your heart out. But, the mother was very excited and happy for their "shower table" and couldn't thank them enough...Well done, everyone!

Wonderful volunteers of the Floating Doctors - Project nearly complete

      Mike and Janet arrived eager to see Bocas...after an hour in the warm sunshine I think they saw it all! Ha
    We were soon planning a 3 day sail & snorkel trip to Crawl Cay, Zapatilla Islands, and Bahia Azul.     
     Crawl Cay was great, we dropped anchor in a flat calm pool of blue-turquoise water. Coral and fish were spotted along with one lobster. Lots of snorkel boats come here filled with tourists thirsty for the warm water and cold beers at the nearby beach-side cafes.
     After a breakfast of Nancy's now famous "Banana Pancakes", we managed to motor all the way to the white sandy beaches of the Zapitilla Islands a mere 5 miles away. As you can see in the picture below...there were "horrible conditions" least for sailing that is!
Hey Mike! Are you having a good time? Just look at that water! WOW!   
     We dropped anchor for the afternoon in the crystal clear 20 foot depth and could see the anchor's chain leading all the way to the white sandy bottom. Sadly, Janet came with, or acquired, a stomach bug that kept with her the entire trip thus limiting her water activities and taste for local fares.
That's our NEW anchor buoy !
     The Zapatilla Islands are part of the beautiful Bastimentos National Park where $10 is required to visit for the day...and worth every penny! Snorkeling these two island paradises are exactly as wonderful as you can imagine. The turquoise blue Caribbean water was at a very comfortable 82 degrees, flat calm, light wind, and with enough sunshine to burn the Coppertone Baby! 
   Colorful coral reefs surround both Zapatilla islands. With many tropical fishes, sponges, and giant brain coral as big as a table, it's hard to decide where to go snorkel next!  
Giant Brain Coral

A colorful Bluehead Wrasse hiding among the coral

Whew! Another "rough anchorage" for the crew of Windfall (Bahia Azul)
     We sailed in light winds to Bahia Azul, or Laguna de Bluefield as shown on the charts. The bay is named after the Dutch pirate Blauvelt, who roamed these waters in the 17th century in search of booty...or maybe just looking for great place to snorkel! 
     A fisherman came along side and asked if we wanted to buy his 3 lobsters he had in his canoe. Sure! How much? "Ummmm, $1 each", he said shyly. Soon the dollar lobsters were aboard with promises of more to come tomorrow!
     We met Enrique while taking his boy to school in a canoe. Enrique is the Ngobe (pronounced "No-bee") chief of Punta Allegre (Happy Point). He offered to guide us to a nearby waterfall and to meet his family. Whew! We piled into Blondie (our dinghy) for a trip up the small creek lined with lush jungle vegetation. We docked and begin hiking the trail to the village.  It was a hike uphill then down to see the waterfall, but the views were wonderful and the water was clean, fresh, and cool as we stepped in. Ahhhhhh, that's nice! 
"Chef Enrique" showing us the trail from the dock to the village

Jungle explorers on the hunt for action and adventure

Path with Enrique leading us to the village

New construction...and what a VIEW! WOW! With a nice cool breeze to beat the heat
     Before leaving that afternoon, we watched as several 5-12 year old students canoed back home from school....curious, they turned toward Windfall. Nancy was ready with chocolate chip cookies for all. Let me just say here....wild dogs couldn't have got a cookie faster than those little hands!  "Whoa! Whoa! ONE cookie per student!"   Quickly, manners returned to the cockpit and smiles were on each child's face...with a few little cookie crumbs too. 
About 10 Ngobe students stopped by for chocolate chip cookies

     Sure to his word, our lobster buddy had nine more lobster for the crew of Windfall! Mike gave him $10, then another $5 as the "pescador" (fisherman) cleaned his catch for us...and we learned how to get a little more meat in the process! Yum! 
     He kept the heads and bodies, surely his family will be enjoying a nice lobster bisque for dinner that night...or just lobster soup I suppose.
     As we left the calm bay we were facing 22 knots of wind right on our nose (of course) and 3 foot waves from the open ocean. It made for a choppy ride till we passed into the lee of the Zapatilla islands on our return to Bocas five hours away. 
     With a call from our VHF radio, our friends were waiting at the dock to help catch Windfall's lines. Easy to dock with no wind, but we were a bit worried with 17 knot winds blowing as we entered the marina! Thankfully, the wind died as we entered the marina and a smooth docking was made...Thanks to our crew and helpful friends! (no boats were harmed during this docking)
      The next morning Rick and Sue (Moonshine), with Mike, Janet, Nancy, and I made a trip to the Oreba chocolate farm. First you start with a wild and fast water taxi ride to the mainland, then catch a van to the farm and then begin the hike to the top of the mountain where the Cacao (chocolate trees) grow.
Our water taxi had a Yamaha 200 horsepower motor...and USED IT ALL!

Totally organic and delicious chocolates are grown here!

Our guide showing various edible plants we will be eating with lunch later in the day.
Another path.....UP-hill............ALWAYS UP-hill !

Huff... Huff... Puff.........I think we lost the trail !
We spotted the elusive "Red Frog" in the jungle forest....pretty cool!

Yep! That's a chocolate pod with seeds...the white pulp tastes like melon. Yes, delicious like that too!

These are Nibs. The seeds after being  roasted in a pan over a open fire...the real way to make chocolate.

Nancy working the stone to grind the roasted seeds to make the "original" chocolate.... like they did 500 years ago!

Cocoa pods on the branch and ready for harvest.

First you ferment the seeds with banana leaves for eight days.....
...then you dry in a hot-house.... turning every half hour....for eight more days...

......Then you celebrate with delicious chocolates!

       We had a great time with Mike and Janet aboard and we are looking forward to more family and friends coming along on our next adventures. 
     We enjoyed a wonderful lobster dinner as a going away for Mike and Janet. Sam cooked the lobsters with butter and roasted garlic, Rick & Sue (Moonshine) brought along an awesome fried rice to go with Nancy's nearly-famous coleslaw salad and coconut macaroons were served for a sweet dessert.... YUM!!!

     Hey Nancy! Have you seen the chocolate we brought back from Oreba Chocolate Farm? What? I can't hear you with your mouth full of choco....HEY! SAVE ME SOME!!!
How do you end a great vacation? With a delicious lobster tail dinner with friends and family of course!
Thanks Mike & Janet!