Panama Pacific Coast 2010

N 07° 17' W 81° 47'

A little disappointed

May 14, 2010

On Friday morning (May 14th) we left Ensenada Hermosa in search of better snorkeling conditions.  With a light headwind we motored 16 nm south along the rugged and attractive southwest coast of Isla Coiba arriving in the early afternoon at the eastern end of the north shore of Isla Jicaron (3 nm south of Coiba).  We were encouraged by finding the boat “Lost Island Explorer” in the anchorage and seeing a couple of small boat-loads of divers/snorkelers return to it for lunch.

However, the water visibility was poor all around the anchorage so we quickly gave up our attempt to snorkel on the small coral reefs that we could see near shore.  There is supposed to be very good diving in clear water at the south end of this island so that is probably where the others had been but the swells were enough to discourage us from exploring that far in the dinghy without knowing that we would find something better.  We went over to see if we could ask anyone on “Lost Island Explorer” for suggestions of where to go but apparently everyone had gone out fishing (or were sleeping) so we were none the wiser.

Like Isla Jicaron is uninhabited and it was again reassuring to hear the howler monkeys and know that this was a relatively undisturbed, wild place.  But with large waves deterring us from trying to land the dinghy on the steep beaches we were now starting to think that we needed to go to the Park Headquarters to find out what we could see in the water or on land that would make our visit worthwhile.  It seemed a bit harsh to say that we were rather disappointed with our experience of Parque Nacional Coiba but we felt sure that there had to be something more that we were missing.

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