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Harshbargers St. Martin

Harshbargers Return

Clinton, Daryl, Jeanne, Elise, and Bob Harshbarger, plus Chris and Amanda
Chris Clinton Amanda Daryl Jeanne Elise & Bob Harshbarger

February 17 - February 23, 2003

All of us - Hackings and Harshbargers - felt that the first trip to Ocelot by Jeanne, Bob, Clinton, Daryl, and Elise was much too short.  They came for six days in 2002, while we were still in St. Martin preparing Ocelot for cruising.  We considered several times that they might return, and eventually they ended up coming back for the same time they had before... winter break, when the kids get off school.

The gorgeous and peaceful Devil's River
The gorgeous and peaceful Devil's River

We were all glad when the Harshbargers returned, this time to the gorgeous San Blas Islands of Panama.  We had only recently completed our passage to get there, and had made that rough trip just to make sure we would be there for them!

That first day was a long one.  The first thing we did together once they were aboard was take the dinghy up the Rio Diablo and show them the gorgeous Panamanian rainforest.  They were thrilled by the green trees and magnificent hawks, vultures, and parrots flying overhead, as well as simply the sounds of the animals around us.  After going up the river, we got back to town and ate lunch at a cute little outdoor-eatery on the water, where our friends discovered the true taste of conch, squid, and octopus.  A "short" walk around the island and over the bridge to the other part of town introduced them, as well as us, to the local and colorful Kuna Indians.

Ahhh... Clear water and coral reefs
Ahhh... Clear water and coral reefs

But our friends the Harshbargers hadn't come to see the dusty, hot, and still Diablo Village (Devil's Village?), they had come to see the beautiful palm trees and sandy beaches of the San Blas Islands!  So, that very first day we hoisted sail and meandered on over to Green Island, where all nine of us spent a busy afternoon and evening working to have as much fun as possible.  We snorkeled, we swam, we went ashore to see the islands and the resident Kunas, and we lazed around, simply enjoying the heat and sunshine and seeing each other again after a year.

As we had no horses available, Amanda practiced vaulting on the windsurfer
Amanda practicing vaulting on the windsurfer

The very next morning, the Australian boat Vamp, with two kids on board, arrived in the San Blas.  We had not seen Vamp in about ten months, since St. Martin (after the Harshbarger's first visit.)  Another boat with kids, Wanderer IV, was also in the San Blas, and between the three boats, there were nine kids to swim, snorkel, and play games.  We went to several different anchorages, and enjoyed them all.

Once again, it seemed all too soon that our friends had to leave, to fly back to Panama City and then fly home from there the next day.  We returned to Diablo Village, and went to the same restaurant where we had eaten lunch the first day.  After a fine dinner, we said our goodbyes and went to sleep.  Very early the next morning, the Harshbargers all got in the dinghy and were driven to the airstrip.  However, their flight out was delayed, so they got to come back to Ocelot for about an hour before they actually had to leave.

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