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Southwest Caribbean

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The SW Caribbean.  The San Blas Islands are just under the Panama nametag
The SW Caribbean. The San Blas Islands are just under the Panama nametag

There was considerable discussion on Ocelot about what to name this area.  Since leaving Las Aves, we are definitely out of Venezuela.  The ABC's (Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao, though they are not in that order geographically) are part of the Netherlands Antilles (Dutch, but not very European.)  They have a very different culture from Venezuela, but are actually still north of the Venezuelan coast.  We decided that since they are not part of Venezuela, we would combine everything between Venezuela and the Panama Canal into the Southwest Caribbean.

We did not actually stop in Aruba this time, but sailed straight from Curacao to the San Blas Islands of Panama.  The sail took just under 4 days.  It was by far our longest passage at the time, and in some ways, our least comfortable sail ever.  We did not have much trouble for the first day and night, but then the winds piped up, the seas grew and we were in the area Sue has come to call the Caribbean Caldera.  It was with great relief that we arrived in the San Blas Islands off Panama where the winds had died to a nice 15 to 20 knots and the seas were flat, ironed out by the rimming reefs.

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