Tuesday, April 10, 2018

YOLO folks in Puerto Lindo, Portobelo Mar 2018

Puerto Lindo/ Linton Bay Marina
Jason and I spotted these tiny jellyfish on the dock at Linton Bay Marina.  They were very pale pink, ringed with blue tentacles in a fringe, smaller than a quarter.  The high tides and winds from a squall washed them up onto the dock and into the corners of the slips.
The police search a backpacker boat for drugs.  The men climbed all through the boat and there were divers checking underwater.  They found nothing, but the police here are vigilant and this search seemed quite thorough.
All the tiny blue dots are the jellyfish.  Someone thought they might be baby Portuguese Man-O-War as they'd had a major influx of them a few weeks earlier.  The adults were no longer a threat here, but perhaps they left behind these prodigy to grow into stinging menaces.
One of the squalls had boats dragging all around us.  This one blew past in the driving wind and rain.
At the dock in the little vilage of Puerto Lindo, these men were preparing a line to make a new fishing net.
They cut off all the old bits and pieces, keeping just the starting line and the little brown floats.
A weird flower or growth on a plant as we walked around.
I liked the bright colors on this house in the fenced in compound.  Bright magenta outlined the bright yellow-green.  A nice job, too.
Rows and rows of cages for birds and animals in this compound.  You could hear the howling, barking dogs, and birds calling from the boat in the bay below.  I could identify the loud calls of peacocks, but never saw any roaming the property.  The owners supposedly breed/rehabilitate captured birds and animals to release back into the wild, but I have my doubts. There were hundreds of cages built into the side of the hill here. You can see a colorful mackaw in one of the cages top left.

Red bamboo growing, a striking plant.
Another catamaran named YOLO was anchored nearby. We've seen 4 or 5 other boats named YOLO in our travels.
This Dockwise ship is used to transport other ships.  Many yachts use this service to move boats from SE Asia into the Med rather than sail through the dangerous waters off of Somalia and fight the winds up through the Red Sea.  The ship floods its holds and boats float on, get welded in place and then the ship pumps out the water again.  At the destination, the ship is again flooded and the boats float off the transport.
Dangerous squalls come through this area as evidenced by the many wrecks strewn around the anchorages.  We counted 13 in this one bay.
Steve taking a ripe plantain in to leave on a picnic table to try to draw the monkeys on this island across from Puerto Lindo.  Monkeys are known to come sit on your shoulder if you have bananas or plantains, but get upset and aggressive when you try to leave, so we were warned to stick to the dinghy as they won't go into the water.
The dock is history and the house on shore is abandoned. We never saw the monkeys here.
The remains of an old fort on the shores of the bay of Portobelo.
The town of Portobelo. The church and the Customs House were the biggest and most important buildings in the old town. 
The ramp and remains of an old Spanish fort from the mid 1700's. 
Mother Nature is trying to reclaim this part of the fort, but you can still see the blocks cut for the building of the structure.
An upscale souvenir shop with lots of original artwork for sale.  This mask has a long toothy front to it.  Could be Wile E. Coyote on a bad day.
This golden iguana was interesting.
Pretty fish paintings on the wall.
Colorful frog painting.
A fellow cruiser we met used to be a zookeeper and said monkeys get bored and play with themselves a lot, so this monkey playing with himself is pretty realistic. I don't think I'd want it in my living room, though.
What does an octopus need with a pocket watch?
This one took me a bit to understand.  Even Superman has bad days, I guess.
The old Customs House in Portobelo, being restored.  This was once the most important building in the region, as every gold bar and treasure came through these doors to be evaluated and taxed and tallied before being put onto a ship bound for Spain, filled with the treasures from Peru, Ecuador, Chile, etc.
We met Sandy when we first landed and she told us the story of the Customs House.  The walls are chunks of coral cut so you can still see the fanning out of the coral as it grew.  I've heard the pink tinge of the mortar came from pig's blood.
A few trees starting to grow in the roof of the Customs House. 
Heading down the street towards the second of four forts around this bay.  You can see the stone tower in the center.
Canoes next to the entrance to the fort.
The view just inside the gate.
The date of 1758 is still legible in the stone above the gate into this second fort.
The stone and tile tower on the corner.  Just like the ones in Cartagena.
The road between the Customs House and the main town plaza.  You can see the scaffolding for the restoration.
Purple is an unusual color for the trim on a church, but it was pretty.  The Church of San Felipe is the home of the Black Christ, a wooden statue dating back to about 1814. 
People come from far away to make pilgrimages to the Black Christ.  Some believe miracles have been attributed to this carving.  I heard it was on a ship that tried to sail out of the harbor several times and was turned back by bad weather each time.  The crew attributed the bad luck to the Black Christ statue and threw it overboard.  They then were able to leave the port. The statue washed ashore and has been here ever since. Souvenir stands outside the church sell lots of trinkets representing the statue and associated religious wares.
The original Captain Jack's, a bar/restaurant/hostel that was owned by our friend Jack, who we met when he was finishing his first circumnavigation in Carriacou many years ago.  This locale was sold and he's moved to Buenaventura, a more upscale location.
The outside approach to the previous Captain Jack's.  A bit rustic.
Driftwood art on the shelf at the restaurant/bar.
Pirate ship painting on the wall.  Pirates were a popular theme for Captain Jack.
Turtles in a tile pool in someone's front yard along the road in Portobelo.
Parts of the overgrown fort structure in Portobelo.
A pretty white flower growing in the cracks between the rocks of the ruins.
We wandered through the fort remains nearest to where we were anchored.
A description of the fort design in English on a sign outside the fort.
The old gun port windows in the walls of the fort.
The forts are in pretty good shape after a couple of hundred years of non-use. This one is San Fernando.
Jason in the fort.  Canons were everywhere.
Stone, coral and bricks were used to make the walls.
The deep rooms looked dark and uninviting, with tiny white stalactites starting to form.  Only the flash of the camera allowed me to see the far end at all.
Tourists are brought here by the busload.  They load into launches and head out to the neighboring islands or wander the fort ruins.
One corner of the fort.
Long lines of cannons pointing out the gaps in the walls.
Forever Young at anchor in Portobelo, as seen from the fort ashore.
Looking back at the cannons from the outside corner.
Karen at the San Fernando fort in Portobelo.
Jason inspecting the canons along the wall.
A seaside corner tower.
The tourist boats lined up at the dock to take them to somewhere else.
Canon end.
The clay bricks embedded into the ground along the wall.
A gate into the fort.  Jewelry maker uses its shade to sell his wares.
Across the bay, the water leads back into the mangroves quite a ways.  We took the dinghy as far as the water allowed.  At this point, the stinky mangrove mud got in the way; the water was too shallow for our outboard to continue down the alleyway of trees, but kayaks come up here and could go through a bit farther.
More wrecks in the bay of Portobelo.  It looks very sheltered, but a crazy wind from the west can do a lot of damage if  your anchor won't hold in shifting winds.
The statue of the Black Christ on display during Easter week.
A religious celebration included this evening procession of the statue through the town.  Children dressed in flowing robes, backed out of the church in front of the statue on its raised platform.
We watched as the statue was paraded past us by men bearing it on their shoulders and dancing/swaying in step to the band playing behind them.  It never was still enough to get a good photo.
The Black Christ was carried out and across the square by 16-20 men with the platform on their shoulders.
The procession drew quite a crowd.
Musical accompaniment was provided by these players following the statue.
Trumpets were included in the music.
As were statues of what we believed were Joseph
and Mary, with a halo around her head.
Inside the church, along the walls, are tombstones of folks in the crypts in the walls.  They date back to the 1800's.
Jason and I walked to the top of the hill of this overgrown fort strutcure.
The Dockwise ship was taking on another dredger ship as its cargo.  We watched as it flooded its hold and the tugboats maneuvered the dredger into place. The water was then pumped out to refloat the Dockwise ship.
A view of the anchorage from the hilltop above the fort.
Delicate flower in the volcanic and coral blocks.
Karen at the top of the hill behind the fort.  This used to be part of the fort, but has now been overgrown.  The back side is a steep dropoff.
Forever Young from the hilltop.  The one just to the left of center with two masts.
The town of Portobelo from the hilltop above the fort.
Steve down in the fort taking pictures.
Looking out across the fort.
Another entrance at the back wall of the fort, along the road.
Looking through the back entrance.  We were impressed by how well these forts have stood time through all the weather and tourists climbing all over them.
Pretty flowers growing along the road.
Jacaranda tree in bloom near the monument to a person.
Looking up the hill from the jacaranda tree.  You'd never know we were just feet from a town.
An old thatched roof on a large building in town.  I'm sure it was once part of the fort buildings, but we didn't have much info provided about the fort.
A painting of the Caribbean on the wall of a building.
A bigger view of the building and the painting of the Caribbean.
Jason entering the fort at the other end of town.
The coral, lava rock and bricks were used to build these forts.
The canons face out to the bay.
You can see wrecks outside the fort, but they are recent, not shelled by canon balls.
The curved walls are a nice touch.
The clay bricks wear over the centuries in different ways and at different rates.
The well in the courtyard of the fort.
This is where the prisoners were kept.
Jason on a fort wall.  The doorway on the lower left leads to where the prisoners were kept.
The rounded towers are at the corners of the forts.
Karen selfie at the corner.
A wrecked sailboat just off the fort.
This was where the Spanish kept the powder and shot.  Now it's a flooded storage area, but still standing.
Just outside the walls, life goes on as normal here in Portobelo.
Canon view through the fort wall.
Jason is strong, but so are the walls.
Interesting brickwork in the arch of the entrance.
Near the entry/exit into the fort.
The corner of the fort near the town street entrance.
Spare canons lie in the grass.
A local boat and the beach just outside the wall.  I found several bits of old china and glass along the beach in a quick walk here.
Jason waiting near the tower for me to finish combing through the beach for treasures.
The curved edging along the wall caused us to wonder if it had a purpose.
Karen just outside the entrance to the 1758 fort.
The old tile roof pieces and broken bricks pile up outside the wall of the fort.
The peeling blue paint on this large door caught my eye.
An interesting bench seat at a local microbrew bar.  We never saw the bar open.
Painting on the wall of another building in the bar area.
Another fanciful painting on a wall of the courtyard area.
Colorful painted sticks (for walking?) hanging in a window of the souvenir shop/art gallery.
Calabash tree with fruit hanging over the walkway.  People use the calabash fruit to make bowls and cups, or carve into pictures.  It turns hard and brown when it comes off the tree and leaves a hard shell, suitable for carving.
The wall of a home next to the dinghy dock we used to get to shore.
Another part of the wall painting.
The dinghy dock we used was meant for this little bar/restaurant.  We ate bratwurst there one day.  The owner has a German butcher in Panama City that provides her with German meats, a real treat.
That Dockwise ship with its dredger loaded and pumping out its water.  Dockwise provides a float on/float off transport service for other vessels.  This one is almost pumped out.
We found the new Captain Jack's in the Bongo Hotel at Buenaventura, the next bay along from Portobelo.  This piece of driftwood is carved into a semblance of Jack's boat, Fantasy.
Some unusual decorations on the bar at Jack's.
Our friend Jack's new location in Buenaventura.  The place seems to be doing well and was the fanciest place we'd been in our time here.  We missed Jack, but we bought a couple of beers and had his bartender take our photo to show him we'd come to visit.
The Dockwise ship nearly pumped out as we left Portobelo.
A closeup of the front edge of the dredger.  It was a pretty tight fit to get it onto the carrier ship.  It took forever for the whole process, but it was interesting to watch.

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