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From San Andres Colombia to Panama via Albuquerque cays

Posted: Sat Sep 24, 2016 5:06 am
by gilana
Tomorrow morning early, we leave San Andres Isla, Colombia after an amazing 6 month visit.

Smiling, happy people, and we got to meet another forum member "Oldpeople" We got over 70 sessions in, and have learned much.
We highly recommend this island as a destination. Far more than just kiting.

We will sail down to the Albuquerque Cays and spend a few days there in crystal clear waters, and perhaps get some kiting in. I think that very few people will have kited there, as the only access is by boat. It is a military area too, so you need permission. I will write a report and hopefully have some pictures to share, if I can find a bag for our cheap Chinese phone. (By the way if anyone has a used GoPro Hero 3 Black to donate, we are here for you, as ours crapped out 3 days after warranty expired, and we have all the accessories, batteries, mem cards etc)

In the meantime here is an aerial picture, Winds are normally Easterly.

We will then go on to Panama to enjoy kiting in the San Blas islands again for the next six months, before returning to San Andres.
IF you want to join us, get in touch!

Re: From San Andres Colombia to Panama via Albuquerque cays

Posted: Sat Sep 24, 2016 9:10 pm
by clckplaya
more infos and more picturessssss, please

Re: From San Andres Colombia to Panama via Albuquerque cays

Posted: Sun Sep 25, 2016 3:56 pm
by Adventure Logs
Too bad you weren't going back around February ish. I'm driving down on a motorcycle and sounds like a fantastic way to cross the gap.

Re: From San Andres Colombia to Panama via Albuquerque cays

Posted: Sun Oct 02, 2016 7:01 pm
by gilana
OK, so after it looked like we had a giant bulls-eye painted on our ass and Hurricane Matthew came our way, we decided to bolt for Panama after spending a week there.

As far as kiting goes, its all about superlatives, awesome wind, awesome colours and scenery, awesome water, awesome chop and awesome sharks!

It would be a foil-boarders paradise, and I think we should organize an offshore foil race from San Andres, then a night of camping on the islands and a race back the next day. For me it was too choppy, and I kept losing the edge when trying to pop. But let me tell you about the shark.

I had tacked upwind of one of the two islands we had anchored our boat between. Going North to my right I was just cruising and looking at the fish and the coral heads through spectacularly clear waters. I came across a huge sandy area where the water was the colour of tropical paradise postcards, and a clear as Gin. I noticed there was a dark line extending just downwind of me as it ran along the edge of the sand shelf and then dipped to deeper water. I thought it might have been weed that had settled there and while I was looking down between my legs trying to estimate the depth of the water. I heard what sounded like a crashing wave just behind my twin-tip 140x40 and saw a splash out of the corner of my eye, I looked behind me to see a 12ft (est) shark cross my wake about a foot behind the board, dark, angry and agitated, it did an amazing tight turn and set off after the board. By now I was aware that he must have tried to attack the board and just missed, as I was chop hopping. I quit dicking around and concentrated on speed, thankfully my wife's Ozone Edge 11 in 15 knots can go surprisingly fast. I slowly drew away, while he was bullet straight after me, dorsal fin out and tail tip thrashing, another metre ahead, then another, I drew on until about 10m back he gave up and did some wide graceful S turns. I noticed a reef ahead and decided to head right for it, do a low jump, and then transition on the far side, and come back the same way. I never saw him again. About 5 minutes later, the adrenaline slowed, and I had made enough distance to stop and relieve myself as the excitement had produced a need to pee. :lol:

The snorkeling is incredible.
The water is 30 ft deep there, and you can see the coral on the bottom. These pics taken shortly before departure when the wind stopped.

Re: From San Andres Colombia to Panama via Albuquerque cays

Posted: Sun Oct 30, 2016 7:29 pm
by gilana
Well we are back in the San Blas islands of Panama. There is ZERO wind at the moment as the monsoon trough is located quite far north.
We are waiting till December when the trade winds will fill in again and every day will be a Kiting day.

My wife is progressing really well, but I seem to have hit a brick wall, and there is nothing new happening.
When I am asked about tricks, and why to do them, I use the analogy that they are not tricks, its a bit like LEGO. Every maneuver you learn is a skill, some are really important, like a lownloop transition, which has safety advantages when you are getting boxed in to a corner by other kiters following you. So you learn to pop, to carve, to loop, various rolls, and like Lego blocks, you chuck them in your skills basket. Then, hopefully you can grab a few of them and connect them together and invent a new (for you) trick. I would like to put together a dark slide, and instead of doing a tight loop at the end, make it a bit wider and then include a back roll to heelside to end it. As I said, I have hit a wall, and I don't know why. It just seems that the liquid flow gas gone and I am doing everything technically instead of feeling it.

We are actually anchored where Youri Zoon, Kevin Langeree and Nick Jacobsen made most of that epic kiting movie "Hidden Lines EP 2" on youtube.

So if you would like to come and experience this place, give us a shout. We cant do it for free but it is reasonable. We also know of alternatives like for the younger crowd, or backpackers, where you can sleep on the island in a hut, a bit more like camping. Best months are January-March with good winds possible for a month each side.

Re: From San Andres Colombia to Panama via Albuquerque cays

Posted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 1:04 am
by muitomaluco

Are you still around San Blas or San Andres? Have you got any hints for independent travellers without a boat in that region? Which islands are reachable for an independent traveller and good for kiting? Are there some where there are more kiters? Any hints how to find someone to sail from San Andres to San Blas?

I´ll be for the next 2 month (dezember and January) in that region. Start my trip in Baranquilla Colombia, will go to Cabo de la vela and other spots on Colombias coast... Got my flight back from Panama City, so either I´ll fly to San Andres and try to find a boat to Panama, or book a boat from Cartagena to San Blas and try to stay on Porvenir and organize there some more days on san blas for kitesurfing before moving on to Punta Chame...

Thanks for sharing hints and expieriences! ;-)

Re: From San Andres Colombia to Panama via Albuquerque cays

Posted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 6:18 pm
by lewmt
Really cool shark story.....well written & descriptive! Way to maintain presence of mind! You wonder how often similar things happen under murky waters but you never know its even happening.

Have you found good waves? I was recently looking at San Andres as a destination but all the videos are flat water riding. Have you kited at Providencia as well?

Looks like a dream. Would love to discuss more with you about your boat, & experiences.....very much on the bucket list for wife & I!