RIDICULOUS Anchor Fees! Would you pay? SV Delos Ep 373
(water splashing) - [Brian] We just completed a successful two-day passage from Panama City, and now, we find ourselves approaching the island of Coiba, which is rumored to have some of the best diving in Panama. From 1919 to 2004, Coiba was a penal colony, and home to some of Panama's most dangerous criminals. After the closure of the prison, the entire island and surrounding waters were transferred to the National Park system of Panama. So effectively, the entire area has been protected from commercial fishing and exploitation for over a century. One of the reasons for the spectacular diving and biodiversity here.
The only problem is, the park fees for boats are incredibly high. In fact, it could turn out to be the most expensive place in the entire world we've ever been charged to drop our hook. We've just arrived here at Isla Coiba, and it's an interesting island.
It's actually a Panama Federal Park, and one of the things we've heard about it, is you have to pay a fee to anchor here, and we read that the fees are actually quite expensive. So for boats of 50 feet or above, we heard that it's supposed to be like, $180 per night to anchor and then $20 per person. So for us, that would be like, 220 bucks a night. Which is probably the most expensive place we've ever anchored in the entire world, I think. And I also heard that if you go in with them, and plead your case, and say like, "Hey, we're not like, a dive charter or a commercial vessel.
We're just a sailboat with a few people on it." Sometimes you can kind of negotiate it down to a more fair price. Okay, mis amigos, the park rangers here. - [Jordan] Hi, nice to meet you all.
- This is Edgar. Gracias. (rangers greeting) Nice to meet you. (group chattering) So we're good for four days. - [Jordan] Oh nice. Awesome.
- Amazing. The guys are super nice. Of course we chatted with them.
One dude spoke a little bit of English. I got him down to like the lower, under 50 foot price. And so like, 60 bucks a night. So it's a huge difference.
I mean, it's still a lot to anchor, but it should be a pretty special spot. And hopefully like be, I think because it's expensive, not a lot of people come here. - [Jordan] Yeah.
- And so I think that it's, it's pretty natural and it's preserved and it, I look forward to seeing if it's worth it. (mellow music) - [Jordan] Spot an Eagle Ray. - [Sierra] Yay! - [Jordan] Two days ago we were in Panama City. - Now we're in the middle of nowhere and I love it. - [Jordan] Yeah. - [Brian] I love this kind of exploring.
- [Jordan] We found our spot for the night. - [Brian] Yeah. - [Karin] It's gonna be this lovely bay. It's got some pretty extreme jungle vibes going on. - Good jungle vibes.
The only thing I'm not getting are extreme beach vibes. - [Jordan] Oh yeah. - And Nugs needs a good beach vibe or she goes insane. - [Jordan] Yeah. It'll be fine.
- So we'll see how that goes. (upbeat tropical music) (singing in foreign language) - [Jordan] What's the plansky, Breeyawn? - [Brian] I'm gonna go explore a bit, maybe try and find a dive site. A few hundred dollars lighter, our first hurdle to diving was cleared. Now, on our own without a dedicated guide, our next challenge was to actually find a few good underwater spots to explore. Armed with our charts and a few vague descriptions we read online, we set off in search of a place to breathe underwater.
As if finding a good spot wasn't challenging enough, we also had to deal with the fact that this area is mostly drift dives and current. So we'd need to dive in teams and also find a way to keep Sierra entertained while the adults were doing their boring stuff. - [Jordan] Thinking about to just anchor in front of the rock here. - I think this is the right place. I actually have no idea. I think it'll be cool out here.
(boat puttering) - [Jordan] Yeah, we got, we got the charts here, charts here. - That's just that point way up there. - [Jordan] And the charts on the phone and notes from friends and notes from the internet.
And we're trying to figure out where the heck this dive site is. This is definitely the, one of the hardest parts of trying to dive on your own. - Okay. So we just arrived at our first dive site.
Little bit nervous. We haven't been diving in so long, but I'm really stoked too. It's gonna be awesome. And we've read so much about this, you know, this area and this island and how much cool stuff that you can see. I'm not entirely sure about this specific dive site. We didn't have that much information about it.
Just kind of like a little blurb and a random dot on a map. But yeah, it's quite a few things to like consider and you know, with all the gear. And I think also there's a lot of current here. We're not entirely sure about where the current is running right now or how it feels when we're down there. Or if it's even, any fish down there.
We're also juggling Sierra's nap times. So because we're only three people and Sierra, it means that like, somebody always has to be with her. We're trying to like now anchor close to this dive site, so Brian can be on the boat when Sierra's sleeping. And me and Jordan, like Jordan is gonna have like one of those safety sausages on a reel. So Brian can kind of like follow us and make sure that we don't get like swept away if there is a lot of current.
(mellow music starts) (scuba gear breathing) Being back underwater felt absolutely amazing. I really enjoy the relaxation that diving brings to me. It totally calms my mind and being able to do it in such a beautiful place all on our own only made it that much better.
The visibility was amazing. And so far the fish life did not disappoint. (mellow music continues) - Yeah. What a cool dive. Wow.
That, I think it only gets better from here too. Like we saw a shark. I saw a turtle from afar, so many different fish. We saw like lobster.
- [Jordan] Eel and a lobster together in one home. - [Brian] What? Eel and lobster lovers? - [Karin] I know. - [Brian] I'm glad you guys had a good time. - [Karin] The sea life here, you can't even compare it to the San Blas.
Like the fish are not scared. Like they're all just out. Like the groupers. I mean, of course, if you get close to it, it would be like ooh, but like they're just chilling, all the fishes.
- [Jordan] Yeah. When we came out, like sort of into the sand and that one school just circling us forever. - [Karin] Yeah. It's like, this is how it should be, you know.
- [Brian] Right on. - [Jordan] What a day? Huh? - [Brian] Yeah. - [Karin] What a day.
- I think we're gonna go on a little dinghy cruise to finish it off. - [Jordan] Yeah. Yeah. Enjoy this amazing sunset. - [Sierra] Me, me, me! - [Jordan] I'm gonna, we're gonna thread, what do they call it? Thread the needle? - Thread the needle. - [Jordan] We're gonna thread the needle. Sierra, we're gonna thread the needle, yay! Whoa, so cool. Here comes a set.
(high-pitched beep tones) Oh, we just got a little bit smash hit. - Yeah, it was my fault too. (Jordan laughing) It was a big set. - Now Kaz is upset at me, look at her. - Ugh, so frustrating! (Jordan laughing) - [Jordan] Naughty Bryan. - Busted.
- Yep, that's a week of nothing. (Brian and Jordan laughing) - [Brian] What? A week? - [Jordan] You just got told. At least we're in paradise. (Jordan laughing) (water lapping) - [Jordan] What's our plan for the day? - We are going to go just around the corner and go to two different islands. One's called Coco so the other is called Ranchera. We're just gonna dive.
Gonna get our dive on today. - [Jordan] Sweet. But it's pretty, pretty sweaty up in here. So we're gonna go for a quick dip.
- It's hot. We're gonna go for a little morning cool down. - [Both] Okay. One, two, And three! (water splashes) (water bubbling) (upbeat music) (Jordan laughs) - [Karin] Here goes the baby. (Karin laughs) She's just hanging there. (water splashes) (Karin and Brian exclaiming) (Sierra and Brian laughing) - [Brian] The heat in Central America is no joke.
And we found ourselves spending more and more time in the water cooling off. After our first successful dive, we wasted no time in moving to our next spot to continue our underwater exploration. (water lapping) - What an incredible spot this is. I feel like it's just so wild. And I mean, the dive we did yesterday was phenomenal. I haven't seen that good diving in, I don't know how long like, ages.
It feels really good. It feels good to be through the Panama Canal. It feels good to like be out and about in the islands again and just have some time to, you know, decompress the big city. I feel like it was a lot, you know, like this is the kind of cruising that I love. Like it was really cool to go through the Panama Canal but to just be out here and to just hear the noises of the forest and the monkeys, and like be able to swim in the water in the morning and yeah, it's, it's very cool.
And it's the cruising that I love, so. - [Brian] This place looks cool. - [Jordan] So beautiful here. - Yeah, just over there. When we were going through like the chart showed, should have been eight meters and it got down to like two meters, one meter, like under us, I was like, (gasps). So you can see here, we basically anchored on top of an island and then drove through two islands.
And then there's one island that is on the chart but doesn't actually exist, which I still can't figure out. - [Jordan] I mean, such a good thing that you don't try to arrive at night or something and using only the charts. I mean, I guess it would show up on radar, but still.
- [Brian] Still. - [Jordan] You would just crash literally into islands all over. - [Brian] It makes trying to find our dive sites a challenge. - [Jordan] Yeah.
- [Jordan] This is so (bird caws) beautiful. - Amazing. I'm like super stoked right now. We're gonna go diving today again. It's like a really special spot.
This is, this is a unique place for sure. And the wildness of it, enhances everything. - [Jordan] Yeah. - Come on, darling. Come on! (muffled foot stepping and shouting) - This place is pretty spectacular. Like, we first came in and I didn't really realize but the tide was high and you couldn't see any beaches.
And I was like, oh no, no beach. - What are we gonna do with the Nugs? - I know. No beaches for Sierra. But then the tide came down and all of these incredible white sand beaches just appeared. It's pretty nuts.
- [Brian] Yeah. The tides are incredibly different on this, on the Pacific side of Panama. - [Karin] Yeah. - Like when we're in San Blas and like the Caribbean side of Panama, we were seeing tides of a third of a meter, about a foot. - Yeah.
- And here it's about three meters, almost 10 feet. So, you know, the tides are like 10 times as big. The other thing that's interesting that comes along with tides are currents. - [Karin] Oh, yeah. - So, you know, when, when that amount of water moves, it's a massive volume of water and all that moving water between islands and like cuts, creates huge currents. - [Karin] Yeah. It's been a lot of current, I guess.
That's why the diving is so good here too. Right? - Yeah. And that's something we're gonna have to figure out like in our dives, because you can literally just get blown off the dive site and- - Yeah.
- Into the middle of nowhere. So I think we're gonna have to be doing team dives. - [Karin] Yeah. (mellow music) - [Karin] Are you guys ready? - Yeah. - [Karin] Pretty crazy to dive from a beach.
Haven't done that. - We've never done it from a beach. - [Karin] I know.
- There is some current, so we're gonna dive with our service marker and Kaz is gonna keep an eye on us. And we have a plan for what time we should be back by. And if (indistinct).
(mellow blues music) ♪ Oh yeah ♪ (upbeat blues music) (water bubbling) (scuba gear breathing) - [Brian] Drift dives are my favorite. In this case, the current is blasting about three knots. Which means all you need to do is kick back and watch the show. Kicking is totally optional here. Currents also bring in nutrient-rich waters, which creates a feeding ground for small fish, which means that larger fish and sharks are also drawn in, hopefully snack attacking on a straggler as well.
♪ Yeah, you can tell your friends ♪ ♪ I'm gonna walk her down the aisle, yeah. ♪ - After only a few minutes of diving, we'd been blown around the entire island, ending on the complete other side. - [Jordan] Got a little workout, huh? - [Brian] Yeah. My legs. (wind rushing) (rain pattering) - [Brian] Our last morning in Coiba brought a torrential downpour, but that wouldn't matter to us one bit underwater. So we decided to go for it. - [Jordan] Hola.
- I think I found a really cool spot. - [Jordan] Sounds good. (Sierra crying) Ooh. I hear a chipper- - Crying baby. - [Jordan] Chipper, tiny baby inside.
(Sierra crying) - [Jordan] How's it been like navigating diving with having a baby? - A challenge. (Brian and Jordan laughing) - Leave it at. Okay, sailing around is difficult. Doing it on your own is difficult. Scuba diving is difficult and doing that off of a boat is even worse. And then if you add a baby into the mix, it's like difficulty level x factor. - [Jordan] Yeah. But we've been making it work.
- Yeah. We're making it work. So. We're gonna get all the gear in the boat. We're gonna get baby provisions in the boat. Snacks, water, probably entertainment device.
And then we'll zoom out to the rock. And then I'll just sit with her in the dinghy for like 40 minutes. (boat engine turning) (exciting lo-fi music starts) (scuba gear breathing) (water bubbling) (exciting lo-fi music continues) - What an amazing spot. Coiba. It's been a fantastic four days and the diving has been absolutely incredible.
It's been quite a lot to like juggle between all the (laughs) gear, Sierra's naps and everything. I feel quite exhausted, but it's been, yeah, it's been way worth it. And spending, you know, we were kind of concerned a little bit in the beginning if it was worth the money and all of that, but I think, yes, it was definitely worth the money.
And especially since we've been able to do so much diving and we haven't seen this good underwater life in a long time, so yeah. Super stoked about this spot, but it's time to head out tomorrow and yeah. Say goodbye to Coiba. I really loved it. What a spot. And thank you so much also for watching to the end of the video. That's awesome.
Hope you really enjoyed it. And yeah, here comes from up next. (mellow music) - [Brian] Up next on Delos, we discover some more hidden gems on the stunning Pacific coast of Panama, give Maggie a sexy new facelift, and settle back into cruiser life in style with a proper beach cook-up. - Oh geez.
You ran it right in the face. Ah, now my sunglasses are all wet. Look it. (Sierra babbling) (Brian laughing) - So yeah, she's just chasing crabs and we was watching the sausage.
Watching the sausage, that sounds weird. (boat engine puttering) - [Brian] What? That's all I get? (Brian and Karin laughing) - [Karin] Like a crumb. - [Brian] That's all I get? - [Karin] Dad is on a naughty list. - [Jordan] She's putting you- - Am I on the naughty list? - [Jordan] She's putting you on a diet. - Oh, thank you. - [Jordan] Two, two pieces.
- Got another fraction. - [Jordan] Go. (Jordan laughing) - You ready? - I'm ready. - Did you just fart? - No, I didn't.
I thought it was you. (Karin laughs) - Kazza farted. - No. - [Jordan] What a babe.
- Yachting, ha ha. - [Jordan] Yachting. - How do they look like? (Jordan laughs) - [Jordan] Living for the weekend.
Living for the weekend. Yeah. Yeah. That's your, that's your- - Just trying to set the anchor here. - [Jordan] Bride over there. - Yeah, I know.
- [Jordan] She's a, she's a winner. She's a keeper. - [Brian] Sierra's mom over there. Having a ball. (cheerful music)