First Look at Dolphin Bay

Camrykaland, Dolphin Bay

At Anchor, Dolphin Bay
Bocas del Toro, Panama

This morning we explored Ground Creek by dinghy, but again, too late in the morning for any serious wildlife spotting. We decided to head about 2 hours south to Dolphin Bay on the mainland, departing about noon.

We anchored in a little pocket in the south end of the bay and met Mary and Carl from Camryka, who are busy building a house up on the hill. Mary, a retired psychologist, said she and Carl, a retired professor, decided to bite the bullet, buy some land, and throw a house together after many years of cruising, because, “after all, you might need a house one day.” Whenever somebody decides to build here, the first thing that has to get put in is a dock to land supplies and construction materials – there is no road. The second thing is to hack a path through the jungle from your dock to the homesite to haul every post, window, faucet, wire, nut and bolt up by human-power. The result, in Mary and Carl’s case, is a 1000 square foot stilt house with exposed beams and high, open ceilings under a tin roof, surrounded by a 12-foot deep shaded veranda with a view that won’t quit. They, like most people, are going to be powered by diesel generator and supplemented by solar panels, with a rainwater collection system. The setting is beautiful, and the feel of the cabin is rustic, open, and cozy. They put together the blueprints, found a contractor, who did a bang-up job until the very end, leaving most of the finish work to a frustrated Carl.

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