Jaymie Cutler and Johnny Miller have chosen a novel way to tour Panamá. They’re traveling by kayak.
I spotted their red and yellow kayaks crossing the channel from Green Island to Dupwala in the Eastern Coco Bandero Cays. “Hmmm,” I thought. “That’s a long distance to travel for charter boat passengers.” As they drew nearer I flagged them over and we chatted over the bow of Happy Times.
Johnny was born and raised in Stone Mountain, Georgia. He’s spent most of his life in the Northwest. Jaymie hails from Newfoundland and has spent the last few years in Vancouver. The two are about as close to the earth as one can get in a kayak. She tans hides. He teaches nature classes. They attend gatherings where folks teach ancestral and primitive skills. One semiannual gathering in Georgia, one of Johnny’s favorites, is Falling Leaves Rendezvous.
Johnny and Jaymie have been traveling for several weeks. They spent a month in Baja, California, where they surfed as well as kayaked. Then they folded up their expandable kayaks, checked them on a plane to Panamá and took them to Bocas del Toro, Panamá, via bus. They kayaked there until Jaymie’s seasickness became unbearable and they moved on to the San Blas Islands. They have one week left on their itinerary before Jaymie returns to Canada.
I invited them to dinner along with Kamaloha. I knew Charlie and Maureen would be thrilled to meet such an interesting couple. Jaymie and Johnny set up their pup tent on a nearby uninhabited island and brought fish that he had caught with a Hawaiian sling. Maureen brought a salad to add to our rice and barracuda nuggets.
As the evening wore on and another bottle of wine appeared, Maureen asked Johnny if he relies on the novelty of their travels as a means to spend a few hours among cruisers on their sailboats. He leaned back and grinned.
Mikayla pointed out that besides this pair wandering by kayak, we also have met a young man traveling by bike and, of course, others exploring by boat. Now we will seek travelers who journey by foot and car or other means.