Bocas del Toro Panama Pucha Garcia 2012 Calendar Shoot

Bocas del Toro is one of my favorite places to visit in all of Panama.  In Bocas life revolves around the sea. It is common for a local to own two or three boats and no cars.

Coral Caye, Bocas del Toro, Panama, Sonia Garcia

I have not traveled there in more than five years, which is a shame since it is only seven hours away by car from Ojo de Agua. I had the pleasure of returning there a couple of months back with Pucha while she shot photos for her 2012 bikini calendar. It was a first class all expense paid vacation for me, thanks to my girls calendar sponsor’s.

Bocas del Toro, Pucha Garcia, Panama

Normally I do the behind the scenes video for her to use at her calendar premiere party, but this year she had Bolivar Andres handle the filming. Bolivar is a multi talented young ecuadorian native practically born and raised on a sailboat who has lived in Bocas for the last six years. He is an amazing surfer, experienced boat captain and a very creative video producer. I cant wait to see the final edit of the behind the scenes video he is making, I know it is going to make my previous videos look sloppy.

Bocas del Toro, Playa Estrella, Pucha Garcia, Panama

This time around I was planning to kick back and enjoy the show. But, the photographer Federico Galbraith, the best in his field in Panama, was short an assistant so I volunteered to help. Professional photographers travel with a lot of gear – generator, lights, cameras, sand bags, cooler, tripods, batteries, umbrellas and on and on. Add in the make-up and stylist personnel and all their accessories being lifted from dinghies to sail boats and on and off docks and beaches, it becomes a good bit of work. So much for sitting back and watching the show. I ended up working my butt off. I was down right soar after a couple of days of pitching in.

Pucha Garcia, Playa Estrella, Panama

Pucha contacted Bolivar looking for local help in contacts for lodging and locations for photo shoots. She definitely contacted the right guy. He is captain of one of the most beautiful sailboats in Bocas del Toro, a classic nearly 100 foot wooden yacht named the Patron. The Patron is owned by a young hospitable Austrian named Lucas who is converting the boat into a Panama surf touring machine. The Patron will be touring the Bocas area during their wave season, than crossing through the Panama Canal and into the Pacific Ocean for the south swell season during the remainder of the year. Anyone interested in catching some waves while passing time on a beautiful boat with a great captain and crew should contact them. Lucas volunteered his boat and crew and we could have not been more fortunate, the Patron and her crew really made the trip something special.

Bocas del Toro, Sonia Garcia, El Patron

While not sailing on the Patron to and from different shoot locations the entire photo entourage stayed at the beautiful Hotel Limbo By The Sea located waterfront in Bocas town. Another Bolivar contact. The Limbo has nice comfortable rooms, friendly owners and staff and a great restaurant. It’s definitely worth going back.

Bocas del Toro, Panama, Pucha Garcia

The highlight of the trip was on the last day. The final shoot was finished in the afternoon so Bolivar took Pucha and I to one of the surf breaks in Bocas named Playa Paunch. The waves were not spectacular but they were small, clean and fun. One of the Patron’s engineers, a friendly South African named Jerome Mosetic, came along to take some surfing water shots. Jerome is a globe trotting talented surf photographer. He snapped some great water shots that Pucha will be able to use for her calendar and maybe for more marketing materials. He also got a couple of shots of me that I will enjoy having in my collection.

Pucha Garcia, Panama


All in all it was an amazing trip. Pucha got photos for her 2012 calendar, we had the opportunity to hang out on a lovely sailboat cruising the crystal clear Caribbean waters enjoying the beautiful scenery and we got to score some waves.

Bocas del Toro, Panama, Pucha Garcia,

Now I just have to figure out away to convince Lucas and Bolivar to take me on one of their surf tours so I can get some offshore island barrels. Anyone considering a visit to Panama has to pass through Bocas del Toro and if you are a surfer make sure it is during their wave season December through February, around Christmas and New Years is the best. Hope to see you in the water there next year.

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Panama, Patron, Pucha Garcia, Panama