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Ilene Little Does Bocas del Toro. Tourists visit and return to Bocas Town because they like the laid-back lifestyle. It attracts those who love fishing villages, where surfing, sailing, diving and snorkeling are also available.
Business owners are happy campers too, and not just because thousands of tourists visit their places of business each year but also because the feeling of community which exists in the area.
Robbin Blythe talks with pride about the comaraderie among Bocas businesses owners; how they support each other. He owns the Toro Loco Sports Bar and the “Jager Knights” Catamaran Tours in Bocas Town.
“We all eat at each other’s places, hang out, go to kids’ birthday parties, argue with each other, because it is a small community, and it’s got a great social life,” said Blythe.
Bocas is a party town strengthened by community leaders’ serious commitment to growth, safety, and culture based on hospitality and customer service both on land and out on the water.
The water is the main attraction of any beach town, so the role of captains and guides is to book new clients and repeat business, and that means pleasing residents as well as tourists.
Blyth owns the “Jager Knights”, a 42-ft French-made Catamaran. “We only do day sails, and I like to keep it down to 15 passengers. It is six hours of sailing with a cooked lunch and stops for snorkeling for $49.00. That’s a full day of sailing, and it’s epic,” said Blythe.
“Some people will book the boat, and then book it for the next two days after that,” said Blythe. “One guy in town has been on the day sail 16 times. Where else can he get lunch and sail around all day for less than $50?”
The boat will do 14 knots, but Blythe says they get up to 8 or 9 knots all the time in a 12 to 15-knot wind. That’s comfortable, fast sailing in light winds which is great for casual sailing.
When asked about where they go on a day sail, Blythe said, “We’re kind of limited in Bocas as to where we can go on a day sail, but it’s not about the destination, it’s about the sailing.”
“It’s crazy how many people worry about the destination, but once they get underway on the boat, they don’t care about the destination, because we’re just sailing between the islands and stopping and snorkeling.
The boat has a big shaded area on deck and all the required safety equipment. “I’m detail-oriented so I installed people and dolphin protectors on my props so that a person jumping off the boat or dolphins coming up to the boat can’t get hurt by the propeller,” said Blythe.
“The biggest compliment I’ve ever received was when a passenger said, ‘I just don’t feel like I’m on a tour. I feel like I’m on a friend’s boat.’”
“The trip is undervalued,” Blythe said”, and that’s why the TripAdvisor gave it a five-star rating. People are just blown away by the quality of the boat and the crew.”
For more information visit www.bocasdeltorocatamaran.com.