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Anthem Adrift
Compute This
03/08/2010, La Playita de Amador, Panama

March 8

Wooncha know, it was a simple matter, after reformatting the indisposed drive, of dragging movies back to it from the temporary unit. No obvious reason that reverse shouldn't have worked, but then, it's a computer. All is right in Macland except for any SSB communication since 1/20.

Spent much of day buying items out with which I could not live, including, but not limited to, another pair of sunglasses and holders for soap and toothbrush. Albrook Mall, across from main bus terminal, is one big mother. Not quite Mall of America or West Edmonton, but bunion achingly large with additional similarity that most patrons talk funny.

Decided to indulge pizza lust tonight while dashing out this blarney. 12 inch Tropical with ham, cheese, several fruits and maraschino cherries. No anchovies. Delicious.

Stiff breeze last three days has made for tempestuous anchorages, but inspired wind generated tumescence of wazoo (reference may be a tad obscure for newer readers)(divined naughty intent due choice of vocabulary is strictly in the readers mind). Nights are past cool requiring sheet and blanket pulled to chin avoiding hypothermia. Highs are down to high 80s and lows around 77. Feels like winter. Please, no sympathy cards as mail delivery is altogether haphazard.

"Things are more like they are now than they have ever been." - Gerald R. Ford

Jack

Crapper Cropper
03/07/2010, La Playita de Amador, Panama

Just No Drive

March 7

External hard drive is now read-only due, probably, to someone yanking plug before unmounting. Glad it wasn't me... Oh wait, it was. No problem as it is a backup and can be erased and reformatted. Unfortunately, there are also 19 movies on it. No problem as I can borrow a drive, copy files and reinstall. Not so fast there sparky! Different formats. Won't continue with ugly details, but attempt to increase space on internal drive for multi-stage transfer, reverted to January 20 with all after lost. Emails, sent and received, updates and entire Sailmail system, kaput. Muttonhead mistake wasted much of afternoon into evening on reconstruction as yet unfinished.

Additional diversion was derived from arranging to have second, unordered and expensive wind instrument sent back to JTH Marine Electronics before forwarder ships it out from Miami. For those interested, also added a few pictures to blog with more to follow.

Today's aspiration to piety sadly came a cropper. Although no ice cream was ingested (line was too long) and acceptable sorrow was felt, work was, nevertheless, done... attempted. I feel so dirty. Must now abjure slightest implication of toil for at least a full day. Toss me a Balboa, I'm beginning to feel better.

Jack

Cat Herding
03/06/2010, La Playita de Amador, Panama

Balboa Yacht Club

March 6

Yesterday's downtown excursion of nine occasioned some random thought. When proceeding alone, one has only to deal with his own disparate personalities and invisible friends who can often be pressed to malleability. Coordination complications, however, increase exponentially with group number until, it seems, a tipping point is reached where members take on flock mentality and become more harmonized. This is probably due to fear of being burned as a witch or warlock. Impersonally large groups, of course, are completely uncontrollable and become an electorate. Women, being more socially mature, are much better at manipulation than men. Size matters.

The noon Pacific Puddle Jump party, sponsored by Balboa Yacht Club and "Latitude 38" magazine with presentations by Stephanie from French Polynesia tourism, was interesting, informative and fun. Although accepting a PPJ burgee and this month's issue, presented to every boat, Anthem skillfully avoided an embarrassing door prize win, particularly the black pearl. Strangely, this event was well attended by far more cruisers than are headed across the Pacific? There was free food and booze. Oh.

Desiring to show solidarity with Catholicism during tomorrow's Lenten Sunday, will eat no ice cream, abstain from work and express sincere sorrow for succumbing, yesterday, to both by remaining in bed until noon. Piety is burdensome and demanding, but cleanses the soul and makes one feel righteous.

Jack

Cockamamie
03/05/2010, La Playita de Amador, Panama

Big Chicken

March 5

Cruiser buying frenzy in Panama is due costs reported in SoPac. Bunkering (hey! food is fuel) has become quite fashionable. Accounts of $8 beer in French Polynesia have suds sippers hopping until they can barley walk... Don't mind the odd quaff myself, but it's not really a drug of choice. In related news, Budweiser (carbonated horse whiz) commands a dollar more at restaurants than the good domestic stuff. That's just wrong.

Trish organized a gaggle of oglers to visit Panama Viejo, the old city. Smaller, narrower and more run down than Cartagena, it is in process of rehabilitation (charming restaurants and apartments coexist with ghetto tenements) and, while OK now, should be pretty cool in a few years. Large obelisk with a rooster on top presented intriguing imagery, but no one asked.

Stayed out late consuming veggie pizza and visiting with Bristol Roses after no fooling, I'm not kidding this time, absolutely final on-line purchase, so will now put this disaster to bed. Pacific Puddle Jumpers meeting tomorrow noon will present a reason to get up while excusing absence of productivity.

Jack

Holy Rolling
03/04/2010, La Playita de Amador, Panama

March 4

Cranked up Honda generator, second outing. Works good, lasts long time. Noise is quite noticeable in saloon, but observation from dinghy at neighbor-boat distances reveals a mere whisper. Have needed the help here every few days as clouds often emasculate panels (that doesn't sound good) and wind is erratic, zero (often) to 20. Unfortunately, when it is up and against tidal current (added to ship induced waves) this anchorage, for extended periods, is a chore.

Normal Gulf and Caribbean anchoring practices, where setting the hook in 15 feet is overkill, when transferred to this side of the divide may occasion the invention of new words for the 'salty' repertoire as tides can run to 20 feet. Sailors with ninos under foot are encouraged to either monitor sea level or explain that speaking in 'tongues' is part of their new religion. Using a tent and snakes may be necessary to convince bright kids older than 4. This extra exertion is dispensable for many U.S. government school attendees until 18... or so.

Today was spent, after assembling drifter during morning wind lull, attempting to inventory and arrange storage for forthcoming visit to Price Mart. Since cash will be necessary, care must be taken to prevent ATM card from metamorphosing into a molten lump during preparation. Visiting the old city with other cruising rabble tomorrow should provide a temporary diversion for us all from hemorrhaging money into provisions and boat parts.

Jack

Behind the Times
03/03/2010, La Playita de Amador, Panama

Anthem from Miraflores Camera

March 3

Due to flagging priority, blog may have gotten a bit out of kilter. Some wayward posts could be wandering about, causing havoc, in one of the eleven or so super- string dimensions. Hope there's no subsequent unravelling in the fabric of space-time. Just in case, don't look at position reports. According to quantum theory, observing Anthem in La Playita, could cause a simultaneous position change which might result in whiplash. If any of that made the slightest sense, hire a physicist to glare at you with undisguised scorn.

Speaking of sightings, thank you Thierry and Fitz for sending along a few Miraflores pictures (whenever one of them makes it to the blog, we're on starboard - that's the right side, Cal) of Anthem's crew displaying masterful sea and locksmanship. Detail is small, so one has to look really, really closely to see the consummate skill. Mike and Jack (Tyler) are on port and starboard bow, respectively. Patricia and Barbara are working aft, port and starboard.

Lack of an actual memory combined with regrettable loss of Daytimer today has caused yet another wrinkle in the local space, time discontinuum. It's my Linus blanket. Can reproduce look and feel with spare wallet, but notes and calendar insert through April are just a glimmer from a receding past. Shakes should stop by end of March. Everything will be OK again entering May. So... what's on the agenda for tomorrow?

"Time is that quality of nature which keeps events from happening all at once. Lately it doesn't seem to be working." - Anonymous

Jack

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