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Sunrise: Chasing the dream
Life filled with adventure, both actual and spiritual.
Windlass rebuild
05/24/2013, Shelter Bay Marina, Colon, Panama

The machinist in Episa SA at work.

The worm gear in our windlass succumbed to 30 years of work. Once I had the windlass appart it was clear that the gear had been worn down and pulling the anchor in Isla Linton was the last straw...

Went back to the manufacture who could supply the parts at great expense and deliver in 4 to 6 weeks... So I found this machine shop who could machine the gear. Down Via Espana a little further is another wonderful place called Dimar SA. They carry every possible bearing, hose, seal, cog, chain,lubricant... of course they had the new bearings and seals that I needed (for $26.33). The local bus runs up and down the Via for 25 cents a ride. If you need a place to stay, Via Argentina seems like a really cool safe neighborhood with restaurants and cafes.

To get from Shelterbay Marina to Panama City: the marina runs a free bus twice daily into Colon... last stop is the Terminal, where you can catch the express bus ($3.15 paid on the bus) to the Terminal in Panama City, which is at the Albrook Mall (which has every conceivable mall-like store). You can then ride the Via Espana for 25 cents. I saved some time by getting off the Express bus when it gets to the Transmista (sp) and taking a Taxi to Dimar or Episa ($2 to $5) depending on traffic.

Last night I cleaned and painted the windlass body and today I will assemble it.

05/26/2013 | Mary Ellen
today went to a Yankee baseball game and we won. Tomorrow parade for the veterans.Jay and Christine setting up their new HOME-we brought stuff over to them.
love mec
A walk in the woods
05/23/2013, Shelter Bay Marina, Colon, Panama

Last night, just before night fall, we applied lots of DEET (a product we've never resorted to before) and took a walk around Kennedy drive. We heard Toucans and saw a little family of Capuchin Monkeys.

This used to be a US Naval base, and it was turned over to Panama in 1999. It is clear that nothing has been done to maintain anything since then. On Kennedy drive, there are driveways and foundations for houses, the houses, probably wooden have been consumed by the jungle. There are still fire hydrants and underground power transformers. Huge palms line the street.

The Church has been maintained, the movie theater is now used as a work shop (with the slanted floor and stage...). Talking with the US Army guys, the buildings that they are being housed in, probably wouldn't pass a building inspection in the US.

Of course on the boat we are fighting the same forces which are at work to return our boat to the jungle. High humidity is probably the biggest issue...

05/23/2013 | Tom Sawtell
What date is your transit? Love to see you on the Pancanal web cam
new shade
05/21/2013, shelter Bay Marina, Colon, Panama

Well, here's a little project that I should be completing right now rather than posting to the blog! I started the Sun shade project and it has taken longer than expected (of course). I am trying to make it so it is a rain catcher and sun shade as well. It will be able to be shortened if we want some shade over the dodger but wind prevents us from deploying the whole shade.... anyway... a project...

And it easier to do on the dock...

Marina getting old
05/10/2013, Shelter Bay Marina, Colon, Panama

Now, this post is sparked by a post written by our friends on Blue Kai. Since most of you might not go to their blog...

Arriving in a Marina is very exciting. Aceess to showers, a fresh water pool, a restaurant, grocery stores, parts and hardware stores... We always arrive raring to go!

And yet that does wear off more quickly than we expect. This place is very nice... and the mosquitoes come out at dusk. It is hot. It is humid and there is no breeze. And here we have the US Army who has three Blackhawk Helicopters. They start their training at 0730 with the three copters warming up, and doing their engine checks before flying off. On Sundays, they practice picking things up. Which the first Sunday was pretty cool.... by now, we spend Saturday coming up with things to do on Sunday to get away from the noise.

Anyway, we are ready to be at anchor again, with a nice breeze blowing to cool us. A sunset to watch while taking a private shower on the aft deck while the boat gently rocks. And the sound of the water lapping and the sea birds calling...

Canal Museum
05/09/2013, Casco Viejo, Panama City

We went to the Panama Canal Museum. They don't allow photos inside, so we have this one of a Lighthouse lens that was used with the early oil fired lights. Fresnel lens were used to project the light up to 20 miles. Most were replaced with electrical lights... with many of these spectacular lenses pushed right out of the top of the light houses (and destroyed). This one was saved somehow.

a big tree
05/08/2013, Cerro Ancon

In Panama City we hiked up Cerro Ancon for a good view of the city and the Pacific from the top. We also saw a Tucan and (what we think was) a poison Dart Frog... And this huge tree. A little taste of the rain forest remains in the middle of the city!

A trip to the city
05/07/2013, Panama City trip

We took a little time off from our projects to go to Panama City.

There are lots of these buses there which are the local bus system. It cost 25 cents to ride where ever they go. To go from Colon to Panama City costs $3.15 on the "Express Bus"

These buses are used buses from the US School systems. We have seen one which had not been repainted yet that was still yellow and said "Boston School System"

Transits with other boats
05/06/2013, Panama Canal

To understand the workings of the canal and be prepared for our own transit, we have helped other boats with their transits. Here we are on Tribe... especially fun as the whole family was able to go... as they had room for us and their kids and Isobel have fun together...

05/23/2013 | Mary Ellen
GREAT shot-- you;ll always remenber the canal-
05/05/2013, shelter Bay Marina, Colon, Panama

Isobel plays with the Charlotte, from a boat down the dock.

This post is for those interested in engines.

When we refit the boat at Shelburne Shipyard on Lake Champlain in 08 to 09, their mechanic and my first mechanical mentor handed me some gallon jugs of anti-freese/coolant to put in our new BetaMarine Engine. I poured it in and I haven't really thought much of it since. Well, really, coolant level is part of my engine check... and having been 4 years, I was wondering if I should change it...

Last Sunday, another boat asked to borrow some anti-freeze... the next day they returned a jug of Prestone. On the label it suggested changing the antifreeze every two years... hmmm...

So, after some research I have found that what I have is a long life anti freeze originally developed by Texaco and Halvolene. Now it is sold under many labels as Long Life Anti-freeze/coolant. It is distinguished from the green coolant we all know by being more clear and a red color (which I think is a Red-Orange).

The advantage for us is that it lasts a long time. It is a bigger up front cost... and like other things, over time, it is less expensive. The green anti-freeze forms a sludge that accumulates in the engine.

I am still working on how to test to see if the Red Long Life Anti-freeze is still effective. So far I have found that a booster can be added to renew it.

What do you do in a Marina
05/04/2013, Shelter Bay Marina, Colon, Panama

We have been kind of stuck here. The windlass is broken and, being pretty critical, we are waiting for parts. Isobel in the mean time takes full advantage of the docks...

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