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Swingin' on a Star
Ship's log for the circumnavigating Saint Francis 50 catamaran, "Swingin on a Star".
Fishing the Chagres
04/02/2008, Panama Canal

We went fly fishing up one of the legs of the Chagres river today with Sugawara San from the Lagoon 470 Wakamizu. It is the peak of the dry season and the river is back filled with salt water, which is my excuse for not catching anything. We had a lot of fun though. Their 40 hp makes short work of blasting around Lemon Bay.

That evening we were invited to dinner aboard Wakamizu. Nirai and Nobu cooked a wonderful beef stew. Chris and Sophia, Australians from the boat next door (need to get the name...), joined us as well. A good time was had by all.

River Exploration
04/01/2008, Lemon Bay

Exploring the rivers in the Lemon Bay area is a lot of fun. Sit quietly and you will hear branches snapping as the monkeys come to take a look at you. If you are lucky the Howler Monkeys will show up and put on a display with their thunderous howling. If you're really lucky you may see a crocodile, tapir, toucan or other critters.

Fort Sherman
03/31/2008, Punta Shelter

Shelter Bay is a small bay tucked back in at the western end of the Lemon Bay breakwater. The bay sits between the thin western peninsula of the mainland and a point extending to the south know as Shelter Point. Fort Sherman is located on Shelter Point. It was an American base (as so many things here were). It is now mostly unused although the Panama military does use it from time to time. If you hike through to the south you get to the beach on the Lemon Bay side. It will not strike you the way the Caribbean brochure does but it is a beach.

03/30/2008, Panama

Here's an overview of what 95% of Panama looks like.

Haunted Boat
03/29/2008, Shelter Bay

This boat will make you do a double take as it blasts through the marina. As you may notice no one is driving it.

It was one of the last things from the 007 filming to go. There is a guy sitting inside the center console that operates the boat. This allows the actors to pretend like they're driving the boat while basically ignoring the waterway and focusing on shooting guns and roundhouse kicking the bad guys into the drink.

Margaret loved this boat and I kept wondering if it was still around because she had bought it.

03/28/2008, Sheleter Bay Marina

We have to wait 4 weeks to go through the canal.

Entrance to the Atlantic Locks
03/27/2008, Panama Canal

We dinghied around the Bahia Limon a bit. It is a huge bay with a lot of chop due to the large fetch and the big super tanker sized channel in the break water. It is best near the edges in a dinghy but you have to be careful because there are several reefs that crop up suddenly outside of the main thoroughfares.

We made our way up to the entrance to the Gatun Locks that take you from the Atlantic Ocean into Gatun lake.


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