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Swingin' on a Star
Ship's log for the circumnavigating Saint Francis 50 catamaran, "Swingin on a Star".
The New Dink
04/28/2008, Flamenco Marina

Our new AB dinghy arrived today. We special ordered an AB VS12 Navigo with a Saint Croix Euro Helm (compact and light). We powered it with a Yamaha 25hp 2 stroke. It arrived in almost perfect condition. A few scratches on the side of the outboard but otherwise perfect. Hard to believe considering it came from Miami.

It was quite a project to unpack but our friend Ed and Arturo from Marine Warehouse made it easy. Marine Warehouse is the AB dealer for Panama and they are the best outfit for shipping stuff to many places. You couldn't ask for nicer more considerate folks to deal with. These guys are a rare gem in the marine industry.

Ed and I had been talking for a while now and a few days ago Ed decided to join us for the ride to the Galapagos. It is going to be a lot of fun to have ed aboard.

After getting the dinghy setup we picked up Hideko and went for a christening ride. The ritual was performed to the letter and we shared plenty of champagne with Neptune and the four winds. We returned home in "Shooting Star" our new dinghy. Now if I can just figure out how to get it on the big boat...

Bad Boy/Bad Hair
04/27/2008, The Boat

My clippers broke in the middle of a number 3 trim. Say no more.

Tony the Cab Driver
04/26/2008, Panama City

We have been in Panama for a month and then some. There has been no one Panamanian that has helped us more and been more kind to us than tony the cab driver. Many folks will not take you from colon to Panama City. It is a long way and with poor roads. Tony will, and while he's at it he will show you the sights help you find the best deals and give you a history lesson.

We paid 20% of the grocery store prices as the gree market Tony took us to for provisioning. Tony picked our friends up at 2AM to get them to the airport on time. He knows cruisers and cruising and can help in lots of way just because of his experience. Tony can even clear you in and out.

If you come to Colon or Panama City do yourself a favor and met Tony. We wer sad to say goodbye to him.

Safety Gear
04/25/2008, Panama City

We spent today working on our safety gear. We had our life raft repacked in colon and on the Panama city side we set about getting our ditch bag, EMT Kit, Medicine Locker, and pyrotechnics updated.

The life raft has water, a patch kit, flares, a sea anchor and all of the other SOLAS necessities. The Ditch Bag contains a GPS, more food/water, water dye, signaling mirror, strobe lights, etceteras. The EMT kit is a loaded EMT trauma kit from Galls ( A fire fighter friend turned us on to Galls and we have been glad to have our kit aboard though we have yet to use it and hope not to. it also has oxygen which is good to have around for diving. The medicine locker has been harder to stock. You really need to have a basic set of meds if you're going far off shore for a long time. Most of the anit biotics and the like require prescriptions though. Well how do you get a prescription if you don't need the meds right now? Some doctors will set you up and some wont. We are in pretty good shape now but it has taken a year to collect the things that our Offshore Doctor guide recommends.

Lake Watermaker
04/24/2008, Flamenco Marina

We made water in Gatun lake. I was interested to see what would happen. We only got up to 18 gallons an hour. The usual is 15. I figured it would take off but I guess it still takes a while to shove molecules through the membrane. The salinity meter was entertaining.

The Japanese Embassy
04/23/2008, Flamenco Marina

Hideko met a couple of girls from the Japanese Embassy at the mall today. they were very nice and took Hideko to the local Asian grocery to help us provision. Nobu joined them. I think we had a good percentage of the Panama Japanese population on the boat.

We have been shopping like crazy. It is amazing how many groceries we can stash away in our boat. I am carefully watching the waterline.

Flamenco Marina
04/22/2008, Amador Causway, Panama City

Flamenco Marina is filled with Sport Fishers. There are maybe 10 sailboats. Maybe. We are on a dock along the break water where the commercial launches come and go. Not optimal but fine. It is interesting to watch the tide go up and down 15 feet. Haven't seen that before.

The marina has good power and water and is in general a nice place. Expensive but nice. Hard to find someone who speaks English around here but it is doable if you look long enough. My Spanish is getting better but is still not clear of the entertaining zone.

There are lots of great restaurants here and free internet at Benegans which has very good food. The Internet on the dock is $18 a day or $50 a week.

We spent the morning with our guest crew and then saw them all off on their way back to Shelter Bay. Then we closed up the boat, turned on the air conditioning and took the day off.


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