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Swingin' on a Star
Ship's log for the circumnavigating Saint Francis 50 catamaran, "Swingin on a Star".
Fresh Market
05/01/2008, Panama City

Tony took Hideko to the Fresh Market today. Wow. We have never had so much food on board. We had to buy more nets. We now have two nets and a bunch of bananas hanging in the cockpit, potatoes and onions in the bilge and a ton of fruit in the pantry. Two days to departure. Nobu and Ed have been a huge help in getting the boat ready.

Flamenco Marina
04/30/2008, The Fuel Dock

The Marina is pretty at night but you have to watch out for beer bottles from the restaurant if it is a wild night.

The Dashews
04/29/2008, Wind Horse

We were moved to the fuel dock today (just when I thought we couldn't get a worse spot in the marina). On the up side we ran into the Dashews there. The Dashews are cruising legends and it was great to chat with them.

I was pleased to see that they had a Rocna. It was 250 pounds! I though our 88 pounder was big, no longer.

Linda and Steve invited us over to their boat for a visit so we of course took them up on it. Nobu had joined us earlier in the day and will be sailing with us along with Ed.

You couldn't meet nicer folks than the Dashews. They welcomed all four of us into their new home, the power boat (!) Wind Horse. It was great to spend the night talking boats and getting tips on the south Pacific.

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.


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