25 December 2014 | Guna Yala, Panama
Dennis / Blustery wx, but at least the wind is warm :)
Merry Christmas and Happy New year!!!
I guess we are having trouble getting our blog really going this season. Not sure why, except that we’ve been busy on non-sexy boat projects and haven’t, until a couple of days ago, relaxed and started hanging out at beautiful anchorages.
We are currently anchored in the beautiful Green Island group. However, since we last posted from Boquete several weeks ago (and many of you have heard about some of the following interval on facebook), we’ve actually done a lot. We had gone to Boquete for a little R&R, since we’d been pretty much working non-stop on Centime. There were lots of boat projects before we took that break, and got back into it when we returned. And when we did, I wrapped up some boat projects while still on the hard, and then Heidi and I brought Centime back to Bocas marina for the final phases so that we could start heading east and having some fun.
We toyed with how soon to leave Bocas. We had to put off the wind vane self-steering system project and new propeller install until we got to Shelter Bay, near the canal entrance, where and when the parts we had ordered from the UK and Denmark were arriving in Panama. So we ended up staying in Bocas long enough to enjoy a wonderful pot-luck Thanksgiving dinner with lots of folks. It was a fabulous dinner, where the marina provide roasted turkeys, gravy, stuffing and potatoes, and all the cruisers brought sides and desserts. A fantastic meal with great people. We left the next morning.
Our Friend, Deb (of Deb’s Cruiser Casa, a “cruiser’s” B&B on the 23rd floor of a residential tower in new Panama City), flew into Bocas to join us for Thanksgiving dinner and a sail to Shelter Bay, where she would get herself back to Panama City. We stopped at Bluefield Lagoon, a nicely protected bay on the way to the canal zone, for two nights, then did an overnight sail/motor to Shelter Bay.
That’s where the fun started with the wind vane project. What I figured was to be a 12 – 16 hour project turned out to be well over 40 … so far … I am not done. I had to postpone it, so we could come here, relax a bit, and get ready for Hannah, Nico and Nico’s friend, Alex to arrive the Saturday after Christmas. But, I will finish the wind vane when we get back to Shelter Bay to start the process for our canal transit. There were some other tasks fit in around phases of the wind vane project, like changing out oil, transmission fluid, coolant and oil and fuel filters, threading a new GPS antenna to the stern, where I could create a new hull penetration to mount the antenna in a good location, continue provisioning for our big passages, etc. Of course we also had to spend some time in the pool, relax at the restaurant, do a few happy hours with cruiser friends and be line-handlers on 48’ catamaran for their canal transit so we could get some experience before we did ours.
On the way from Shelter Bay to here, we had a very nice sail, mostly, and ended up staying at Green Turtle marina, where we had been once last year. It was a pleasant one-night stay, with a relaxing swim at their beach and nice dinner with some new South African friends. The next morning we were off at 8:30 AM heading toward Guna Yala … paradise … but sadly only for three weeks.
So here we are, awaiting the “kids” arrival and trying to reestablish internet connectivity, so I can post this blog entry!