" A LADY TRIP " Sailing around the World and avoiding the recession. ( presently in Shelter bay. Panama)

A Lady
Stephen Hyde
Sun 24 Jan 2010 14:02
SATURDAY  23rd JANUARY 2010   ( Portobelo)
08.00hrs Up and about,
              Kevin is already in the rib , using it as his private phone box to ring " Fie"  ( wife)  to wish happy annaversary, their 40th anaversary. well done
              from all on board. They still seem so lovey / dovey after 40 years,
              Anyway, the weather is very dull and overcast, with little or no wind.
10.15hrs We all went for a boat trip up the "Mori" river. remember this was a spanish stronghold, attacked regularly by Pirates and the british.
             and the estuary here was a very important spot for careening the sailing ships ( cleaning off the weeds and barnicles from under the waterline)
             To do this, the ship would be beeched, then hauled over on her side ,giving access to the underside for the cleaning process,
             Naturarly, the ships were very vunerable in this position, so lookout's were posted all over the hills, looking for any unwanted visitors.
             The river trip took 1 hour and cost $50 for the 6 of us. It was facinating , the birds, the trees  and mango trees, flood plains,
             magnificant, the only thing missing was a few crockadiles.
13.00hrs We weighed anchor and as the wind was light, motorsailed the 17 miles to Shelter bay  ( the entrance to the Panama Canal).
             The sea was flat, the last time we saw a sea state like this was on our way from " The Azores" to Portugal last july.
17.30hrs We arrieved at shelter bay,  Gosh, the amount of ships around the place waiting to come and go through the Canal
              was a awsome sight. The manmade harbour looked bigger than Cork Harbour, but then the history of this Canal has been
              written about lots of times, and there's at least one book on board about the building of the Canal, Started by the French
              and completed by the Americans.
              The Marina Looks newesh , and made of concrete, but the fingers are very short, so " A  LADY" overshot the finger by a good 15feet
              The shore power is 125v , we dont have the appropriate cables, but do have the fittings on the transome, so will have to get the cable's
              made up ashore tomorrow, meanwhile we can use our generator for power.and charging the batteries.
             Believe it or not, the skipper got reception on his phone for just a few minutes and managed a short conversation with Stefan.
             When the ship was tidied up, we went ashore and had a beer or two.
             later we had dinner in the Marina Restaurant before retiring to the Bunks. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz