Skipper and First Mate Millard (Big Bear and Pepe)
Mon 4 Mar 2013 23:57
Ten Days Since We Came Through The Panama Canal
Just as Beez Neez anchor set, the very first thing we saw as we took in our new surroundings was our next door neighbour treating us to an unclothed show. Not at all shy about waving in welcome, pictures clearly not suitable for the blog. No accident that he was in this state of dress as we had first hoped (maybe even a swift move to retrieve a swimming cossie, perhaps even a pair of baggy Speedos......), no sooner than he climbed out post dip, than he fished for an hour or so off the back of his boat, definitely not suitable – in fact at this point I put the camera away. The thought of his sharp hook – no best we don’t go there........and all that jiggling.............We soon gathered the cold fizz from the fridge, three bottles between four, launched Baby Beez with spare electric outboard and over to Zebedee to celebrate his circumnavigation in style. Back to Beez, I thought I would download our pictures before turning in. Nudder, Zilch, Panic. Press on button, fan and all fires up as normal, a few seconds, then silence, a black screen and just Caps Lock and Num Lk flashing. Oh. Try again, many times. Treble Oh.
Bedtime came all too soon, but much needed that night – our first in the Pacific Ocean.
We had the new feeling of rockin’ an a rollin’ at anchor. We have definitely got soft with the year on the ICW, flat as a pancake and six months on the Rio Dulce. The tides here are around fifteen feet, many counter currents and swells, not to mention the supply boats zipping in and out of the marina with supplies for the chums anchored much farther out. Behind us, seaward side of us and between Zebedee and Beez on the shore side, just like buses........
.........................Oh did I just say buses. Yes a bus
Beez Neez is anchored just above the A in La Palyita anchorage
Just walking through the marina car park we have seen some amazing birds, pretty flowers and sleeping sloths. Well every time Bear sees the sloth, I have yet to be in the right place at the right time.
La Playita Marina seen from the Causeway.
The next couple of days passed very quickly. We tidied Beez, played a few games and drank one or two celebratory libations. Alan rowed over for a couple too, then the boys left Dougal with me and went together to remove our outboard from her temporary position at the back of Zebedee. Job done a couple of beers – well more to celebrate. Whatever you say skipper.
Sunday saw the safe arrival of Sirena of Oare.
Texts back and forth next morning between Miffy and myself (Thank You Miff, my techno), many helpful suggestions and trail runs came up with the sad fact my laptop was in need of surgical intervention in the shape of a new video card. The fleet here listens to channel seventy four, Monday to Saturday - The Panama Cruisers Net. Help wanted section had my thumb immediately on the radio. Helpful suggestions of computer repair shops and the offer from another yachtie to go with him the next day, as he had to pick his Dell up – it had had exactly the same thing happen.
Picked up yachty, into the marina, purchased our wrist bands – thirty five dollars or five dollars a day to park Baby Beez and dump rubbish. Bargain deal as they give out three wrist bands, natural to go halves with Alan. Walk out to the main Causeway and stick up one finger. This lets the local taxis know you want to share a cab and will pay one dollar for your journey. We got out ten minutes later on the edge of the city, bought metro cards for three dollars and went to the bus stop. Air conditioning and twenty five cents taken off your card. Our forty minute journey ended at a Mall with a massive Rey and Super 99 supermarket(s) on different levels, many telephone, Chinese gift, food, clothing shops – to visit later. Computer successfully delivered with a twenty dollar “we’ll take a look” fee. Asked to return Thursday which we did. Chap all smiles as he put the pile of micro screws back in. Later that night happily switched on to finally download photographs. Oooooooo screen disappeared. Overheating message and automatic shutdown. Our lovely repair man had sadly forgotten to connect the fan. Back on the bus on Friday to have him do it. Chance to explore the mall for a couple of hours and buy some more beer. Yes skipper.
A tug caused the days excitement last week when some workers using an oxyacetylene torch had an Oooops moment. All that is sadly remaining is the burnt out shell of this little working girl.
Still happily watching the chums slip quietly by the anchorage
Sunday. I finally joined the Egg Gang. Bear always gives himself the cracked, happy shapes – his proud pair, today there was three, Yeeha, mine in the middle and the amazing trio
As this is a global first, I better show this happy event in greater detail.
Our dull Sunday afternoon saw Scott Free and Sheer Tenacity join the fleet (the captains Steve and Rod were half of our A Team of linehandlers). So pleased to see they have safely come through the Canal. Hope to catch up with them after they have rested.
Alan came over for supper as we have all been confined to our boats today, a blow had been expected and out of the blue gusts of over thirty knots hit the anchorage. Several boats dragged and there were fun and games fending off, but good natured neighbours helped avert any damage and aided re-anchoring, this little boat from Sweden was one such escapee, shooting backwards just before dusk, very quickly she was tethered by many willing hands and several ready-for-action dinghies. Everything settled, thankfully into a quiet night.
En route to the internet outside one of the restaurants Bear just had to do it.
Bear also found an anchor, returned to his new found gun for a ‘modern pose’ and helped support a lady on a dolphin. By nine o’clock this morning we were sitting outside the grocery store that provides free internet (so long as you buy five dollars worth of shopping – not a problem as we both needed chocolate to face emails and grown up things like banking, credit card payment, yuk and fun things like catching up with emails. Then to begin the slow process of doing a couple of blogs.
Las Brezas anchorage with Panama City in the background.
ALL IN ALL HOW TIME FLIES