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Date: 10 Jan 2010 13:02:18
Title: Cabin Boys Party

Hello Friends                            "8:54.5N 79:31.5W"
 
We've enjoyed an entertaining Christmas and New Year in Las Perlas and also enjoyed some considerable success with fishing. We caught a mackerel on the way round to Espiritu Santo and once anchored, we had much success casting with a rod and spinner from the foredeck.
 
here's a pic of Matt's very first fish - not bad for a first but we're hoping he can find a bigger one next time...
 
 
We're not sure exactly what this fellow was, possibly a 'corvina' a type of bass; but certainly very good eating with white flesh much like sea bass. Encouraged by Matt's success, Michael decided to have a go and sought instruction from George, the master angler. George made one cast, then turned back to talk and then the line twitched and .... well we caught another like the one above, just on a single cast. By this time the freezer was full so we gave it away to a neighbouring boat.
 
One day we held a beach BBQ and also took the opportunity of clearing up and burning all the plastic trash which washes up, so we left the beach a cleaner place than when we arrived. An essential component of a Blue Sky BBQ is the hammocks, so that snoozes can be held after lunch.
 
 
Low water exploration was fun too and here's a shot of the far side of Espiritu Santo at low water whilst we were beachcombing and rock scrambling (sometimes challenging in flip-flops)...
 
 
Sorry about these pics - we know that our friends in the UK are all snowed in! Hopefully the sight of all this blue sky will warm you up a bit.
 
We sailed back to Panama City (we had a great sail) and anchored just by Flamenco Signal station at the Pacific end of the Canal so that Alex and Matt could go clubbing as part of Alex's birthday celebrations. Having carelessly arranged to have a birthday on Tuesday, clubbing was rather unsuccessful and the phone rang at only 2330 for a pickup at the dock. The boys resolved to party properly all Friday night when they were sure the clubs would be busier.
 
... Except that today (Saturday) is Martyrs' Day**, which means that all bars are closed. So going clubbing on Friday night meant just that and at midnight everything shut down. The boys had the wisdom to find a hostel for the night, rather than attempt to wake the skipper after midnight. The search for a long night out continues..!
 
[** Martyrs' Day commemorates an event in 1964 when US students had removed and destroyed the Panama flag flying next to the US flag on Ancon Hill (a prominent landmark at the Pacific end of the canal and within the 'canal zone'). The treaty obligation was for both flags to be flown. There were some disturbances following this insult to Panama and subsequently Panamanian students entered the canal zone to attempt to replace the Panama flag. US forces opened fire and a number of students were killed. A very large Panama flag now flies on Ancon Hill.
 
I think I have the details right on this, but if you know better, let me know.]
 
At the moment we're attempting to extend our 3 month visas at the slightly ridiculous cost of $100 a head. If that works, we'll hang on in Panama for a while and if not, we'll head up to Costa Rica.
 
Good luck with the weather wherever you are - it's still seriously hot here in Panama.
 
Best Wishes
 
George, Michael Alex and Matt.
 
 
 
 
 
 

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