Archive for September, 2009

Sunday in Panama City

Posted in Uncategorized on September 14, 2009 by issycf

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Beuller the pirate!

Today James, our friends Beuller and Flo, Beuller’s dog Coffee and I went into town. It was flo’s last day here so we went to the Mercado de Mariscos to have a nice meal before he went to the airport.

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Mercado de Mariscos

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Flo and Boiler

The mercado de Mariscos is the place to go to get fresh seafood. The market is freshly supplied everyday by the fishermen and there is a resteraunt upstairs which is pretty cheap. If you want you can even buy your seafood downstairs then go up to the resteraunt and let the professionals cook it! It’s delicious!

After we said goodbye to Flo, Beuller, Coffee,  James and I went walking around the city simply taking it in and admiring its charm. We bought some ice cream- I chose grape-nut flavour (I have no idea what grape nuts are but it was really tasty!) and James and I tried on some hats!

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Mr. Panama

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Coffee sussing out a local cat

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Me in my new hat

Overall, it was a really nice day and now we are all outside what we call the ‘Balboa Yaught Club’, but actually it’s just a few chairs outside a convenience store- the only place near our anchorage where you can get free internet access! Coffee is slumped at Beuller’s feet, exhausted and I think we all feel the same way right now.

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Panamanian Streets

Posted in Uncategorized on September 10, 2009 by issycf

Panamanian streets wind and cobble their ways around the city. There is an old man in a hat playing a banjo and singing his heart out.  Salsa music and reggeaton are pumping from the modern stores, which sell brightly coloured clothing and silver sandals while small stray kittens scavenge for food underneath park benches.

The buildings are beautiful and old, there are ferns growing between the cracks in the concrete as if to say that nature will have its way eventually. The paint of the weatherboard is worn and chipped away.150

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James and I walk into a small café and sit down. The elderly are perched at every table, eating fruit and drinking warm milk tea. While we sip at our tea I watch as an old lady pulls out her lipstick and re-applies it to her lips, giving them a lick when she is finished to remove the excess. She then resumes flirting with the old man sitting opposite her.

There is a man sat at the bar who tells us he is the guy who can get you what you want, from marijuana to cocaine to a tour around the city. He is eating a packet of instant noodles he brought in and watching x- men in Spanish on the T.V. in the corner.

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A Kuna woman sits on a bench weaving a Mola, dressed in her traditional clothing.

We celebrate because after four days, we finally got our engine working again and soon enough we should be on our way to the Galapogas. A nice meal of sashimi and a cold beer does the trick.

The Panama Canal

Posted in Uncategorized on September 5, 2009 by issycf

IMG_1944.JPGLine handlers Dicky and Isabelle, and photographer Jennifer

Transiting the Panama Canal was an experience to be remembered. While you can hire line handlers, we decided to take other yaughties instead and boy was it an adventure! We took Jennifer and Dicky, Sue and George. While we knew Dicky and Jennifer well and had made friends with them during our shared nights in the Shelter Bay pool, we hadn’t had a chance to get to know Sue and George but we were kind of desperate for handlers and when they offered, we were thrilled. Little did we know what lay ahead.

After a nice dinner of Tacos, both Dicky and George got out a bottle of rum each. Jennifer and Dicky were keeping us well entertained with their stories of cruising life. An hour later both litre bottles were empty and while one of those bottles was shared between five of us, George drank a whole bottle himself. First he started rocking forwards and backwards humming. We all thought he was just joking around until he got up to take a pee and nearly fell into the water.

George sung his drunken ballads all night, keeping everyone awake, and then we heard him get up to take a pee. His wife Sue tried to help him but he was too drunk to go close to the water and he was way too drunk to climb into the cockpit and go to the toilet. Then we all heard the inevitable. Georges pee hitting our deck! I was lying there in bed praying that none of it would go onto the mattresses we had outside for him. We certainly learnt that it is a good idea to get to know people before you allow them to come on board. And my hat off to George who despite having what must have been a killer hangover, still managed to do the lines in the morning.

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Canal workers throwing out the lines

IMG_1998.JPGThe Canal Locks

The experience of the canal itself was incredible, going through the locks was exciting as they filled with water and then on the way down were drained. We had to attach four lines to the dock and have the line handlers pull up the slack to prevent the boat from hitting the sides of the canal. 24 hours after entering the canal on the Atlantic side, we were sailing out of the last lock and into the Pacific, it was such a thrill, we were finally on our way. The adventure had only just begun.

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                        Dicky                                       Beautiful Jennifer, Captain James

A thank you to our line handlers for you help getting us through the canal. And especially to Dicky and Jennifer for all of your jokes and stories not only during the transit but also at Shelter Bay. We look forward to hearing more when we catch you again somewhere on the deep blue!

Favourite pics from the San Blas

Posted in Uncategorized on September 3, 2009 by issycf

Just before we put a posting up of our journey through the Panama Canal, here are some faves of the San Blas!

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