We’re Back. Yes, there was some minor surgery for Derick. He has something in common with King Charles now. (Edit, since the time of this post it has been announced that the Prince has cancer. I do not, just the BPH) He was fortunate to get an opening for the procedure shortly after we arrived back in Vancouver. We waited the required 6 week recovery time and booked it out of there. We are not used to the snow and cold anymore! On the bright side, we were home for Christmas.
Back in Panama, we picked up where we left off. Completed the last of the recommissioning chores, cleaning, tidying and generally playing boat Tetris as we find a home for everything.
There is a shuttle bus that runs from the marina to Colon and back twice a day. Mr. Ranger is the driver, and he will know where you need to go for pretty much anything. The grocery store has a delivery van that will take you and your groceries back to the marina if you purchase over $500 worth. Trust me, provisioning for the next couple of months, with no access to stores, makes that pretty easy to do.
We are headed to the San Blas Islands for the first part of our trip. Wikipedia describes the islands as “The San Blas Islands of Panama is an archipelago comprising approximately 365 islands and cays, of which 49 are inhabited.” More info here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/San_Blas_Islands. There are no stores per say but we’ve been told the locals will come by in boats to sell fruits, veggies and fresh fish.
I’d like to say that we worked our selves to the bone but with temps of 30 C every day and high humidity we definitely had to pace ourselves. We enjoyed hanging out in the pool most afternoons with fellow cruisers. There is a very good cruiser community at Shelter Bay Marina. Wednesdays at 5:00 is happy hour and Sunday nights are the potluck dinners.
Another interesting distraction was the triathlon that took place in the marina. Sponsored by Red Bull, we had swimmers pass right by our boat. We decided we were much more suited to watch a triathlon than participate.
There was also the Panama Posse get together and party last night. We took in a couple of seminars, enjoyed the barbequed pig and potluck side dishes, free rum, music and a group of school children demonstrating local dance, why would you miss out on that.
At 8:15 the next morning we were on our way. After nine months of being in dry storage and the marina, its about time!