Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Panama Part 2

I spent a few weeks at The Balboa Yacht Club. It was nice, in a “marina” sort of way that I usually make fun of. No need to have a dinghy, they provided 24 hour water taxi service. Sometimes I could even pull in a wireless connection for the internet while on the boat, mostly I had to take my laptop to the outdoor café, but it’s nice to be at an outdoor café too. They even had live music twice a week. Sweet Home Alabama and Hotel California just don’t sound right with a Spanish accent, and the Hispanics don’t dig my Morrissey collection. We all agree on Manu Chao however. I think he is the great unifying force in all Hispanic & Latin countries. Check out his music if you haven’t already.

I was on a mooring ball about ¼ mile south of the Bridge of the Americas. This is the bridge that would link North and South America if the US would allow Panama to complete the roads through the Darien to Columbia. Never gonna happen when Columbia’s largest export is cocaine. This is also the same bridge that will serve as my finish line when I complete my circumnavigation. I spent many hours staring at that bridge in all different times of day noticing how the lighting changed it’s form and trying to image what it will be like all those years from now. Transiting the canal will be a climatic finish to a slow race.

On the 23rd I motored Barraveigh unto a railway that was then cranked up the shore embankment and for 3 days she stood on her keel while Ricardo and I fiber glassed her rudder and painted the underside. I’m still scratching from all the glass fibers. She went back in the water yesterday and after bringing her to the dock for water I went to the anchorage at La Playita. It’s great to have her gently swaying at anchor again after being on the hard at a less then even angle. Plus I love peeing off the side and throwing banana peels out the hatches. Nobody appreciates that at the marina yard.

I spent today trying to get my 3 month extension. My first 3 months expired yesterday. I’m now an illegal alien. I’ll finish the process tomorrow. They refused to process me wearing flops, shorts and a tank top. I have to return with pants, shoes and a real shirt. I haven’t worn shoes since . . . when? California?

3 months in Panama. The weirdest part of that is that new arrivals now ask me all those questions that I used to quiz my fellow cruisers about. The last time that happened was when I was in the Dirty P. Remember those days?

Colin – I still haven’t burnt the handle on the espresso maker.
Eric – That roast was delicious. My pal Eric was just down here and the guy paid for everything. We had a blast. Farber for Panamanian Ambassador!
Davey Dave – Remember Alex, the “immune to emotion” single hander? He now professes to be in love with Cassy.
Blue Dolphin is a 36 foot Columbia that left for the Galapagos 3 weeks ago. No one has heard from them since. 3 on board and 2 of them were my drinking buddies. I’ll keep you posted.

I ended up turning down the delivery after closer inspection of the vessel and more time spent dealing with the owner. Not safe, and I didn’t want to work with him after all. I do think that I’ll fly home sometime in Nov though. See most of you then.

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