Monday, November 13, 2006

I'll Take The United States For $800 Alex

Panama is the place pirate ships come to get new crew. This place is like the bar scene from the first Star Wars. They’ve been cross pollinating for over 500 years and since it’s the meeting place of 2 continents and 2 oceans, this town has every type of everything. I’m going to miss it.

I’ve lubed and stored my bicycle. I’ve written up all the instructions for Ricardo. I’ve color coordinated the procedures for starting and stopping both the generator and the Perkins. I’ve locked the last remaining kayak 4 different ways, I’ve deflated the dink and lashed it forward of the companionway. I’ve run a cable through all the fuel jugs. All the lines are coiled and secured, I’ve checked and rechecked my lists, I’m packed.

June 30th 2005: I knew it was the last evening I would be sleeping in my bedroom at 802 Dover Court. I was wondering what the next year would hold. This time I’m only wondering what the next 2 months will hold, but the anxiety of leaving my known surroundings is still a rat in my belly.

I’ve picked a good buoy. I know the depth at spring tides (which means extreme lows) is manageable for my 6.5 foot draft. If I would have left it at anchor in La Playita, the thieves would have picked my bones clean. I think I’ve bought myself some peace of mind here at the Balboa Yacht Club for the sum of $500 per month.

Random Observations:

Everything is a haggle, but when I haggle with the taxi drivers the negotiation takes a turn. This is where I have the upper hand. All they want is money. I want air conditioning. “Esta bien. Una y media, pero con aire condicion.”

I just ate the last tin from the States. It was Del Monte Fresh Cut Whole Kernel Corn. That means it’s been sitting beneath the sink for a year. I find it interesting that the water that comes out of that spigot smells like old broccoli. I guess there’s a vegetable theme happening here.

If you’re a street vendor and you put on a Michael Jackson video, crowds will gather. The guy has such a pull on the world it baffles me to no end, but they love him in Latin America and I don’t think he knows a single word of Spanish.

Since it’s near the 1 year anniversary of the flooding in New Orleans they showed some old footage and on it there was a lady who had been soaked out of her home and they were offering her a sailboat to stay in and she said, “I know my rights. You can’t make me live like that!”

I live in a sailor park and I own a snailboat, but tomorrow I will be eating lean pastrami and sleeping in clean sheets with air conditioning. Miami here I come!


Crossing the Border The Georgian immigration lady literally put a diamond loupe on my driver's license and passport and went over every ...