|Looking for a post office. Pretty area this.|
|A new spiral building going up.|
David had noticed that one of our jammers were tearing the outer covering of our main halyard and the last thing we needed was to have that break, then jam up the works and inhibit the mainsail from being dropped....just what you don't need if the wind comes up..so he first spent about 4 days traveling around Panama trying to find outlets for things we needed on board....an almost futile pastime. Panama doesn't really cater to us yachties. We are only here for about three months of the year then we're off again, either into the Caribbean or off across the Puddle to the South Pacific islands...so why bother get a business running for that short a period of time. Consequently if we want any specified parts we have to fly them in from the USA. So While he was ordering a new jammer or clutch he also ordered new lockable latches for all 10 of the outside lockers where we store our fenders, extra ropes, extra water and diesel, our spinnaker, and hose pipes, cleaning fluids....all sorts of things that we need periodically on the boat. We also needed spare impellers as the ones we'd bought before were the wrong size... and other little things that we wanted to put on Puddytat so that our trip over would be a good one. :-D
I've started a new blog page. It's to do with all of us Africans, who create things that are influenced by our time whilst in Africa. There will be several authors posting on this blog. I'm sure it will soon prove to be rather interesting. The blog is called Africa Bursting Out!
|The part of the saloon seating that's finished.|
David has also been fiddling with the starboard rudder, putting in a new platform for the hydraulic arm to sit on . It looks very smart now. He's also had to work, and is still working, on our water maker which packed up just before Claire and Denver got here...
|New base for the hydraulic steering.|
|Old locker locks..the circle couldn't reach the hooks!|
|Nice neat new lockable locks.|
We have had a lot of rain and when it rains we can't do any work outside the boat. In this area, when it's started to rain we sometimes get winds of up to 35 knots racing through the anchorage. Sure enough boats start to drag. A few of them would surely have ended up on the rocks but for other sailors leaving their boats in driving rain, jumping in the dinghy and racing over to the stricken yachts, climbing aboard, lifting the anchor and moving the yacht, either under its own engine ( if it's not locked up and can be got at) or towing it with dinghies, or getting another motor yacht, ( which happened about two days ago), to tow it away from sure disaster, and dropping the anchor again making sure that it holds before we all go back to our boats to dry off and rest. WHEW!
|A rain storm building over Panama City.|
|Different day, different storm..notice the mirror smooth water.|
David was given a bottle of Rum today, as a thank you for rescuing another cruiser's boat...yum :-) We don't expect to be given gifts for doing things to help our neighbours. We are like a small village and we get to know each other...even if we don't know the owners of the boat we'd still race over and try and save it...The thought of coming home after a day searching town for some spare part or other to find your boat wrecked on rocks is too much to bear...we wouldn't want that to happen to us so why would we sit back and let it happen to others. Our motto : "do unto others as you'd want to be done unto you".
Last Thursday or Friday we went to town, to a store called Mega Depot where we bought about 6 months supplies of cleaning stuffs, canned goods, nuts, dried fruits..flour for bread making, etc, etc. We ended up with two huge trollies packed full...(shopping carts to some) and we still need to stock up with our fresh fruit and bulk rice, sugar and salt...strangely it seems that one of the things that islanders run out of, is salt! David and I can't understand this....when we've run short of salt we fill a bowl with sea water and leave it on deck to dry out...hey presto..salt....Out there deep in the ocean the water is lovely and clean, we use it in our cooking when we make pasta, potatoes or rice. We're also going to buy kids 't' shirts, shorts, skirts, toys, some educational stuff, toothpaste and tooth brushes, nail polish and remover, perfumes, body lotions and anything else feminine I can think of ..oh yes needles and thread.....these are great to use for trade for fresh fruit and stuff out there on far away islands.
And so the time flies by, We seem to be always be busy, then the rains come, work stops and we are outside watching to see if anyone is dragging, needing help, or making sure we're not dragging. At the same time I'm collecting rain water to do laundry in....and once I sprayed soap all over the cockpit floor and got down on my hands and knees and scrubbed it..letting the rain water rinse it down...the air here in Panama is very dirty, what with the hundreds of ships passing by, the car exhausts and soot from burning sugar cane fields...things turn black in no time at all.
Late afternoon is always the best time of day. The air has been cooled by the rain and there is a slight breeze blowing .. we put our feet up and read or surf the internet. Sometimes someone stops by for a chat and a cold beer. This is okay...but I must admit I'm pretty sick of this place, I really do not like cities..I yearn for the fresh clean air of the open ocean...and I'm really looking forward to our adventure to the Darien Rainforest.
YUP we're going to sail there and venture up the river. We intend dropping our anchor, way up river and experiencing the toucans, parrots of all kinds, myriads of butterflies, howler and other monkeys...watching the snakes and crocodiles swim by...but no humans... There are humans around but there aren't many and it's apparently easy to find a place devoid of them. So that's what the next post will be about...
There will be a long period of time between this post and the next. After we leave the forest we will be heading out to the French Polynesian Islands...that will take about 4 weeks...We don't have an SSB radio and so don't have 'sailmail' therefore we will have no contact with the outside world till we arrive in Hiva Oa or somewhere like that.......so no posts sorry....I will be writing while we are sailing so that when we get ashore I'll post them up for you to read.
Until then..... :-D