Thursday, 24 January 2013

Story Telling Time

Ok, so we have been a bit busy lately working out stuff for the transit, doing a bit of shopping, and working on the boat. Unfortunately this has lead to only a few pictures going up and few stories told (even though I am connected to the web again).  So here are a few more.

First off while in Portobello we went on some mad bus rides into Panama City with our friends Dylan and Sally on Orion. It started off around 8:30 on a packed school bus with standing room only. These are no ordinary busses as you saw in previous pictures. They are painted with graffiti and decked out with lights. There is almost always an endeared friend, girlfriend, child, or female wrestler pictured on the back. Some scenes depict epic battles between serpents and large breasted female warriors with large laser cannons mounted under their arms. Inside the bus looks like a bad night club with shiny pleather seats with silver sparkles and caribbean music blowing out the speakers which are everywhere. Then they have no mufflers but have installed dry stacks up the back (the exhaust pipes semi tractors have).

After speeding through the windy coastal road we finally get to Colon, and transfer onto the express bus to Panama city. It is a nice coach bus with A/C and american movies blaring. In three hours and $5 later we were at the mall in Panama City, what a culture shock. We went from peaceful little islands to a quite coastal town, to a major metropolitan mecca with a bus terminal that makes international airports around the world seem not so busy.

We enjoyed our food court delicacies and shopping fixes. I got myself a new spear gun which I hope will do wonders for my underwater catch rate. Quickly we got overwhelmed and headed back, a good trip and a great experience.

The next Day we headed down to Shelter Bay Marina. A wonderful sail in 15 knots of wind on our quarter, maybe a bit behind at times. We sneaked our way through the tankers and freighters some moving some anchored. Pulled into Shelter Bay and met up with our old friends on Salty Dog, John and Alina. They were on the hard as John needed to install all new seacocks. Major bummer. They should be back in the water tomorrow, which will be good, as I think they have reached their marina expiry date and want to get moving again.

We spent yesterday  shopping again, Jennie managed to get 5 bikinis averaging about $7 each pair. The prices here are cheap and they are name brands too. It is pretty awesome. I figure we won't see prices like this for a very long time so Jennie can get her shopping fix in while the impact on our budget is miniscule.

Our date for our canal transit is set, we are just trying to gather some line handlers. We will be line handling on another boat on the 27th which is great to see how it all gets done before I take Cypraea through.

Marina gossip got my anxiety up over the past few days. Apparently when we went and got 35 gallons of diesel, a boat the same day got some and their engines went as they were heading back to their slip. I on the other hand I had carted over jerry cans and trucked them back to the boat. I also use a baha filter. We got a bit of water out, but nothing major, and the diesel did look a bit opaque. I heard the rumours and started running my filters to try and clean it up. This morning I fired her up and she ran ok (knock on wood). I also changed the oil, drained any water out of the filters and filled up the coolant. Things are coming together.

A bit more provisioning and a few more boat jobs and we are looking good to be back in the Pacific.


Northfork said...

If you are still looking for line handlers. Look on the board or ask the marina about the Panama City Marine School (I can't remember the exact name but I'll see if I can dig it up - for kids that want to work on big ships). We used four students from there. All they asked was for the bus fair to get them to the boat and that we of course feed them. They were great kids (by kids I mean 18-22ish) and our Pilot loved that we were giving kids from his home country an opportunity to transit the canal. He was much more involved in making sure things went correctly and smoothly than when we were line-handlers on another persons boat (same pilot). I think he really enjoyed working with the kids.

Dave Wyness said...

Bad ass idea. We saw some on the bus coming back from Panama City today. The look like pretty sharp kids.

Dave Wyness said...

Bad ass idea. We saw some on the bus coming back from Panama City today. The look like pretty sharp kids.