Directions

Our latest entry always comes up first...

Click this link if you want to start at the beginning of our trip from
South Carolina (where we bought the boat) to Lake Ontario Click this link:

If you want to see the story of our 2 1/2 year project getting
Blowin' Bubbles ready for our life on board click here:
FIRST "REFIT" BLOG ENTRY - March 2011

If you want to start at the beginning of our trip:
START OF TRIP - July 2014
2015, 2016, 2017, 2018

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

We Are In Shelter Bay (Near Colon) Panama

Welcome to our Blog. Our latest entry always comes up first... 
Click this link if you want to start at the beginning:
FIRST BLOG ENTRY
If you want to start at the beginning of our trip:
START OF TRIP
If you want to see the story of our trip from South Carolina
(where we bought the boat)
 to Lake Ontario Click this link:
  SOUTH CAROLINA
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
After just under 5 months, we finally left Bocas del Toro and have headed east to the Colon district of Panama.  This is the westward entrance to the Panama Canal.  

This is the BUSIEST place we have EVER been! Our AIS is covered with blue targets.  For every blue target, it means there is a ship...

With all that traffic, we just had to radio Christobel Control, which is like the traffic control center, and we safely entered the inner harbor and have pulled into the marina in Shelter Bay.
There were literally HUNDREDS of big ships waiting to enter the canal.


A 4 or 5 mile break wall that protects the inner harbor.
You may wonder why... It turns out there is a family situation at home that means Shelley and must fly home on Saturday.  Our hope is that we will return in 8 days.


We finished up our house/dog sitting duties earlier this week and began preparations to travel to the San Blas Islands in the south east corner of Panama.  We placed an $1000 food order with the Panama equivalent of Costco and were completely ready to go when we learned we needed to go back to Canada.  The good news is that most of what we bought will keep while we are gone...
Alex from the marina helped us get our goodies home...

Shelley checking off our order...


Wine - $2.50 each, Beer - $11 per case and Rum....$11 for almost 2 liters!

Barely room to move....

Bubbles back in "Sea Mode" - Ready to go!

This trip from Bocas to Colon was just over 150 nautical miles and we did it in just 2 days.  Our first day saw us sail to Escudo de Veraguas, which is a small  isolated about 20 miles from the mainland.  There were a few Indian families living on the island, but it was mostly deserted.  We wished we could have spent more that one night here, but we needed to get going.
Course Plotted!

We then motorsailed for 20 hours overnight to Shelter Bay.  We fished the hole time but caught NOTHING...  I guess that why they call it fishing, and not catching...  We do have an impressive fishing rig though.  When conditions permit we have two lines on outriggers, two lines off the back and one line on a poor man's downrigger.



We did however, pick up 4 hitch hikers.  That's right 4 small birds joined us just around suppertime last night and eventually settled in under our dodger for the whole night.  Clearly, they were not afraid of us and this morning just after sunrise they woke up and flew away... Who knew!


Sharing Supper!




Just before morning takeoff!

Shelley and I will blog again when we get back from Canada.  In the mean time, I leave you with two pictures we took on our way out of the Bocas archipelago.  It was Sunday morning and these Indian men were out for a day of sailing and fishing fun...  I guess their life isn't that much different from mine...


Cheers...





Saturday, October 17, 2015

Heading Home....

Shelley and I will be heading home to Canada next Saturday for 8 days.  We have to take care of some unexpected family stuff.  We will leave Bocas del Toro tomorrow (Sunday) and sail about 100 nm to leave the boat near Colon which is near Panama City where we will fly from.

More soon...
Cheers

Sunday, October 11, 2015

A Week House Sitting....

Welcome to our Blog. Our latest entry always comes up first... 
Click this link if you want to start at the beginning:
FIRST BLOG ENTRY
If you want to start at the beginning of our trip:
START OF TRIP
If you want to see the story of our trip from South Carolina
(where we bought the boat)
 to Lake Ontario Click this link:
  SOUTH CAROLINA
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Not since we left Cozumel have we slept off the boat.  I have to admit it has taken some getting used to...  First there is no movement and second, all the NOISES! Between crickets and monkeys it has been quite an adjustment...

This week we finally got our test results from the local hospital.  The really good news is that with the hot compress treatment we have been doing on our own, the Leishmaniasis seems to be clearing up for Shelley and myself...

Before our friends, Mary and Carl left, we noticed a small crack in the gunnel of their panga.  I told them I would look into the rack while they were gone...  I'm not sure if it was the smartest thing I ever did...  It turns out that there was some serious rot under the fiberglass...

What was suppose to take a few minutes, ended up taking a few days...  In the end, I think the repair turned out great.








I also did a few other small jobs around the house to keep from being board...
I installed a toilet...


Fixed some dock boards

Cleaned the prop of their sailboat, "Camryka"


added new zinc


Bagged the prop so it won't happen again so quickly...


Shelley and I were given some beautiful squash to eat, we picked it and Shelley turned it into a tasty thick soup...

We tried Shelley's new "air" solar dehydrator.  Unfortunately with 90% plus humidity here in the jungle, it didn't work out very well....  We will try again when we are back on the boat...


Shelley and I kept busy looking after Mandy (their dog) and the neighbor's (Juana) dog, Indie...  Indie just decided to hang out with us while Juana was away as well...  



She also found some time to paint and make some beautiful photos...  Enjoy!







It looks like Mary and Carl will be home next week and we will provision and then head out to the San Blas Islands in the south east end of Panama for a few months...

Just before Mary left she took this great picture of Blowin' Bubbles...


Cheers!