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:
I Hardly know where to begin with this post..Shelley and I received a call from her brother Bob just before we left Bocas saying that their mom was really sick and that we should think about coming home... We immediately booked a flight from Panama City to Toronto and headed for Shelter Bay where the last post left off...
On Thursday, October 22nd we had the boat hauled at the Shelter Bay Marina. Edwin, the shop manager was amazing. He got us out of the water within one day and his crew did a very professional job.
|Getting ready to haul out...|
|These guys make sure the straps are placed correctly!|
|Out she comes....|
|Keeping an eye on things...|
|Getting ready to pressure wash|
|All cleaned up... I guess we ran aground a few times....|
|Getting settled on shore...|
Once the boat was settled on shore the marina supplied a de-humidifier to help keep the mold at bay... Edwin made sure that one of his men came by every day or so to check the de-humidifier, water Shelley's plants and check our stuff on the boat. That made us feel much better about leaving her unattended....
We left the marina Friday morning and spent the night at a hotel near the airport. It was a really nice place for only about $100 including 2 free drinks and a free breakfast buffet!
We took their free shuttle to the airport and flew to Miami, Florida where out next flight was delayed a few hours. We finally arrived in Toronto at about 1am on Sunday morning. So far it was 44hours since we left the boat...
Our daughter, Kelly picked us up and took us to her place for the night where we picked up our warm clothes and winter jackets! We traveled from Panama with two very small knapsacks... This becomes significant a little later...
At around 8am Sunday, we got to Shelley's mom's house and we were blessed as her mom was alert and able to talk... We spent the rest of our time at mom's place until the night before we came home.
On Monday I picked up a rental car from Enterprise. What GREAT people they are! Jeremy, the manager hooked us up in a BRAND NEW Infinity Q-50... WOW! And the whole bill for a whole week was less than $200!
Shelley spent almost every hour with her mom and I got a ton of running around done. Remember, we have been away a long time and so many things that are really easy to find in Canada or the USA are almost impossible to find anywhere else...
We bought a ton of boat parts and other stuff for the boat. On Monday night I met with most of the folks who support our Right to Write work. They kindly agreed to keep working with us but we all agreed that we needed to start focusing on collecting cash donations and start purchasing school supplies closer to where we are. The shipping costs and logistics are getting really tough.
On Tuesday we spent time with mom and the rest of her family. It was really great to re-connect with everyone. I even found some time to see a few old friends.. Time I really cherished, Sadly, we couldn't see everyone we wanted....
On Wednesday, we went to see our family Doctor who made a special trip into his office to see us! WOW, what a great guy... He checked us over, ordered some tests and renewed our prescriptions...
On Wednesday afternoon we visited our son and his family at their home about 75 miles away. We met our NEW GRAND DAUGHTER, Olivia! And of course spent time with our other princess, Mackenzie...
|Mackenzie & Olivia - ready for Halloween...|
By Thursday, mom had really declined and we didn't venture to far anymore... Mom's wish was not to be hospitalized or sent to any palliative care facility. The only way that wish was accommodated was if we (Shelley, me, her brother and his wife) agreed to remain present and attentive to her 24 hours a day.
We did our best and mom left us at 11:25pm Friday night. The nurse didn't arrive for a few hours so they had to record her time of death on October 31st (Halloween)... Creepy...
Our good friends Scott and his wife BA, who own a local funeral home, looked after us so well, Because Shelley and I had a flight back to Panama tentatively booked for Tuesday, November 3rd, they made it so we could celebrate her life at the funeral home on Sunday afternoon...
|Stephanie, me, Kelly, Steve, Shelley|
|Shelley, Kelly & Bob|
By Monday we were EXHAUSTED but we did what we could to finish getting the things we wanted to bring back,After we returned the rental car, Kelly took us to our friends Mike & Patricia's place to sleep for a few hours before we had to catch out 6:30 am departure flight from Toronto. Thank you so much to Mike for getting up at 2am to get us there!
The flight home was much more relaxed, except we brought 5 HUGE SUITCASES filled with school supplies and boat stuff.... Thank goodness we were able to upgrade to business class for a few hundred dollars. With the upgrade all the extra luggage was FREE!
With a reasonable stopover in Florida, we arrived in Panama City at 3:30 in the afternoon, and our friend, Roger was there to pick us up and he took us all the way back to Shelter Bay. We arrived just as it was getting dark, So after Roger helped us lug the 5 bags up the ladder to the boat, we discovered that all was well, except it was hotter than Hades inside the boat and some of the vegetable we left were stinky.
|Roger and his van!|
We decided to stay in one of the rooms offered at the marina, and got a good nights sleep.
This morning we got up and Edwin made miracles happen so we could be re-launched today! You see, yesterday was a national holiday here in Panama and tomorrow is ALSO a national holiday, which meant if we didn't get in the water today, we would be stuck on the hard till Friday... While we have been gone, Edwin and his crew sanded the old bottom paint off, repaired a small problem on the bottom of the keel and got everything painted! All this without killing a single one of Shelley's plants!
|Edwin looking after the plants|
|Getting the work done!|
|Ready for paint|
|HOME! - Notice the suitcases....|
|A GREAT looking keel...|
|getting ready to go back in...|
|painting the last few bits....|
|Edwin and I|
Tonight we are in the water. We went out for dinner, went for a swim in the pool, and are getting ready to head for the San Blas Islands in the morning.
This has been a week like no other! Thank you to all the people who touch our life! No matter how bad things get, people seem to make everything manageable....
Take care, more soon!
|Shelley and her mom... walking for cancer - Shelley lost her sister a few years ago to the same crappy illness...|