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Noah's Ark

13 Feb 2018 Richard St Lucia to Columbia
Whilst we were in Shelter Bay (the Caribbean side of Panama) we had the boat fumigated. Surprisingly, this was not necessitated by having Jacob on board for an extended period of time, instead it is a requirement for all boats visiting the Galapagos Islands. Likewise, you have to make sure your bottom is squeaky clean (that’s the boat’s bottom, not the individual crew members’, or at least I hope that’s what they mean).

Sloths in the city

12 Feb 2018 Richard St Lucia to Columbia
After the weeks of coral seas and remote marinas it is quite a shock to arrive in Panama City with its high-rise buildings, giant shopping malls and traffic jams. It provided a great opportunity to re-stock the food cupboards, and for Vanessa to get a much needed haircut (during which I was entertained by the campest straight man I have ever met, who made me coffee and talked a lot about wine).

Go east young man

11 Feb 2018 Richard St Lucia to Columbia
Great trivia fact: to go from the Atlantic to the Pacific via the Panama Canal actually involves going east rather than west. We have done a fair number of locks in the past, but these have mostly been in France. The etiquette there is to rev up your engine and charge for the lock gates the second they open. Those unwilling to incur bumps and scratches to their boat may choose to hang back, but you then risk missing the lock altogether.

Meet the natives

10 Feb 2018 Richard St Lucia to Columbia
Life has been a bit hectic this past couple of weeks: fixing things that have been broken, provisioning for the next leg, making sure we have enough fuel and gas. Things always take much longer on a boat and there never seems to be enough time. But it’s not all been work and no play. Whilst we were on the Caribbean side of Panama waiting to transit the canal, we spent a day visiting an Embera Indian village.

Brief encounter

31 Jan 2018 Richard St Lucia to Columbia
Following our disappointing night at the monkey-less, Lindon Island, we decided pay a quick visit to the town of Portobello, once a major port for sending gold back to Spain, but now slightly shabby around the edges. The wind was blowing strongly offshore as we turned the headland and set course for the anchorage. As we headed into the bay I noticed the bows of a dugout canoe pointing upwards at an alarming angle.