We had 3 days in glorious Panama city … what a fabulous place. Totally surpassed my expectations!
It was a frantic start. Jane & Tim left the boat to head home. Sadly, there was not much ceremony … time was short and our focus was getting work organised to repair the damage to the boat … metal worker for the stanchions, polisher for the hull and woodworker for the capping rail. We had had an amazing trip together with Jane & Tim so I feel the need to get back together, drink champagne and say a proper thank you, reminiscing about bonding in the bilges when we next see them!
Laura and I got down to cleaning the boat ready for Shirls and David who arrived at 7.30pm - straight from the airport. I worried that Laura may have thought she was joining us for a few days of R&R … on her arrival training started for her as a line handler through the canal and of course, without Tim & Jane, cleaning duties fell to us as the skipper calmed down from the events earlier in the day! It was fabulous to see Shirley and David … most importantly for Chris, they had brought Starlink - the Elon Musk internet system for mobile homes. A number of our ARC friends have Starlink and Chris has been going green with envy as we have struggled with internet. No more! All installed and once more, Cap P is a happy chap.
So what of Panama? Shirley & David had booked themselves into a hotel for a couple of nights as all dates were a little fluid. Laura and I explored Panama as we provisioned, got cash, built up pharmacy provisions and searched for a chandlery. There is a massive modern down town - a skyline similar to Hong Kong or Dubai. There is also a charming old town - lovely shops, great restaurants, roof top bars and beautiful old architecture. So much history here. Laura and I did a half day tour and loved it … the history of the independence of Panama from the Spanish, the French, the Columbians and finally the Americans, is fascinating with the strategic importance of the canal driving high stakes for control from many different countries. We have purchased Panama hats (of course!) and are committed to returning to explore more.
Time to leave on Thursday afternoon to give room to the ARC boats coming through the canal in the second transit. As ever, workmen on the boat until the very last minute but by 6pm we were anchored in the bay outside of Panama. Laura has taken over from Jane as chief chef so our first meal altogether on board was a delicious prawn dish, lovely salads and excellent wine. We are all set!
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