Finally in the water again !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Being rocked back to sleep, no more nightly beeping noises from reversing trucks!
We spent three weeks on the hard. The workers started at 7 in the morning, and we adapted to that. Especially in the last week, when we painted everything alone, we got up so early. That’s the only way to take advantage of the daylight, and at noon you have to take a break because of the heat. Twice we continued to work in the evening with floodlight. Accordingly, we fell into bed before Sailor’s Midnight (9 pm). But the effort was worth it. The SAN sparkles again in new splendour and looks bombastically good. 🙂 Especially the new screw is flashing and blinking. At least it did until we smeared it with anti-pox grease.
Life at the shipyard was interesting. An old ship was being dismantled next to us. People came by after working hours to pick up usable parts and there was a lot of welding during the day. Once the water pipe was torn off when a new ship was being put in its place. This left the welders without cooling water and a fire quickly started. Fortunately, it did not spread. The pipe was also quickly repaired, it just needed to be welded. The guys here always had their welding equipment at hand like cowboys have their colts. Another popular tool was an iron rod, which can be used universally, including for poking drainage holes in the ground.
There was a bathroom that we could use, quite basic but clean. However, it was better to shower in the evening directly by the boat at the hose. The water was nice and warm because the feeder line runs in the sun for long stretches. We could also use the toilets on board until the holding tanks were full. We didn’t manage that, we have 3 toilets for 2 people 😉 Only with the washing-up water was it a bit tedious, as it was not allowed to run down the freshly painted hulls.
The shipyard adjoins a gravel and sand storage area. It was busy day and night. Must have been serving an important construction site that they were allowed to continue working even during curfew hours. In any case, the „beep, beep, beep“ indicating that a truck or excavator was reversing could be heard all night. Mathias speculated that the sand camp was used as an excavator playground at night, because there seemed to be more activity then than during the day.
A pack of dogs lives on both sites. The dogs took some getting used to at first, especially when I suddenly came across a bunch of them in the evening and they barked loudly at me. At that point, however, I was just so annoyed by the general situation that I didn’t feel like being attacked by a pack of dogs. So I waved my arms and shooed them away with a loud voice. That worked and since then we got along fine. The dogs liked to use the big shade of the SAN, there it was pleasant with a bit of wind, almost cool. In the second week there was a miserable peeping around our boat: a little puppy felt left alone. It took a while until I discovered the other dogs and a second puppy and could bring the little one back to them. After that, we often had the two puppies over. The somewhat bigger one was already cheekier and had fun biting one in the shoe. Since I was wearing my old sailing shoes and was going to throw them away at the end of the work anyway, I didn’t mind. You just had to be careful not to accidentally step on a small dog.
If our boat wasn’t so wide, we could have had the work done in a posh marina. But I think we were better situated in the boatyard. While we were lying there, 3 large motor yachts also came out of and into the water. However, the owners did not live on the boats and did not work on them themselves.
All in all, three exhausting weeks. But who wants to complain, there was something to do, now everything is ship shape again. If it weren’t for Corona. Panama had some important holidays in November, and Mother’s Day is celebrated here on 8 December. I guess everyone went home. In any case, the number of cases has risen and two curfews have been imposed for Christmas and New Year. From the 24th in the evening to the 28th in the morning there is quarantine and then again from the 31st in the evening to the 4th in the morning. In the time in between you can go out, but men and women are only allowed to enter the shops alternately, so only women are allowed to shop on the 21st, 23rd, 28th and 30th. That’s why I went out for a bulk purchase on the 21st. We got into the water at 8am and motored the 16 nautical miles (against the wind) back to Panama City.
However, I had made it a condition not to return to the same anchorage. We are now moored on the other side of the island chain and have a great view of the skyline of Panamacity. This is also where most of the other yachts are moored that can’t get any further due to corona.
Now comes the compulsory break over the holidays, which we can use to clean up the SAN well from the inside and do the laundry. Afterwards, we want to change anchorage to a small offshore island and spend New Year’s Eve and the rest of the quarantine there. After all, the boat has to be moved so that it doesn’t grow full again straight away. The antifouling is supposed to be good for 60 months. Ha, but not when you are anchored in Panama…..
Obituary of the drilling machine:
With the help of Mathias‘ drill, we had stirred the primer. Unfortunately, during an intense downpour, it got so wet that it just died. That’s tough after 40 years of faithful service. And in a country where you can only buy tools for the wrong voltage 😉 Yes, during a circumnavigation you have to part with some old things.
We heard bad stories from Carry On Sailing about the onward journey north. They had two encounters with pirates on the Atlantic side of Honduras. Once an attempt was made to ram their stern and another time they overheard a conversation on shore in which an attack on them was planned. However, the pirates did not know that the woman from Carry On Sailing is Venezuelan and could therefore understand everything well. They recommended sailing in the waters with radar only. Turn off AIS and lights. Fortunately, we have not yet heard such reports from the Pacific side, but the onward journey still needs to be well planned.
We wish you all Merry Holidays
and a vaccination soon!