Originally we started this journey to postpone the life of pensioners for a few more years. But now it feels like being retired. You don’t move far away from home and deal with things that you have been putting off for a long time. The days often feel like in the movie „Groundhog Day“. Always the same, 32 degrees, too warm to be very active during the day and without a fixed daily routine. For the time we’ll really be pensioners we have to choose a country where it is cooler, or at least the climate is just more varied. Sure, we wanted to take our time and not just sail all the time, but a little more action would be nice. You see, you can get a camp fever even here.
The weekly shopping trip, which I have now taken several times, is becoming almost routine. Only, I am still on a war footing with the turnstiles I have to use when getting on and off the bus. I have already left the shopping scooter at home and only take a backpack and two bags. How do people with a push chair manage to get on the bus? Maybe they just don’t take the bus. But otherwise I am quite happy about the bus connections, a ride costs only 25 cents, no matter how long it is. That should be introduced in Germany.
Meanwhile, I know the bus route well and can pay more attention to the view en route.
Preparation for shore leave
There was another opportunity for Europeans to leave the country. A plane carrying Panamanian returnees from Europe was allowed to land here. Europeans from Panama were allowed to travel in this plane on the return flight. However, for us the option of leaving the ship here unsupervised is not attractive. So we continue to wait and see.
This is one of the uninhabited neighbouring boats. The tiger can’t scare away the seagulls….
And so there is not much news to tell. Mathias has meanwhile produced several digests for his anchor chain length calculations and published them under „Fun Facts“. I finally managed to put on a sourdough and bake a German rye bread every now and then as long as the rye flour still lasts. A hole is gnawing at our supplies. The last time I could buy rye flour was in Guadeloupe. So at some point it will become important to be able to reach a larger supermarket with more choices. So far there is no loosening of the lockdown in Panama in sight. The DIY stores should be allowed to reopen, but without public traffic. Somehow you should be able to order online and have the goods delivered to your home. An option that is difficult to impossible for us.
In Panama, the dry season is over, but this only means that it rains or there are thunderstorms from time to time, not that it rains all the time. The temperature is hardly influenced by the rainfall. One only has to make sure that all hatches are closed, otherwise there quickly is a small flood in the room. Besides Corona, the fight against the Aedes Egyptian mosquito, which transmits dengue fever, is also being fought now. One must not leave puddles of water anywhere, so that the mosquito has no breeding grounds. So, we always empty the rain water out of our dinghy.
One good thing has the local climate: When you wear masks, your glasses don’t steam up. The ambient air has the same humidity and temperature as the exhaled air 😉
Last Monday I felt strong and took the shopping scooter on the bus tour. I successfully brought two bags and the backpack through the turnstile and reached a seat just before the bus started jerking. — Even small successes count.
In general, small stories become events in this uniform time. The other day Mathias drew my attention very concerned to a deep black mole on my neck. Oh dear, not skin cancer? How is that to be clarified now? But flying home? Paaaaaniiiic! Looking in the mirror, it seemed strange to me that a mole could become so black and so big overnight and I decided to wash it first. And lo and behold: it was just a piece of coal that had stuck to the sweaty skin there at night. 🙂
Mathias at work: He fights the fouling on our three hulls !
We wrote part of an article for the German magazine „Yacht“ about how it is to be stuck in Panama. Now we have also asked the editors if they would be interested in Mathias Paper about anchoring. As luck would have it, they just got such an article from a Swiss. He used the Corona leisure time to do his calculations and came to the same results as Mathias. It’s comforting to know that there are others who deal with the topic mathematically after all and that we are not the only nerds. But dynamic anchoring is not included in the paper, so there will probably be a follow-up article by Mathias in which he presents these additions.