Archive for April, 2009

The Perlas Islands

Today, Tuesday April 28, we finally got away from the Balboa Yacht Club and the city of Panama. We dropped off the buoy at the YC before 7AM this morning and by 3PM were anchored off Isla Contadora. We discovered a few minor problems with Lanikai's systems as we motor sailed to the islands but nothing major. All within expectations since we have been at the YC on the buoy for almost a year now. Sure feels great to be swinging from our own hook in clean water again.

Panama Elections 2009

Next Sunday (May 3) is presidential election day in Panama and the candidates are having their last minute rallies in various sites around the country.  Yesterday, the Cambio Democratico Party held a big rally in the park right near to the Balboa Yacht Club.   This party is the very strong favorite to overthrow the long-ruling PRD (Socialist) party, and bring some interesting modern changes to the country.

The main street going along the causeway was full of revelers by mid-afternoon on Sunday.  We went out to lunch with Frank and Shirley (WindSong) and Debbie (Serenity) and, knowing that the road out would be jammed, we walked over the Balboa to meet up with them.  On the walk back I got some photos of some of the highly decorated and flag-flying buses.

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Later in the evening the Vice Presidential and Presidential candidate gave speeches and after each of their speeches a mega fireworks display was fired off!!!  I walked down the walkway and snapped a few photos of the fuegos in the sky.

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Bill got his new glasses today!!! and since the Lanikai is all ready, we are hoping for an early departure to the Perlas Islands in the morning.

Dinghy Wheels

We, like most of our cruising friends, have wheels for our dinghy for when we take it up onto beaches so that we can get ashore. The wheels are on the aft part of the dinghy and support the weight of the engine as we pull our dinghy ashore. Well – these wheels see much salt water and therefore do not last long!  The first set of wheels had an aluminum hub which turned to white powder after a few years and no longer supported the tire. The current set has a steel hub which just needs painting, but the tires themselves are some type of modern foam-filled  rubberized-plastic.  Since the foam has soaked up water, the outer tread layer is pealing off. Time for a new set of wheels(!) but since they are hard to come by we are currently trying to seal off the foam so that these wheels will last us until our next trip back to the States where the internet will provide a new set.

We are planning to get underway within the next couple of days!

Our plan is to head out to the Perlas Islands to spend a month or so, before we continue on the Ecuador for the next summer season. The wheels will only be need in the islands here,  as there is a nice dock for landing ashore in Ecuador.

Weekend Trip to El Valle

 This past weekend we made a trip to El Valle ,a small town in the caldera of a long extinct volcano.  Frank and Shirley have a car here in Panama and called us Saturday morning to see if we would be interested in going with them up into the mountains to El Valle.  We quickly thru a few things together in a bag and were off with them.  The last week it has been hot and humid here in Panama City so the trip to the much cooler mountains was a real treat.  The caldera must have rich soil,as the Panamanians that have vacation homes there have lush gardens with lots of flowers.

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We ate lunch at a small Italian restaurant on the main street of El Valle. 

ValleZoo

Then we drove around town eventually finding  the small zoo.

ValleCat ValleOstrich

The Zoo was small but contained cages of many of the local animals and some exotic ones.  Here Frank tries to get a photo of the ostrich and Shirley checks out the small cat that is a member of the jaguar family.

ValleHotel

Los Capitanes, where we spent the night, was a flower garden spot.  It is owned by a German so we enjoyed great German food in its little restaurant.

 Vallemarket

 

Sunday is market day in the little town, so after breakfast Frank drove back into town so that we could check out the wares.

 We drove back to Panama City, dropping back down into the heat of the coast as we joined the Pan-American highway.  We stopped for a lunch of ‘just-ok’ Mexican food before finishing our drive back to Balboa Yacht Club and the boats – home again.

My Birthday

It is April 17 and another year has gone by without my knowledge We are spending the day up at the BYC using our computers on the internet.  Bill is setting up another blog, this time for oldest daughter, Ginger.  I hunted up pictures of her past and present dogs as well as son great shots of Mauricio for her header.  

gingBlog

The  Goldens are all dogs from the past but the two snow covered dogs are Ginger’s and my parents present dogs.  Then , of course the little boy is Mauricio over his first three years.  I had fun looking thru old pictures to find these.  They are all photos that have been scanned into the computer in years past