Day: April 1, 2015

The Maiden Voyage

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This morning when we woke I rushed up stairs to make sure it hadn’t all been a dream…

What I found was water so still, it had the perfect reflection of the surrounding rainforest in it, little birds flying in and out of the maze of mangroves, and sleepy boats laying neatly in their slips.  The only sound was a rooster crowing from some nearby Indian huts, where smoke was rising from their morning fire.

Danny and I quietly untied the dock lines and motored out to where the fuel dock is.

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$391.00 later, with both 52 gallon diesel tanks and the dinghy’s gas tank filled, we motored off on our morning adventure.  The great thing about sailboats is that the diesel will last a very long time, since we use the wind to move us, rather than engines.

We passed by beautiful homes nestled in the jungle along the beaches, and a dolphin came to say good morning.  He rode the bow as we moved along, then darted off into the deep.

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We sailed past Bocas town, which was already bustling with morning water taxi’s, and headed North with the mountains of Costa Rica in view.  Our Panamanian flag flying proudly in the wind.

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After a while we let the anchor down and swam.  The water is incredibly warm, yet cool enough to be refreshing.  We took turns scrubbing Tanda Malaika’s belly.  It’s not until you start to scrub that you realize her size!  We have plenty more to work on tomorrow.

Danny is an amazing Captain.  He handles the boat boat like he’s been sailing it his entire life. I’m one lucky girl to have him as my Captain and Sweetheart.

Red Frog Marina

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It’s beautiful here, and the especially wonderful part is that I haven’t seen one single frog yet! Perhaps they are afraid of me;)

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We met some of our neighbors.  One couple named Steve and Di are from South Africa. He is quite the character, and reminded me of some of my crazy uncles.  Steve is the guy to call if you have mechanical issues you can’t seem to fix.  Di has leukemia and recently completed her second round of treatment. Steve says she’s an excellent cook.

We also met Dan and Lisa, who grew up on a boat in Channel Islands Harbor.  They home school their 9 year old daughter, and asked if I thought Hannah would be interested in making a little money a couple days a week, by tutoring her to give them a break. (though I can’t imagine requiring a break from only 1 child lol) Dan is the marina manager.

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The rainforest and mangroves that we are surrounded by are so dense. The sound of birds song is heard constantly and there’s a full, rich smell in the air that hangs thick in the humidity. Danny found a machete in one of the compartments on the boat and got this mischievous twinkle in his eye as he held it up.  Who knows what is to come from him and his adventures into the jungle!

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This cool old boat has been converted into a restaurant here in the marina.  We hear the food is jolly good and pretty cheap.  We’ll give it a try one of these days.  We were also told that on the beach, a man sells kabobs for $1.50 that are to die for, also that there’s a shack close by where the best shrimp and fish tacos can be enjoyed.  Looks like we are in for some fine dinning.

Finally Home!

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Today has been an absolutely amazing day. We are finally home on Tanda Malaika.  As I write this I am snuggled in my  bed under the quilt I made for Danny, with him by my side…it’s a little bit of Heaven.

We flew from Panama City to Bocas. It was interesting to look out the window as we took off from Panama City, to see all the vessels lined up waiting their turn at the canal.  There were hundreds of them.

The airport in Bocas is tiny…

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Here’s the baggage claim:

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My favorite, were the garbage cans.  Quite genius, I think!

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Bocas Town is a fun little town on Isla Colon.  There are brightly painted buildings lining the streets, many small grocery type stores, and places to purchase hammocks, backpacks, bags etc.

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Once the water taxi was ready to leave, our mountain of luggage was loaded and we set off for the Red Frog Marina. Along the way we passed by all sorts of structures on stilts in the water.

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After our 10 minutes ride we reached the marina and were greeted by Rafael, the security guard, who was full of smiles and welcoming wishes.  He helped up haul our load to Tanda Malaika.

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And there she was, sitting pretty in the water, waiting for us – her new family. It was fun to walk through her as Danny showed me everything.  She is beautiful and perfect for our family. There is plenty of room inside as well as top side for everyone to spread out.

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On the steps at the stern we noticed a house warming gift from the sea…a squid had made it’s way onto the boat and lay lifeless.  Poor little guy.  We gave him a burial at sea where he was quickly gobbled up by some Snappers.