Position: 08°55’N, 79°31’W – Flamenco Marina, Panama City
|View of Panama City from La Playita|
According to every Spanish-English dictionary, mañana means tomorrow but in reality, at least in Panama, it actually means some other time that is not now. We waited all day on Friday for a canal official to come to visit Ashling and confirm she was canal-worthy. Only at 3pm did we find out that he would come mañana. He eventually arrived on Monday at lunchtime. We spent an afternoon waiting for our canal agent to deliver tyres (to protect Ashling’s sides against the canal walls). When he turned up four hours late, it wasn’t quite mañana but it was another afternoon wasted. We had been warned of this way of life in Panama but it was still frustrating when it happened over and over again. So no siteseeing, no seaside, just shopping.
We traipsed from one supermarket to another, usually emerging with two trolleys full of boxes and bottles and bags. By now we have a well rehearsed shopping list that consists of two or ten of everything. Like 2 bottles of washing up liquid and 10 bottles of rum, that kind of ratio J We also topped up our water and gas tanks (still plenty of fuel left over from our rendezvous with the Navy) and are taking great comfort in seeing Ashling sit a little deeper in the water, a sure sign of a full boat again.
|Johnny, Ben & Jerry set sail|
Today we are at Flamenco Marina, fitting a new forestay to replace the one that disappeared into the Pacific Ocean just before Christmas. Without getting too technical, it's like losing fourth and fifth gear in a car so there will be smiles all around when it's back in place. Our rigger is Mike Barker, a Kiwi from Auckland who is now based here in Panama and runs the only rigging outfit in Central America. It turns out he was involved in the building of Gulf Harbour Marina in the 1980s, the marina where Ashling lived for six months last year. The world just keeps getting smaller!
|Ashling (centre) holding her own at La Playita|
If you are interested, you may be able to get a glimpse of Ashling on the Panama Canal webcam - http://www.pancanal.com/eng/photo/camera-java.html. Click on the high resolution tabs along the top of the picture to get the best view. We hope to be passing through the Miraflores Locks at 1300 GMT and the Gatun Locks at 2100 GMT.