Monday, April 10, 2017


Erick, the fellow between us , is our Columbian son. He stayed with us for a school year in 1994 in Yellowknife. He arrived in Canada with very little English and have no never seen snow before.  He told us he was so happy tand see his first snow fall, but was more than happy the see the end of it 9 months later!! Twenty years later and he is a dentist in his forties with a family, how times change.  He was good enough to take time out of his busy schedule and fly from Bogata to Cartagena to visit with us for the weekend. 
We went down to the local beach and rented a cabana for the day, it was too hot to sit on the beach without any shade. Barry and I felt like real tourists sitting in the shade drinking beer. 
We had a decent sail to Panama, just 48 hours, we had to motor the first 6 hours out of Columbia to get away from the wind shadow and then we had a very nice beam reach until we turned the corner into the entrance to the Panama Canal.  We are in Shelter Bay Marina which is just inside the breakwater which protects the Canal entrance.  We hired an agent to smooth our way through the Canal.  He came through with flying colours, within 24 hours our boat was measured, we paid our fees later that day and we were assigned our canal crossing date.   We were originally told it would be on April 28 but it has since been changed to May 5. We were much happier with the earlier date but we will have no problem making our flight on May 24 with the May 5 date. 
We had to go into Colon to clear Immigration, the marina operates a free bus into Colon twice a day, otherwise it is a $25 taxi ride.  The picture above is a typical street in Colon, now we know why we ere told it is not safe to walk around in the city. 
Our old friends from forty years ago Terry and Gerry Skopyk have a boat they keep here in Shelter Bay. They are here at the moment and they had been out touring the country so they had a car and we went to see San Lorenzo, the site of an old Fort.  It was so good to see them again and we had a great time renewing acquaintances over dinner aboard their boat last night.  Today we are gong to line handle on another boat today so we will go through the Canal with it.  We have to go aboard shortly and will sleep aboard and be back here tomorrow evening.