05/29/2010, Off the coast of Panama
Jumping from the aft-deck in the crystal clear and blue
Today is our last "sailing" day. Again only in the night we have had some decent winds to set sail. With sunrise the wind vanished: we are motoring towards Panama, towards Colon, where we hopefully arrive around 14h.
The Panama coast is 10 NM away, a hilly coast covered with the green of rainforests. So much differentthan yesterday, when we only saw see, clouds, and the sun.
The sea was crystal clear however, and very, very, blue. She was inviting us for an afterlunch swim. We enjoyed the refreshing swim a lot. Although the seawater temperature was well above 29 centigrade.
After the swim we motored again. While Ulric was cleaning and polishing his tools, Sven and I were reading the tourist-guides of Panama that we have on board.
Particularly the Colon district, where Queenie will be berthed in Shelter Bay Marina, we looked for something nice to do. One of the first things that caught my notice was that Panama has no real currency! Since 1904 they haven't printed a single banknote, they only have some small coins that exist next to their adopted currency the US dollar, which, as well, can also be denominated as the Panama dollar, a bananarepublican dollar.
The city of Colon we will not see much of: "Colon's reputation throughout the rest of the country for violent crime is not undeserved, and if you come here you should exercise extreme caution - mugging, even in broad daylight, does happen. Don't carry anything around you you can't afford to lose, try to stay in sight of the police in the main street and take taxis whenever possible" (citation: The rough guide to Central America on a budget).
It seems that there is not much interesting so close to the marina that we can spend some time on it.
After dinner we celebrated our last night at sea during this trip: beer, white wine, coffee, whiskey, and whisky. Sven even got me to smoke a cigar: I smoked only half of it, the rest was for the dolphins. Music on the aft-deck and the cockpit under the warm blanket of the tropical night. Until we woke up from a rain shower! Refreshing, but more interesting: with the rain also the wind returned so that at least during our last night we could set sail for the final leg.