Well, it was an interesting trip from the San Blas to Shelter Bay Marina. Motored really, really slow with what we knew was at least one broken motor mount. Of course, you know there was absolutely no wind! First stop was Linton for a couple of days, where we had a great cheeseburger in Paradise at Panamarina, and then headed straight to the marina up in Colon. Of course, just as we were getting to the entrance in towards the Canal, the skies opened up. Called Port Authority, were given permission to go through, and luckily there were no other ships close by. It was raining so hard we couldn't see the entrance to the marina, so pulled in, got close to the breakwall in 20 feet of water and dropped the hook until the rain let up. Wow, with no rain, that entrance to the marina was easy to see. Called for an hour and a half on the VHF with no response, finally calling them on the phone. You absolutely need a local phone out here. Amazingly enough, a week and a half later, as we did a test run on the motor mounts, the marina actually called us as we were coming through the cut to find out where we were going. Back to our slip, thanks, don't need your help!
So, into the slip and the work started. Don't think we have any photos for this blog because we were way too busy working to even think about photos! After removing the steps and the cabinet, Dennis could at least breathe after he worked his way down through the lazerette to get to the motor mounts and the muffler that we knew was leaking. Turned out there was a broken motor mount, a broken engine mount and the muffler was not in good shape. Found a welding shop down by the bus station in Colon that was amazing. Did some repairs on the muffler that we took back, tried out, didn't work, so he pretty well rebuilt the muffler for about $150 US ... while you wait! He also welded the broken motor mount. Frustrating, but finally got everything done.
A lot of people complain about Shelter Bay being expensive, but it's comparable to the US. There's a free shuttle to take you shopping every morning at 8, returning around 11:30, and then an afternoon bus around 1:00, returning around 4:00. Can't beat that, since a one way taxi ride is $20. And we took that shuttle many times to wander the hardware stores, department stores and do groceries.
So, while we were really busy with boat projects (Lord, does this stainless work ever end?), we still had a lot of fun. Of course, there was our amazing trip through the Canal on Antipodes, and then we caught up with Mark and Deb on Sea Cycle (after all, we hadn't seen them for about 10 days), Frank and Gretchen on Infinity pulled in to haul out; Peter and Eileen on Appleseeds; and Randy and Lynn on High States. Plus, there is a pretty nice pool to relax in after a hard day and share a drink. And the shower rooms are amazing. Not to mention, washers and dryers, with actual hot water for the washers! First I've seen that since the States! But, all good things must end, and it's time to cast off those lines and head out to anchor again!!! ~~~_/)~~~