Monday, November 28, 2011

Shelter Bay Marina - Sewing Projects and Thanksgiving

Busy cutting material
It's hard to believe we've only been back in Panama for 5 weeks.  It's seemed like never-ending work -- well, at least for Dennis!  He's in the process of making a new dodger, bimini  and side curtains and doing an amazing job, but been very frustrated at times.  And this from a man who has patience!  Unfortunately, with the work he's doing, and all the rain, I haven't been able to do any woodwork.  Guess that will be my project for the new year in the San Blas.  Having the common room upstairs, with air conditioning, has been great for Dennis and Deb, from Sea Cycle, while they've worked on their projects and kept each other company.
And sewing

I've been cleaning and resting, still recovering from my episode with pneumonia.  Very frustrating to be so tired all the time.  We've been able to get a bit of walking in, but not as much as I'd like, mostly because of the rain.

Steve from LiWard (white hat),
recruited Frank, the Dock Manager
to play guitar and entertain us
Dylan and Mauricio before the
craziness of Thanksgiving dinner

Chris, Dylan, Mauricio and Gina

There's new management in the marina and hotel/restaurant, and the difference is unbelievable!  Chris Young is the Manager for the restaurant/hotel, with Gina as his Assistant Manager. Customer service 
is amazing with the wait staff of Rosa, Mauricio and Dylan.  Dennis said the other night that we might be spending more money on meals and happy hour, but at least we're having a great time.  How true.  They put together a Thanksgiving dinner, where The Dock Restaurant supplied turkey, gravy and cranberries, and the rest was potluck.  There had to have been at least 60 people up for dinner, if not more, and the food was fantastic.  What a fun, fun night!  Then, the lunch special the next day was open faced turkey
sandwiches with gravy -- well, who could pass that up?  Certainly not us!!

I'll post more photos when Dennis finishes his project.    ~~~_/)~~~

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Back in Panama

Early morning flight, so up at 3 a.m., made sure the condo was all winterized and ready to go, and now we're back to the boat in Panama.  Flew home in July able to check 2 bags, and now American has changed their policy?  Had good flights, a short connection, and our driver picked us up and had us at Shelter Bay Marina by 5 p.m.

The Panama Canal entrance
We've booked the hotel room for a week so that we have an air conditioned place to collapse after cleaning, and Chris upgraded us to a marina view.  We're happy, especially after going down and looking inside the boat.  Well, the outside was pretty bad too.  We were supposed to be gone 5 weeks and ended up 3 months away.  Never left that long without an air conditioner in.  Green and white are lovely colors -- just not inside my boat.  Met up with Mark and Deb on Sea Cycle and Brian and Sue on Darramy for drinks and dinner.  Up early to clean!!!

It was a lot of work, but by the time we checked out of the hotel room, everything inside and outside was clean.  There are little things left to do inside, but they're things that can be done while we're on the boat.  Dennis has started his sewing project - a new dodger and bimini.  On top of this, we met up with Matt and Jean on SuperTed and told them we'd help out with their canal crossing if they needed us.  They did, so we got ourselves ready for a Saturday/Sunday crossing.

Ready to go!
Woke up Saturday with a bit of a cough, but it will go away.  Had to be out at the Flats for 1 p.m., which is frustrating, because the advisor kept changing the time he was coming out, and made it to the boat around 6:30, in the dark and the rain.  Supposedly we were to go through at 7:30, but it ended up being closer to 8:30 ... in the dark and the rain, behind a tug and a Navy boat puking diesel fumes!  My cough got worse!  Everything went great, although the advisor was not happy that Matt wanted to center tie instead of tie off to the Navy boat and let them do all the work.  Let's see ... newly painted 57' Beneteau next to a beat up Navy boat.  No brainer as far as we were concerned.  Finally tied up in Gatun Lake around 10:00 p.m., had one drink, and off to bed.

Jose, Jean and Matt
Crew underway (sorry Sue)
Well, on Sunday the advisor was there bright and early at 6:00 a.m. and we were underway.  It's at least 4 hours across the lake, so I went back down below to have a rest.  The cough kept me awake most of the night, and the slapping of the waves against the side, since we were side tied to the buoy.  Went through the Miraflores Lock around 12:30, and anchored in the Pacific Ocean by about 2:00 p.m.  That was cool.  Staying on SuperTed one more night since transportation is easier on Monday than it is on Sunday.  Jean kept telling us she couldn't cook, but that wasn't true.  We had some great meals.  Thanks Matt and Jean for the great adventure on SuperTed.  What a beautiful boat!

Jean on SuperTed
Matt dropped us off at the dinghy dock Monday morning and we walked over with Sue and Stefan, their other 'crew', to Abernathy's, and then a cab to Albrook Mall, look around and take the bus back.  Picked up some cough syrup at the Farmacia and that seemed to control the cough a bit.  Back at Quatro Altos in time to catch the 3:15 bus back to Shelter Bay.  Didn't go to happy hour because we were exhausted.  An early night.

Still feeling really bad, with my temp going as high as 101.8, so decided on Wednesday to head into the Emergency Room at the Hospital.  Blood tests, x-rays, and I have bronchial pneumonia in both lungs!  No wonder I felt so horrible.  Penicillin shots for 3 days, oral antibiotics, pain meds for the coughing and cough syrup -- hospital visit and all drugs, $150.00 U.S.  Guess I have no choice but to relax now!

I'll get photos of  Dennis' project for the next blog.

                                                              ~~~ _/) ~~~