Saturday, August 25, 2012

Scratching and pawing our way towards the Panama Canal...

The Bridge of the Americas is not only the gateway to the Panama Canal, it literally connects North and South America. Pretty cool. Now if only we could get under it already!   :-/

   Captain Chris has been working so hard the last few weeks installing and troubleshooting all of our new components after Espiritu's lightning strike. Everyone here in Panama has been wonderful. And our fellow cruisers have really pitched in to help us during our difficult time.

But, I"m not gonna lie. It's been pretty frustrating at times. As soon as we get two new things installed and working, the stove dies, and it's 24 hours of tuna fish sandwiches. The old "one step forward, two steps back" thing.

 Going on a sailing adventure is not easy. Every little task that's simple at home takes twice as much time and effort on a boat. Plus, you're in a foreign country.

So, it can be quite stressful.

 Take our friend Howard, for instance. Before he went cruising he was a master litigator and the Commodore at an internationally known yacht club.

                                                  ....and then he went cruising.  :-)

  So it ain't always easy. And since Chris and I don't drink, we have to find other ways to deal with our stress -- to find another kind of happy hour.

So I've been trying to find little happy hours in the midst of each day.

             Chris and Howard trying on Panama hats. In Panama. (I showed this photo to make the obvious point that Howard is NOT a a crazed alcoholic. He is simply crazed. And we like him like that.)

  Sometimes when the going gets rough during any endeavor, it's tempting to feel like you've made a big mistake, and chock up the whole thing as a soul-sucking disaster.

  So I'm learning that when things get tough down here at sea level -- when I lose perspective -- I should just look up.

Storm clouds gather over the Panama City skyline

This storm cloud over the marina looks like an atomic bomb!\

  There's something empowering about the simple act of raising your head and your eyes to the sky.

One of the countless giant trees here in Panama City

                  And don't forget to look down ('cause that's where the children usually hang out)...

This little Panamanian sweetheart charmed us with her "Bee happy" t-shirt
(although I'm pretty sure she and her Mom do not speak or read English."

                     We met this adorable Panamanian family near the marina one saturday.
                      I don't want to brag, but I'm pretty good at reading children's minds.
                        This little spitfire, for example, is thinking: "(sigh)...GRINGOS..."

            These charming little toeheads are sailing west with their parents aboard Theofania. Their parents left Europe several years ago and have been sailing ever since. Xenia was born in Columbia and little Paulina was born in Panama. They speak Spanish and Russian, and are learning English and French.  (Wow...)

                                   And life continues in the marina...

Our front porch

The U.S. is not the only country where stock brokers buy big boats!

The view from the Flamenco Marina here in Panama City

This sweet Will Smith look-alike shared a giant filet with us from his freshly caught red snapper --
free of charge. Just to be nice. Note the Radio Flyer -- nice touch! 

             We're gigantic Olympaholics, and we fell in love with Jamaica's Usain Bolt,
                                               along with the rest of the world.

                              And we figured that since we were struck by lightning,
                                   then we've earned the right to do "The Bolt" too!

                                We will not quit! We will continue! Onward! And who knows,
                              maybe we'll visit Mr. Bolt in Jamaica when we're in the Caribbean...

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