Top dozen ways to play when On Delay is on delay in Panama (#1)

November 22 to December 2, 2013, Panama

After such fun last year with the On Delay crew in Colombia, Laura and Wren angled for a second meetup. Anywhere. The travel gods gave a thumbs up for Thanksgiving this year. The hitch? A fully land-based vacation with Jane and Tony as On Delay gets repaired and rejuvenated in Panama City. What are friends to do? Make the most of it!

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Struck by lightning

September 9, 2013, Las Brisas anchorage, Panama City, Panama

Saturday, September 7th, 2013 was a fateful day for On Delay. Pete, Gayle, Tony and Jane were happily settled into a quirky apartment overlooking the Las Brisas bay where On Delay lies at anchor. We had just finished listening to cruisers’ net on the VHF radio, it was about 8:20 am, and a terrible thunderstorm hit the area. The storm was right on us — the thunder and lightning crashed and flashed simultaneously.

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The Isthmus by rail

August 21, 2013, the Isthmus of Panama

Okay, just one more blog about the Isthmus of Panama, and then I hope to have exorcised by my mild obsession with crossing from the Atlantic to the Pacific.

For almost 60 years before the canal opened, one could transit via the “inter-oceanic railroad”.

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What I did on my summer vacation… by Miriam

August 5 to 11, 2013, Kuna Yala, Panama

Miriam (14-years old) and her mom, Gayle, visited us on On Delay. When Miriam got back to school she wrote the regulation “What I did on my summer vacation” story but with a couple of twists: (i) it was posted as a blog on the school intranet and (ii) written in French.

Here, we share the original French version and a somewhat different English version.

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Our shortest crossing: from one ocean to another OR We were the bread!

August 24 to 25, 2013 from the Atlantic to the Pacific through the Panama canal

Our 50-mile canal transit took two days. We started on Friday afternoon and completed the transit on Saturday morning.

Getting ready

We hired an agent, Erick Galvez, to arrange our canal transit for us. It costs a bit more to use an agent but it was well worthwhile for us first-timers. Erick did the scheduling and paperwork on our behalf with the canal authorities.

Our official Panama canal identification card.

Our official Panama canal identification card.

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A brief, busy stay for On Delay in Portobelo Bay

August 11 to 13, 2013, Portobelo, Panama

Portobelo did charm us in the end. However, when we first arrived in Portobelo Bay at around 7 am, it looked depressing. It was showery weather; all the boats looked bedraggled and many rather tatty. They were certainly anchored close together. We anchored in a tight spot, close to town. Tony and I went ashore to determine a good location for Gayle M and Miriam to await their taxi pickup. On a wet Sunday morning, town looked even more depressing than the bay itself.

Typical waterfront properties: Note the bars and lack of paint and rooves.

Typical waterfront properties: Note the bars and lack of paint and rooves.

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First sibling visit

— Here’s a post that has been languishing in “drafts”. It’s a few pictures from my sister’s visit.  (The second sibling visit will be posted soon.)

February 18 to 25th, 2013, Belize

My sister, Eli, was the first sibling to visit us on On Delay. It was extra special to have family aboard.

The cayes of Belize have a lovely laid-back Caribbean feel. We spent some time inside the barrier reef on Ambergris Caye and Caye Caulker, as well as visiting the atolls outside the reef (Turneffe and Lighthouse — home of the famous Blue Hole dive site). There are only four atolls in the northern hemisphere and three of them are in Belize (the fourth is in Mexico a few miles north).

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