Happy New Year from Independence of the Seas!

Ole and Jan on New Year’s Eve

Independence of the Seas

The beginning of the year greets us with more change.  It looks like Ole’s schedule is changing (again) and our projected 10 weeks of planned projects will be cut down to 5 weeks.

We were invited to present at the 2009 Winter DeFever Rendezvous at Useppa Island Resort in western Florida the end of February, and Ole has a 5-day course from Wartsilla Diesel the third week of February.  So we’ve got to get our heads around a new schedule.

The first three weeks of this month were relatively uneventful otherwise, aboard the Independence.  Many books read, a few beach days and a bit of shopping in preparation for the Rendezvous next month.  Ole signed off on January 24, and we had a pleasant trip back to Bocas and Emma Jo, including a quick overnight in Panama City at the Alderbrook Inn.  Sounds more romantic than it was – after a short flight, a loooonnnnngggg wait through Panama immigration and an even longer bus ride, we got there after 11:00 pm and found no food or drink could be had.  So it was up and at ‘em first thing, to fly on Air Panama back to Bocas.

Brian does such a great job looking after the cats – Barclay and Maggie seemed a bit put out that we weren’t giving them snacks and brushing every time they asked!  I’m amazed they’re both still alive and well, given we live in the third world and there isn’t a lot of veterinary care to be had.  Maggie is back up to her fighting weight, and Barclay , though a bit slim and cloudy-eyed still has the will and coordination to go after the gekkos that are brave enough to zip around the boat.

We came home to a few changes at the marina, too.  Sharkey has left, leaving the Cantina in the creative care of Dyllan and Darian.  The menu is improved, Brian is still cooking, and the service is getting to be pretty top-drawer for this part of the world.

Steve from Serenity is back, too – seems like Ole and Steve are on a pretty closely-matched schedule, so we’ve been socializing a bit here and there.

One of the things we need to do is get the bimini repaired – we came home to find that both it and the bridge cover were in need of some tlc after the wind and rain in Panama this winter.  Speaking of which – it hasn’t exactly been cruising weather here.  Lots of rain, cool temperatures (cool for here is the low 70’s) and heavy cloud cover.

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