Moving to Shelter Bay

The Flats, Anchorage “F” in Puerto Cristobal, Colon

Serenade of the Seas Gives Us a Salute

While Ole was up at 0530 (doing what, I don’t rightly know), I slept until 0645, and as I was enjoying the first cup of coffee, wiping the sleep from my eyes, Ole shouted, “look at who’s coming down the channel!” and lo and behold, there was RCCL’s Serenade of the Seas, with Captain Stig Nielsen aboard. Stig and his wife live aboard a renovated Swedish rescue boat in Bodo, and when we’ve been in Norway we’ve always missed them. Ole hailed on the radio and had a nice chat with Stig – and as Serenade glided past we were treated to a three-blast salute (thank goodness he repaired the horn yesterday so we could salute back!)

Today was more puttering, with Ole calling ahead to Arturo at Marine Warehouse in Panama City to order a new battery for the generator. My day was spent doing laundry, puttering on the website update, and generally enjoying the sights out the window. Note, though, to mariners – the pilot boats coming and going from the ships throw up more of a wake than the ships themselves!

Shelter Bay Marina, Colon

Shelter Bay Marina

At 10:00 we lifted the anchor and motored across the approach lanes of the Canal over to Shelter Bay Marina, which is just inside the western breakwater. At first glance, we like it. The facility is clean, in good repair, and fairly civilized, with daily trips to provision in Colon, just over an hour away by road. Our haulout is scheduled here for Monday, so we had a preliminary meeting with the yard manager, Dave, to go over expectations and procedures. We’ve contracted the same agent that Royal Caribbean uses for its ships, and Reuben visited us this afternoon to help us with permits, visas, and anything else we needed. We expect him back tomorrow with passports and boat documents.

On Saturday, we opted to take a walk through the property – which is located on the grounds of what used to be Fort Sherman, the US Army’s jungle warfare training center. The buildings look as if they had just been emptied and the keys turned over – with roads, landscaping and everything almost still intact. The walk was productive in terms of wildlife sightings – we watched cappucin monkeys larking around the trees about 50 yards away – walked under sleeping (thank God) howler monkeys, saw a coatamundi scurrying into the brush – and saw numerous blue morpheus butterflies – and DIDN’t see the sloth that friends just emerging from a path saw on the ground only moments before. Maybe next time. The chance to just get out and walk was wonderful, a nice break from boat concerns.

Last week I received some sad news from home, regarding my Uncle Bob, that may require a trip to Bremerton to say hello and pay respects. It looks like I can get a fairly reasonable airport connection from right here at the marina, go home for a short visit, and relieve Dale and Linda Bixler of the responsibility of carrying our mail back to us next month.

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