A Quiet April Alone on the Boat

Bocas Yacht Club and Marina
Bocas del Toro, Panama

Nothing much to report this month, as Ole is away in Finland getting the Independence of the Seas ready, and I’m just being a homebody here at the marina, busying myself with putting a coat of varnish on the cap rail, painting the arms of the deck chairs, refinishing the table on the back deck, and making a few odds and ends of canvas to cover sensitive stuff on deck. It’s tough to schedule, as you never know when it’s going to start raining and not stop for three or four days. Oh yeah – and TAXES. Easy to do now online, but a pain in the butt to have to pay!

Neil (Attitude) came back on April 4, without Kathy. She’s recovering from a killer of a skiing accident, and it may be some time before she’s up to leaping around the deck of a sailboat, what with the steel plate and bolts she ended up with through her femur. She’s expected back sometime near the end of the month..

The Marina Cantina has a cocktail hour from 4 to 6 every day, and I make a point of going up every couple of days, both to let people know I’m still alive, and also to get to know some of my neighbors. Like all of the other places we’ve been so far, there’s a great sense of community here – I know that if I need anything there will be loads of help.

One day I think I’ll write an essay about “The Usual Suspects” that seem to inhabit every marina and anchorage – the cast of characters may have different names but the roles are pretty much decided. There’s the know-it-all, the drunk, the doper, the many-times-divorced single hander, the gonna-get-my-boat-fixed-one-day type, the daily waxer and polisher perfectionist, the so-there-we-were-and-this-is-no-shit storyteller, the stuck here waiting for parts ones, the rich ones, the fixed income ones, the timid and the bold. But the constant is the community. We may have nothing else in common but boats, but that commonality is so strong that nothing else seems to matter. It’s fun to watch.

The Bocas Garden Club (!) put together a tour to Tranquilo Bay Resort, a few islands down from here. Built by two 40-something Texans who’ve been friends since childhood, the place is a marvel of will and a testament to quality. The owners took about 20 of us on a guided walk through their jungle, showing us some rare and interesting plants. Also saw my first 3-toed sloth (just a furry lump in the crotch of a tree) and white-faced monkeys swinging through the trees. I really have to hand it to anybody with the wherewithal in guts and stubbornness to build anything here, much less something of such quality.

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