“Wild Hogs” in Bocas del Toro

Bocas del Toro

Wild Hogs! Five of us on four scooters, each of which had its own unique mechanical problem. Mine kept stalling in idle; Trevor and Sandy’s was smoking like a chimney and stinking up the place; Jennifer’s handlebars were crooked; and Drury’s had minimal suspension. At $60 for half a day, it was pretty expensive, but off we went. [Read more…]

Back Aboard in Bocas

Bocas Marina
Bocas del Toro, Panama

After a relaxing 5 days in Costa Rica, visiting A MALL! And watching CABLE TV!, and walking through an old city, it was up at 5:00 for the 6:00 bus back to Sixaola for the re-entry into Panama. I must say, getting in was faster and easier than getting out! I arrived back at the boat by 3:00 pm, to much yelling and screaming and chastisement from the cats!

At Happy Hour at the marina cantina, I ran into some cruiser friends who invited me to go motor-scootering tomorrow to explore Isla Colon. Even though I’ve been gone five days, I think I’ll give it a shot.

Deep Thoughts on Good Friday in Costa Rica

Good Friday. You could run naked through the streets of downtown San Jose Costa Rica and nobody would see you.

Still in Costa Rica. Things Could Be Worse.

San Jose, Costa Rica

Another vote for the quality of the folks at Bocas Marina. I originally planned to be home today, and left food and water out for the cats accordingly. So I emailed Chuck at the marina, who assured me that he’d make sure the cats had enough until I get home Saturday. What amazing service!

Oh, Yeah! It’s Easter Week. (I Forgot). That Complicates Things…

San Jose, Costa Rica

Only today did I realize that this was Easter week – a heck of a time to be travelling anywhere in Central America. I left Panama on a Tuesday, thinking I could return Thursday and that would be three days. When I came to my senses, I realized that “72 hours” meant I needed to stay until Friday. That’s when it got more interesting. All of Central America shuts completely down on Good Friday. No buses. No planes. No taxis. No restaurants or movie theaters or nothin’! So I negotiated with the hotel to put me up for another 2 nights (during EASTER WEEK!) and they were wonderful about it. I chose to spend today, Thursday, visiting the Santo Thomas mall in downtown San Jose (MALL!), getting a haircut and some necessary computer components. Most of the downtown museums appeared to be closed in preparation for closing tomorrow. On the upside, the food at the restaurant at the hotel is superb – reasonably priced, beautifully presented and briskly served.

The “Renewing the Panama Visa” Challenge, Complicated by a Senior Moment

Somewhere in Costa Rica

Given that Panama grants 90-day visas to visitors, I had to leave the country for three days this week, to re-enter Panama for another 90 days. Today was an exercise in middle-agedness. Catching the 7:30 a.m. water taxi, I alighted from the 45-minute run at Changuinola only to discover I had left my wallet in Emma Jo’s pilothouse. Having planned to take the 10:00 a.m. international bus to Costa Rica, it became apparent that I would miss that bus. The dispatcher at the water taxi office in Changuinola suggested I call to have my wallet sent on the next boat from Bocas. So I called the marina, explained my dilemma, and was assured that it would be taken care of. [Read more…]

And…He’s Off (Again)

Bocas Marina
Bocas del Toro, Panama

Ole left today for Finland to join the Independence of the Seas as it readies itself for launch in May. It will be lonely without him!

Our New Bocas Home

Bocas Yacht Club & Marina

At the Dock
Bocas Yacht Club & Marina
Bocas del Toro, Panama

After a leisurely morning and lovely cruise through the islands we stopped at Twin Cays, a parentheses of mangrove islands with coral reef in between, before settling in at Bocas Yacht Club & Marina our new home. We think we’ll like it much better here. While the price per foot is a bit more, the metered electricity, available water, reliable internet, calm and reasonable management, and evening respite from reggae club boom boom boom will make for a much more pleasant stay in Bocas del Toro.

Where the Chocolate Trees Grow

Green Acres Chocolate Farm & Factory

We chose to anchor near Camryka because we had heard of a little farm called “Green Acres” that happens to be their neighbor. Cruising friends had strongly suggested stopping in for a walk around the property, as Dave and Linda Cerutti, the owners, are manufacturing chocolate from the cacao trees they found when clearing and improving their property. We were a bit shy about just going over by ourselves, but when we saw a lancha speeding up to their dock with some tourists inside, we jumped on the phone and asked if we could join them for a walk. [Read more…]

First Look at Dolphin Bay

Camrykaland, Dolphin Bay

At Anchor, Dolphin Bay
Bocas del Toro, Panama

This morning we explored Ground Creek by dinghy, but again, too late in the morning for any serious wildlife spotting. We decided to head about 2 hours south to Dolphin Bay on the mainland, departing about noon. [Read more…]