Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Oh Panama!

 Panama, Panama, what are you doing to us? I was so pleased this summer to see how well Panama was dealing with the pandemic. Everyone was wearing masks and practicing social distancing, and cases were going down, from a high of 1200 new cases a day, the numbers fell and were sitting at 200-400 new cases a day.  Then something happened. I don't know exactly what prompted the change, whether it was weariness of it all, or because of a series of National holidays in November. 

Saturday, November 21, 2020


I have to wear shoes? After three weeks in Las Perlas Islands we have returned to civilization and are feeling some culture shock. When was the last time you were able to go three weeks without putting on shoes? I am betting for the vast majority of you that it has been a very long time, if ever. The downside is our feet complaining bitterly about being confined again. We have also enjoyed three weeks without wearing a mask. These two things alone are enough to drive me back to a quiet anchorage.

Monday, November 16, 2020

Sometimes it's nice to be alone...

Away from society, away from the chaos, especially with the one you love. In these crazy times it is nice to be able to have some distance from the craziness.

Monday, November 2, 2020

Lightning update- 4 months in, Our New Normal

Everyone is going through this, the new normal. Making adjustments we never thought we would have to be making. Wearing masks, social distancing, staying home are just a small part of what has become status quo. 
Provisioning the boat for our escape from the marina.

Saturday, October 24, 2020

Going in Circles

 Sometimes in life you just feel like you are going in circles. And sometimes that can actually be a good thing. It certainly was today. In order to calibrate our new autopilot we had to take Rhapsody out of the marina and drive her in circles. 

View of the Panama sign from the water

Friday, October 16, 2020

Lightning update- 3 1/2 months in

 On September 1st, the marina charged our credit card for the entire month of September. "Why did they do that?" I wondered, "We are only going to be here another week, two at the most."

On October 1st, the marina charged our credit card for the entire month of October.  I said nothing.

This is the place we have been for almost 4 months.

Monday, September 14, 2020

A Glimmer of Hope

Just as things are beginning to open up in Panama they are beginning to shut down in French Polynesia. Panama has been locked down since March. Stores and restaurants have been closed. Men and women hare been assigned gender specific days to shop, and specific two hour windows within those days. French Polynesia opened their borders for air travel on July 15th and since then has had a resurgence of Covid-19 and is beginning to add more restrictions.

Sunday, August 16, 2020

Yes, No, Yes. No, Maybe So...

This has been the response to our question "Can we go to French Polynesia now?"

I have been waiting to write this blog until we had a definitive answer to that question, but since it has been over five months since we first asked I thought I would fill you in on our convoluted quest to sail west from Panama.

Friday, August 7, 2020

Lightning update- 6 weeks in

"I am so happy to advise you that your claim has been approved for settlement"

Thursday, July 30, 2020

A walk along the Panama Canal

Today is Monday, I can walk! Tomorrow I will be confined to the docks, but today I am free to walk along the causeway at the entrance to the Panama Canal. Panama is still in lockdown and in the province containing Panama City women are allowed out to shop and exercise on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, so let me show you some of the things I see along my path.

Thursday, July 16, 2020

Lightning update- Two weeks in

 "Now, here, you see, it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place. If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that!" 
The Red Queen talking to Alice in Alice in Wonderland

Can you find Rhapsody? The little sailboat, dwarfed by the massive Powerboats. She is the mast to the furthest left.

Monday, July 6, 2020

The Tale of a Sail - Part II

It is amazing how quickly things can happen if you have some leverage. 
"Can I have my correct sail?"
"I'll give you your sail back if I can have a mine"
"Be right there"

(If you missed part one of the tale of the sail click here)

Wednesday, July 1, 2020


Bob: "Was that us?"
Sarah: "No it couldn't have been"
Bob: "I felt a tingling in my arm"
"Let's check"
"I smell smoke"
"Sarah- there's a fire!"

Thursday, June 18, 2020

The Tale of a Sail - Part I

"We are heading across the South Pacific. There will be a lot of downwind sailing. We should get a new sail for that. We can have it made and shipped to Panama where we can pick it up. It will be so convenient."

Or so we thought.

Sunday, May 31, 2020

We're Freeeee! (Sort of)

After 2 1/2 months in the marina we are headed out to bluer seas. Destination- Las Perlas Islands, about 65 miles from Vista Mar Marina, where we have been in limbo, and about 45 miles from Panama City. Raising the dinghy, casting off the lines and waving goodbye to our dockmates felt so liberating.

Thursday, May 21, 2020

What day is it? Where am I?

Cooped up at home it is easy to forget what day it is. Something that is the norm for cruisers has made its way to land life. But added to that, as a cruisers we often have to ask- "What country am I in?" On more than one occasion I have opened my eyes in the morning only to realize I don't know exactly where I am. Now we are here in Panama, a country with many interesting areas, the Panama Canal, the San Blas Islands, and a variety of interesting landscapes to explore. Sitting in the marina now for two months we are not allowed to explore any of it. How do we know we are in Panama? Here we are in a marina surrounded by English speakers, we walk the nearby golf course seeing generic scenery. It could be the ninth hole in any tropical country.

Thursday, May 7, 2020

What happens when you tell a Nomad- "No!"?

1. A member of a people having no permanent abode, and who travel from place to place.
2. A person who does not stay long in the same place; a wanderer

While we may be in the marina for the long term, fortunately this is not our boat and we are at least in the water!

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Shopping with Zombies

Here in Corona Virus Panama we've been confined to shopping on only a few days a week, and only on a day that corresponds to your gender, and a time that corresponds to your your age. So men over 60 get to shop during a two hour travel/shop/travel window on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. Monday, Wednesday and Friday the ladies may try. 

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Just like living on a boat!

Life with Corona!   

Friends and family ask, "what is it like living on a boat?" Well- now, those of you staying at home, for the most part- you know! 

Saturday, April 4, 2020

Are you safe? Notes from Panama

Are you healthy? Are you being careful? I am often uncomfortable with situations I can't control, and while I do like to think I have some control over my exposure to Covid-19, I can't control loved ones and friends and your exposure. If you are reading this, please check in and tell me you are healthy and how you are keeping safe.

Monday, February 24, 2020

Go go go, and wait

We are on the move, or we were! We headed south out if Puerto Vallarta, past Acapulco to Huatulco,  at the bottom of the crook of Mexico, and here we wait.

Monday, January 13, 2020

The blog from the Sea of Cortez

“One who was born by the ocean or has associated with it cannot ever be quite content away from it for very long”
― John Steinbeck, The Log from the Sea of Cortez

 We had hoped to see more animal life in the Sea of Cortez, but the geology is beautiful. The Sierra de la Gigantes, Mountain range of the Giants, stands guard in the southern portion of the Sea, rising dramatically from the ocean and funneling wind down the channel.