Wednesday, October 21, 2009

I am out of here

After three months of either being in the work yard or at dock, I have finally cut the ties and left. Well at least for 2.5 weeks, then Helen comes back and I go to Shelter Bay to pick her up. I spent almost two month back in the states visiting Mike and Kelsey and helping Helen take care of her mom. Her mom passed away shortly after I left to come back to the boat. I was sorry I wasn't able to be there for the funeral or other events, but all of our permits to be in Panama were to expire in 5 days and it needed my immediate attention. Once that was taken care of I started on the boat projects. Fixing the boat after my damage during my crossing was a whole different story. When I broke the strut I also bent the shaft at the taper. I ended up with a new strut, new shaft and new coupling. The later two we machined here in Colon. Removing the broken strut took four days by it self. I wont go into details but I never want to attempt that again. All the parts went back together fairly well and was back in the water a week later. Shaft alignment turned out to be easy because it was so close to start with. It took another week to get the boat provisioned and ready to go. I tackled a few below deck varnish jobs and was good to go. The only problem was I was so nervous to leave the dock I didn't sleep much the night before. It was worse than being a newbe. I had been at the dock way too long. That morning my heart was pounding, my blood pressure dropping , and my head dizzy and spinning when I left the dock not knowing if everything I fixed was going to work or not. There were times I even felt like I could black out. I set it on auto pilot and tried to eat something and calm down. My whole passage was only about 8 miles but it was like crossing an ocean for the first time. I felt like crap the whole way and couldn't believe I was doing this to my self. I really was pathetic. I made it with no problems and am currently anchored about 5 miles up the Rio Chagres. This a jungle river about 50 to 75 yrds wide. There are parrots, Toucans, monkeys, snakes, and all sorts of jungle animals all along the river bank. I haven't put the dingy in the water yet, but I think I will put the kayak in first to explore this evening. It is so nice to be back out here and away from the dock. I enjoyed meeting new friends, and will probably be going a different direction than they are, but this is what it is about. Today I am relaxed and feel great.

My position report is finally updated.

Life is great

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1 comment:

Crew of the Solstice said...

We're so glad to see you're back out there. The Rio Chagres looked like a nice place to anchor. How are the mosquitoes and no-see-ums? We can definitely related to the leaving-the-dock jitters. We had them too after six months in Amsterdam, and I'm sure we'll have them again next spring. So sorry to hear of Helen's (and your) loss.
-Shirlee and John from Solstice