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Paul - "Water, Water Everywhere" or "Rain, Rain Come Again"

We went through the rainy season early in our trip.  When we arrived in Bocas it rained once in a while, then began to pick up.

Paul - "Bounty from the Sea" or "Hunter, Gatherers"

Well, the sea has an amazing bounty.  Too bad it is so hard   to catch.  We spent a lot of time the last few days looking for conch, lobster and crab.  We found absolutely no lobster or crab and only a few tiny (5-7") conch. I almost wanted to take those to safer waters so they will have a chance to grow to maturity.

Laura - The Search for Seafood

Here we are, in paradise, only a few boats around us and the most picturesque islands you can imagine (sorry, not enough internet to upload any pictures of this paradise, so imagine away), and we're dreaming of eating fresh seafood.  We've had some fresh seafood as the locals come around in their kayukas (dugout canoes) selling their fresh catch.  We've purchased a few conch, a lobster and a crab, and they were all delicious.  But today, we set out to find our own - and found ourselves with no conch, no lobster, no crabs, no seafood.

Claire - My Obsession with Shells

I absolutely love collecting shells, I am always on the hunt. So far it's a toss up between Escudo de Veraguas or Playa Diablo for where to find the best shells. In Escudo we went beach hopping and at every different beach found different kinds of shells, luckily I took a small waterproof bag to carry all of them in. I kept telling myself that once I got back to the boat I would sort through all of them and decide what to keep and what to throw back, but of course I couldn't part with any of them.

Claire - A "Different" Christmas

On the 23rd I was thinking about a Christmas tree and how we wouldn't have one this year, it was then that I decided to make one. I remembered an old bamboo stick we had found while on a hike through the jungle that once we were done with we threw to the side of the road. Once Adam and Dad went to get it, Dad and I cut it into a reasonable sized Christmas tree considering it wouldn't be inside.

Claire - "Crossing" the Panama Canal

I wrote this after only a short time at Shelter Bay before we realized we would be transiting the Panama Canal.  When I read back through it I decided to still post it, even though it's late, because it has some interesting information in it.  And, well, because I don't write as many blogs as I should and I actually got this one finished.

Paul - "The San Blas Islands" or "This Is Cruising"

Well, we made it to the San Blas Islands.  We had done a good bit of research on the place and it is still surprising how incredible these islands are.  There is beautiful coral everywhere, white sand beaches, palm trees, clear, warm water…what else can you ask for?  This is technically not part of Panama.  It is officially the nation of Kuna Yala.  They are autonomous.

Paul - Mismatched Shoes" or "A Quiet Christmas"

Christmas Day was spent in the Rio Chagres.  That is the dammed river that creates Gatun Lake, which in turn is what makes the Panama Canal operate.  It is completely undeveloped. We motored into the river, which is a little tricky due to the ocean swells crashing into the outgoing current, and a couple of tricky reefs that are very shallow(the fact that there was a fairly new looking sailboat smashed against the rocks reenforced that we needed to be careful).  The river was very cool.

Paul "Again, Really?" or "8.9 Knots!!!"

To recap my last blog…we lost both engines and had to sail into an anchorage and drop the hook…for the first time…with strong winds…with a reef on one side, boats on the other and the island dead ahead.
 
Today's blog may sound like a rerun, but with a twist.  Let me start at the beginning.  We spent two days in the anchorage, me and a couple of our French neighbors (other boaters who offered help) buried in the engine compartments.  They approached us after we had come in and asked if everything was ok.

Adam - Crossing the Canal Part Two

At 2:46 pm we entered the first of the three locks in the Gatun Locks.  We were tied up next to a catamaran called Dutch Treat.  In front of us was a HUGE freighter named Baltic Pride and behind us in the lock was a sport fishing boat named Cuz We Can.  Dutch Treat was tied up on our starboard side so we only had two lines to port and these were tied up to some bollards on the walls. Our job was to make sure there was no slack on the lines, keeping us from banging against the walls.
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