Boat-Chore Time-Warp

(Shelter Bay Marina, Colon, Panama)

We pulled into our slip at Shelter Bay Marina last Tuesday and it was like we entered a boat-chore time-warp. Here we are a week later and I don’t have a single photo to show for it.

What we do have to show for ourselves is a much cleaner and more properly functioning boat. On Friday we made a run into Panama City for provisioning, but most importantly to pick up our mail forwarding packages from the States. Among the embarrassing amount of fishing gear and fresh new bathing suits were some prize pieces we’ve been waiting to get our hands on. A new, properly sized breaker for our windlass, a fancy new AIS system, and a shiny new wind anemometer to replace the previous one the Colombian kiter so kindly knocked off for us. All items which Oceanna’s chief of maintenance has handily installed.

The breaker means I no longer have to run inside the boat to flip the ridiculously undersized switch every time we’re pulling up the anchor and the heavy work trips it out. Whoop whoop for that!

The AIS System is a vessel tracking system that was actually a requirement for our new insurance. A requirement we already had on our wish list so we were happy to add it. Our AIS System is Class B, which means it only receives. It is tied into our Garmin GPS and displays the location and details of the ships around us. The International Maritime Organization requires all vessels over 300 tons and all passenger vessels to be fitted with AIS. Which means, when we’re out in the middle of the Pacific and can see a huge container ship out in the distance we can look up its name, owner, where it came from, and where it’s headed. Pretty slick.

With the new anemometer sitting pretty on the top of the mast we’re back to knowing exactly how fast the wind is blowing and precisely where it’s coming from. I’ll admit I was beginning to feel like quite the salty dog turning the boat into the wind by eyeing the ripples on the water, but I’m more than happy to have technology back on our side.

To go with our new bits and pieces we have a significantly cleaner boat. Thanks to endless free water and a real-live laundromat we’ve tackled projects happily ignored while living it up in the San Blas. This morning I even went to war with the little bugs that I’ve been battling for the last couple weeks. Everyday I have tiny moth massacre in our starboard hull, but today I pulled out the heavy artillery and went to the root of the problem. My pantry. More specifically, the pasta shelf which weevils have happily moved in to.

Now we’re not some sub-par, unclean vessel because we’ve got weevils. Weevils are actually a common problem for boaters so I’m taking it as a right of passage. Unfortunately, some dry pasta had to go to waste, but with it, I’m hoping goes our weevil problem. Regardless if I was successful in my extermination, bay leaves are now at the top of my shopping list, will be bought in bulk, and generously doled out among our dry stores.

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Marina view from the top of the mast as Greg installs the new wind anemometer.

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A little man thigh action care of the climbing harness and a trip up the mast.

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