It has been difficult for me to be tied to the dock for the last three months. Although it has still been nice to be on our boat on the water, the adventurer/explorer in me has been eager and restless to move on and explore new islands and anchorages. Since we began cruising two and a half years ago, this is the longest our vessel has been tied to a dock. I’m aware that, all things considered, my life is not all that bad. While friends and relatives are freezing and suffering through frosty temperatures, Cindy and I are enjoying sunny days with highs in the upper 80s and lows in the upper 70s. Other than the nice-enough marina pool, its difficult to enjoy the water here in Shelter Bay. There is no nearby beach on which to relax in the sun or swim in the clear waters. There are no easy dive or snorkel opportunities from here. As I’ve mentioned previously, Shelter Bay Marina is tucked into the Jungle on Panama’s Caribbean coast next to the canal. There’s not much else to do here.
The one thing that we can do, and that we have enjoyed daily, are walks up into the jungle on the old Fort Sherman roads. Since our return, we’ve resumed our quotidian routine of a two-to-three mile, nature hike. Almost everyday, we meet the usual cadre of howler monkeys and capuchin monkeys. We almost always see toucans fly by, although capturing them on camera is another matter. Since our latest return, we’ve not seen any coatmundi, which were relatively plentiful before. A variety of new, small birds have been sighted. Our one-time encounter with a sloth in the wild has not been repeated. However, a few days ago, we saw our first deer in the Panamanian jungle. Unfortunately, I was unable to photograph him as we surprised him while he was in the roadside brush. He quickly turned tail and shot up into the forest, flashing his white tail behind him. And, then today, we saw our first anteater in the wild. We had originally mistaken the raccoon-like coatmundi for an anteater, but this time we saw the real thing. He was walking down the path toward us as we were walking up the path toward him. He came to within about two or three feet from us before he nonchalantly turned off the path and up into the brush. Cool!
I’m finally feeling slightly optimistic about boat repairs. Almost all the needed parts are here, with a few more on the way. It is even possible that Beatitude would be in shape to depart port prior to our next return to the states in about two and a half weeks. We’re hoping!
Hopefully, my next blog post may have some lightning-strike repair updates. Until then, stay warm!