Since my spring article in Multihulls was such a hit, my Dad decided to make me write a blog entry too. Great, a victim of my own success!!
Like most eleven year olds, I had no idea where Panama was until we sailed into Bocas del Toro in the spring. After being stuck on the boat with my parents for three months, when we got to Red Frog marina the biggest change (besides the AC) was the other kid boats. With around 20 new BFFs there was always someone to go to the beach or play games with.
After the summer in Kingston we returned to Bocas and when all of my friends were starting French and Math classes in Canada, I started Scuba lessons with Kyle and Shelly from Blowin’ Bubbles, our only school uniform being swimsuits and fins. It was awesome! The first day we mainly did exercises and drills and the second day we did two more open water dives. We saw a green moray eel, which was so freaky and ugly; he just stared at us and opened and closed his mouth. We also saw a sting ray, and angle fish and lots of coral which really didn’t have much colour but hopefully we will see better reefs in the Bahamas.
On the way to the Rio Chagres I took the first watch, and a little bird landed beside the helm and stayed there for four hours, so I named him Fred… just because. I guess later there was a huge lightening storm, but I slept in the cockpit and didn’t blink until the rain came and Mommy made me go inside.
When we got to the Chagres river it was pretty cool since we have never sailed on a river before. We heard what sounded like a mix between a lion, a gorilla and a train and learned that these were howler monkeys living in the jungle. They were so loud we could actually feel them even though we couldn’t see them. They told me there were crocodiles and snakes in the river, so no swimming!
My parents made us go on a field trip to see the Panama Canal, promising us that it would be “fun”, and when we got there it was just a great big ditch with water in it. We saw lots of boats going through but it takes a really long time for the ship to clear the locks. Although I wasn’t as excited about the visit as my parents, the little locomotives that kept the ships centred in the lock were pretty cool.
Real school has started and I am reading To Kill a Mockingbird, which is really funny, as well as doing the regular math, science, french…and this blog. Daddy also makes me do electrical and plumbing, replacing the lights in the cabin and a faucet in the head while mommy had us scrubbing the decks to get ready to leave the marina and head to the San Blas Islands.
Overall Panama is pretty cool and we made some new friends that we will be sad to leave. I am looking forward to the San Blas because the water will be great for swimming, we can wake board, there will be lots of friends and we can have parties every night.