Fri-Sun, Aug 15-17th - Final Boat Chores before Perlas Islands
Throughout this whole confusing time, we were still trying to prioritize
getting the boat ready to go to the Perlas Islands. As much fun as we
had had, it was still intense to be back in a City. We felt compelled to
"do" something every single day, even if it was to "have fun", but mostly
we ended up working hard on the boat. We felt slightly more than sluggish
when we got up Friday morning, and so spent most of the day talking
strategy, feelings, and reliving the previous night's party.
On Saturday morning I got up early, determined to change the oil
(top and bottom) in the outboard motor and replace the zinc and propeller.
The propeller had been slipping and I didn't want to wait for it to
fail in a deserted anchorage before fixing it. To do so I first had to rig a
milk crate as a motor mount in the cockpit. Can't work on the outboard
when it's on its storage bracket dangling over the water!
It was straightforward work, but it didn't help when the weather went
downhill. I had already started the oil changes when it started
raining really hard in the anchorage. And worse yet, as I looked
up and my newly waterproofed Bimini and Dodger, I could see that they
were leaking! I mean, in places that had NOT leaked before I sprayed
them with the waterproofing, it was NOW leaking!
For what it's worth, I had used two kinds of waterproofing, one
called 3M 303 Fabric Guard and another from a company called
Starbright. I would have guessed they were about the same
stuff as I quickly scanned the ingredients. But in practice
all of the areas I had sprayed with the Starbright were leaking anew.
And none of the places I used the 3M were leaking. I'll
let you draw your own conclusions.
Anyway, that dripping fabric really bothered me. As I finished
the oil changes and took the old prop off and replaced it, I
was wondering to myself where it would end. It seems sometimes
like every day we get one thing done and two things break.
As it turns out, the waterproofing was not that big of a deal,
but at the time it really bothered me. I took the dinghy
out for a spin and it worked great, so I dropped by GALLIVANT
and chatted with Bruce for a while.
Later, we went over to GALLIVANT and had (many) cocktails with
Bruce and Marianne, as well as Gene and Dan and, for awhile, Erin.
We philosophized for several hours that night about cruising,
specifically, when is it time to go?
The general consensus was that you go when you're ready and stay
when you're not. Everybody cruising goes a little crazy with
the decision to stay or go.
It's just not easy.
In the end, back on RHAPSODY late that Saturday night, we I decided
that we would leave as soon as possible. Inasmuch as it was already
late, and we wanted to leave early in the morning, we decided to
stay in P.C. one more day and leave the following day, on Monday morning.
On Sunday I made one last futile attempt to take a cab and find some
more of the 3M brand waterproofing, but of course nothing was open,
so it was a wasted hour of taxi/city time. We checked our
email at Bennigan's, I uploaded the previous webpages, and we made
one last check of the weather before heading back out to RHAPSODY.
Back on the boat, we did the dinghy drill for the first time in 3 weeks,
putting the dinghy on deck. The dinghy was really dirty from sitting
in the city's warm salt water for so long. We took turns scraping
the barnacles and washing the crud off the bottom. When it was done,
we tied it down and put the oars, fuel tanks, and so on, away.
We found a few more small chores to do before cooking dinner on
the boat that night. I consulted the charts and books, and then finally,
after dinner, we talked and decided specifically where we would be
going. We chose Isla Pedro Gonzales, one of the larger islands
in the Perlas Chain, because of it seemed to be one of the best protected
anchorages in the islands from the prevailing southern swell.
We set the alarm clock Sunday night for 5:25 am Monday morning,
planning for a 6:00 am departure from Panama City. After cleaning
up and reading in bed for a while, we went to sleep,
perhaps just a little bit excited at the prospect of new places,
that, finally and once again, we were going to get to visit.