Alone Like a Rolling Stone

We enjoy the freedom

After last week brought a new experience on our trip, we are much more relaxed this week. We take a cab to go shopping. The costs we share with the SY Mare. Well, a sorrow shared is a sorrow halved and of course half the cost. The marina Vista Mar is a bit off the beaten track, not to say in the middle of nowhere. The next bus stop is a 30 minute walk away. Here you are on the Panamericana and from there minibuses drive into the city and to Panama City. To save us this march we invest 8US$ and let us drive to the supermarket.

Vista Mar Marina, Panama

The bill is very nasty and I fear bad things about the transport. Thank God it is not far to the cab stand. The cab driver looks quite confused when I address him through the closed driver's door. Due to the fact that I crawl on all fours, only the backpack looks over the open window, he does not see me at first. When he looks over the edge from the inside, he throws me a pitying smile. We stow the groceries in the trunk, which clearly brings the totally dented Yellow Cab to its knees. The first purchase, for the long Pacific route to the Gambiers, is done. The direct route has, over the great circle, a length of 3800 nautical miles. However, the winds over this route are rather unfavorable. In order to gain south quickly, so that we get into the southeast trade wind, we have to take a small detour. Between 200 and 700 nautical miles more, it will become then already. So it will not have been the last bulk purchase. When we then bunker fruit and vegetables, the departure is no longer far.

Katinka at Visa Mar Marina, Panama

A ray of hope has, this week, meanwhile emerged. The SY Mare has a new crew member. It is still in Europe, but should arrive in the next few weeks. Reinhold would also sail single-handed, but I feel more comfortable when someone else is on board with him. With the new month our Iridium-Go is activated again. We could not quite bring ourselves to the Starlink yet. I was annoyed about Iridium again, because the description for setting up the account is very poor. So I could receive emails, but not send them. The received emails have to be fetched from the server, but they don't appear in my mailbox. After a day I find out that the pop server data was deleted in the settings, for whatever reason. Anyway, it works now, if you can talk about working at all with the transfer rate. But here in Panama one becomes modest with time. The transfer rates are not exactly highspeed everywhere here.

Iridium Go satellite reception at its best

This week we have once again cleaned the ship. This was urgently necessary. The wind carries the dirt of commercial shipping all the way here to Vista Mar. Black soot particles make for greasy streaks on deck. You would do well to remove them as soon as possible, otherwise you won't get them off at all. With the shipping traffic around the Panama Canal, this air pollution is no wonder, only the distance of 40 nautical miles made us a bit suspicious, but since the main wind direction is northeast, everything passes through here and we are in the middle of it. Yet another reason that it will soon go.

Gaby at her favorite activity

Some people will now ask themselves where the freedom is that was mentioned in the title. Well, for us it is freedom. A week, as we all experience it, full of routine and work. Self-determining what comes next, thinking about what is still missing, being responsible for what you forget or have misjudged, and finally deciding when to cast off. Freedom has a lot to do with routine. This routine gives one security. Freedom needs security to clear the way for new adventures. Freedom opens the horizon for new things. So we are no different from those who stayed at home. The only difference is that we have said goodbye to the society of prohibition and have thus been given the opportunity to decide for ourselves, for better or for worse. The consequences are part of freedom. In this sense, we wish you, as always, fair winds and keep a stiff upper lip.