9-29-02 evening Panama

Looks like the wire fix worked. I was able to control the radio and TNC with the computer but was unable to connect as it was the wrong time of day to connect (bad propagation).

Birgitta took the dingy out to the anchorage this morning to talk to friends and the engine died on the way back. I restarted it easily but noticed that the engine wasn’t pumping water through the indicator hole. At the time I assumed that it had overheated. I spend the afternoon with the outboard and found that the impeller is fine but there was a blockage in the water path through the intake/exhaust manifold. I had to remove it and clean it out then make a new gasket to reinstall it. In the process of removing it I broke an old hose. Being Sunday I couldn’t get a new one but I was able to make a new one with the broken bits and some copper tubing. It looks a bit odd but I think it will work well.

Clark and Birgitta

Panama City

9-29-02 Panama City

Nothing is as easy as you think. I tried to send the message above and found that I couldn’t connect. I suspected a broken wire in the interface cable between the TNC and HAM radio. So no go that night. Yesterday I put a coat of Armada on the teak we scraped and it looks much better then the old stuff. I will have to put two more coats on before I am finished but not this morning as it is raining. But having 2 clear sunny days seamed lucky to us in Panama during rainy season.

Yesterday I took the dingy out to the anchorage (we have decided to stay in the marina) to talk to some friends and set up a deal with another boat owner to split a big 5 gallon can of bottom paint. On the way out the motor started revving up and the dingy slowed down. This has always been an issue with this engine as it should have a 4 blade propeller but spins a 3 blade and cavitates easily. I just backed off the throttle and when the prop bit off I went again. But yesterday it was happening an awful lot. And it got worse. On my way back into the marina I couldn’t keep the boat on plane and by the time I reached the boat I could barely keep forward motion. I decided to pull the propeller and check the shear pin as I found out that while I was away the owner of “C’est si Bon” helped himself to mine (without even leaving so much as a note). It turns out that he took my spare shear pin and the shear pin in my propeller and put the propeller back on the engine. The only thing keeping the propeller spinning was the lock nut. Had I traveled further and had the wind been blowing out to sea (as is usual) I could have lost the engine altogether and been swept out into the Pacific. I hope to see the man down the line and have words with him. What he did was more then just petty criminal it could have really endangered life. I assume he is stupid and not vindictive.

This morning I took the cable off my radio and checked it out against my radio and TNC manuals. Sure enough a wire was broken. I soldered it and will be trying it with this message.

Panama City

9-27-02 Panama City

We are back on the boat. We arrived Wednesday night and the mildew wasn’t quite as bad as it could have been thanks to Birgitta’s pre-cleaning and our friends airing the boat out every couple of days.

We spent today scraping the bad varnish like product from our house. We will try Armada on it tomorrow if it doesn’t rain. Had a really nice day for outside manual labor. About 85 degrees and sunny.

Not much to really say except that we are back on the boat. I want to send this out to try my new installation. I put a new hard drive in the computer and I think I have everything installed correctly. We also bought another laptop as a backup. It is a reconditioned IBM that I got for $299. We wanted it as we are going to try to live without paper charts next season. We will have chartbooks and our 2 laptops. One laptop will backup the other in case of failure. This old prostar got a bit of a salt water shower back up the coast and we aren’t all that confident with it anymore.

Panama City

August 6, 2002. Panama City

On August 6, we flew back to the US so Clark could attend his 20th class reunion and we could both visit our families.

Before then, we spent 2 weeks in Panama City, cleaning the boat with soap, chlorine and spraying with Lysol to retard mildew growth while we would be in the US. We changed headsail, reorganized the forward cabin lockers, went shopping for spare parts, surveyed the food supplies in groceries store in the city, and made a list of what we needed in the US.

We left the boat in Flamingo marina which is a marina under construction near the entrance to the canal. Right now, they only have moorings available within the area protected by the breakwater, but eventually it will have docks.

See you back in September!