Shelter Bay Marina, Panama

Morning at the marina. 9*22.037N 79*57.029W
click to enlarge
As I mentioned last post, our new home for at least a few months is the Shelter Bay Marina on the Caribbean side of the canal. It is a small marina with only two docks of 45 slips. A third dock is going in as I write and I have no doubt that it will soon be full and the small anchorage area at the end of the marina will still be in full use. The marina is the only game in town and it is extremely busy. The amenities and services are under pressure and I have found if I want to do laundry the best time is about 10:00p.m. I mentioned to a few of you how happy I was to see individual bathrooms here rather than the usual rows of showers and toilets. The space and privacy of the bathrooms here is a luxury. They are attractive and even have hot water. Unfortunately, they are in constant use and as a result are not as clean as they should be. I am always paper- toweling the shower drain of hair before turning on the water; I won’t get into the toilets. No solid waste can be discharged from the boats as this is a fairly closed off spot and water exchange is not good. It is uncomfortable in the mornings sometimes to go up and see a line waiting!

At first we thought the pressure was on because the ARC (Cruiser’s Around the World Rally) came in a few days after we arrived; but no, there is just a constant coming and going of traffic through the canal and it is simply a busy place. There is an anchorage area in Limon Bay for those awaiting transit and that is the only other waiting area on the Caribbean side. It is not an option for people who need supplies or repairs because there is no dinghy landing anywhere and you are locked on the boat until transit.
One of the marina services is a shuttle to the 4Altos Shopping center where there is a Rey’s Supermarket. It is an okay store. If you hit it when new veggies come in, the produce is good, but sometimes we’ve been and the veggies are masses of wilt. You have to sign up on the passenger list to get a seat and even then you should be waiting a half hour early to get a seat. The free bus leaves at 8:00am from the marina and leaves Rey’s at 11:15(Well usually. Last week the return bus was 2 hours late. Fortunately that day we had little in the way of refrigerated stuff. Hey, it’s ‘free’—can’t complain.)
One of the reasons we will be hanging out here is that after we left the San Blas/Kuna Yala Islands, the intermediate shroud of our rod rigging on the starboard side gave a ‘pop’ and came down. We immediately took in sail (as luck would have it, we were going down wind and had only the jib out). We have to order new, expensive rigging and put it up ourselves as there is no rigger here. For you non-sailors, the rigging coming down is not a good thing. It holds up the mast and if the mast comes down things could be very, very bad.
We are comfortable and content in our new home. Gene takes a walk around the marina a few times a day and watches the construction of the new dock and the business of incoming and outgoing yachts. I go birding once or twice a day in the surrounding rainforest. It is beautiful and a whole new environment for me. I love it. There is a bar and small restaurant and we go up every now and then for dinner.

We can eat much better aboard Peregrine though. A large screen TV at the bar keeps tuned to sports and Gene has a place to have beer and football. In fact, today is Super Bowl Sunday and we are going up to watch and have the ‘special’. GO SAINTS!!!
A second floor over the bar has seven rooms for rent and a lounge area for marina residents. The lounge has a computer area with cable plug-ins but we can also pick up wifi. My computer would not pick-up the wifi at first but the computer guy was out and now I can get it but the signal still won’t reach the boat. We have to come up to the complex if we want to use the internet. Right now the connection is extremely slow, and /or not functional, supposedly because too many people are on it.

Hasta LuegoSue and Gene

View from our stern. There is a small anchorage area here for the overflow.
View from the patio.

The Pool Area

The other pool area.

The luke-warm jacuzzi

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