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Christmas Eve in The Pool

We’re settling into a nice slow rhythm here in The Pool. In the morning Fernancia, a Kuna “master mola” maker came around selling his wares. He had three buckets of molas to show us. He pulled them all out one by one so we could see each one. Then, as he returned them to his buckets we picked out the ones that we found appealing. We ended up with a rather large pile which we had to whittle down further. Then came the price negotiation. The prices have gone up over the last few years as the Kuna react to the ‘market’. Sadly cruise ships now turn up in the area from time to time and the popularity of molas has grown so they know what they can get. Nevertheless we stuck to buying some of the more detailed molas. These will turn into treasured memories of the trip. Annie managed to acquire three to her liking too.

With John’s help I managed to do a project. I installed a bridge (ordered from the US) between the Raymarine boat instruments and our Garmin chartplotter. From the bridge we also ran a serial cable to the navigation station. Now that the Garmin chartplotter can receive information from the digital compass the MARPA functionality is now enabled. That allows us to track the speed and direction of radar targets. Useful for tracking squalls and ships that don’t show on AIS. The flow of information from the Garmin to the Raymarine equipment now seems better too. This may improve the ability of the autopilot to follow the charted route rather than a given direction. Finally, it now allows the wind data to show up on the computer. This should now come through on our position updates.

I spent a couple of sessions out on the reef looking for lobsters/crayfish. I managed to catch a couple at the smaller end of what is worth catching plus one much smaller still. Their tails went on the grill later in the evening as an appetizer to our Columbian steaks (mahi, mahi for Annie).

Around 4pm I put out a general invitation to folks nearby to join us on the beach of BBQ Island for sundowners at 5. A few folks turned up for a pleasant chat. Among them were Whiskers, Rosie and Jim from Sojourn (who we shared Thanksgiving table with in Cartagena), Saphire, Changing Spots (who we met on the island tour in Grenada), Steve and Trish from Curious (heading out to Pacific next year) and a few others.

After our BBQ on board we did a little star gazing. We were able to spot Andromeda but it was weak due to the moon being near. We also took a look at the craters and mountains on the moon as well as Jupiter and it’s moons. We finished the evening watching the end of the first Pirates movie as noone made it to the end the previous evening.



The morning started with us heading ashore so that Helen could take a taxi to the dentist and I could meet the stainless steel guy. Helen had a temporary crown put in in South Africa and Colombia is by far the best place (high quality, low cost) to get a proper one done. Helen left in the taxi while I had to hang around for the stainless steel guy. It turned out the stuff isn’t going to arrive until early next week now.

I then headed back to the boat to while away the morning. I heard from the guy repairing our air con control board that he’d been successful which was good news.

Towards midday I was hailed by one of the Thanksgiving organizers, Marianne, who was heading out and would drop off a second dinner ticket for us – we were the only ones who had both names written onto one. She said she would be out in 5 mins. Then Helen called from across the bay suggesting I dinghy over to pick her up. I decided to jump into the dinghy and meet Marianne, halfway. It turned out she had run out of gas so I towed her back to her own boat where they had an extra supply. By the time I got over to the other side of the bay Helen had moved. With dwindling power on my handset it took a while to find her but we managed.

On the way back to Dignity we bumped into Dianne and Gerald who seemed to be going nowhere in particular (I’m sure they were but we never found out). We invited them back to Dignity for a Thanksgiving bevy.

Shortly after 3pm we headed off to the Thanksgiving party at Pacho & Guillos, a nearby hangout. We had a good time despite the food being a little mediocre. We sat with Rosie and Tom from Sojourn and Tom and Salaman from Everafter and enjoyed their company. We may bump into them later in the year as they have similarish plans for Panama/San Blas.

As a result of our stainless steel not being ready for a few days we’ve decided to leave the anchorage for the weekend. We’re heading about 20nm south to the Rosarios, a nice little island group with good diving. We need to get somewhere with a clean smelling breeze and clear water where we can swim and make water. After last night’s dinner we headed to the supermarket to provision for five days in case we stay a while. The one thing we need before we leave is a chart of the area showing where we can anchor. Hopefully we can obtain one from somebody by request on this morning’s net.