July 25, 2020
Six weeks into a stint at the Bocas marina, we were planning a jail break. After waiting and waiting for our solar panels, they arrived….broken! So to address this, and order again, meant several weeks and we had certainly had enough marina life. Even though the authorities had said no movement, they were not enforcing it. We have noticed in the past that the local and national authorities don’t usually lift restrictions, they just don’t enforce them when they are done. We had to get somewhere to clean the bottom of Slow Dancer which was encrusted with barnacles from the warm marina water. So, on July 17, we headed out to our beloved Starfish Beach and were guided in by two very large dolphins.
There was one other boat in the anchorage and we enjoyed getting acquainted with Ileana. On the second day we noticed two AeroNaval boats. Would they come by and cite us for moving? No, they waved and continued on their way to beach their boats just down the anchorage. They came off and on during the entire time that we were anchored and did nothing but wave to us.
For six beautiful days, we cleaned the bottom, swam, barbecued, exercised the dinghy and enjoyed being out of captivity. Then we got the message that our new set of panels was in….already! Back we went to install them.
One day back and we hear that the “total quarantine” is in effect again. What??!! Again with the one hour in town for women on Mon, Wed and Fridays and men on Tuesday and Thursday with a total lockdown on Saturday and Sunday. Ugh! It seems that the numbers were growing in Panama as a country, so here we go! Let’s get these panels installed and get to a nice isolated anchorage!
The 130 days of quarantine has certainly been an eye opener. The indigenous people of the islands are really the ones who are suffering. The gringos are doing all that they can to help, but, with the lock downs, it is hard. The local people are told to stay in their homes with no way to earn a living and very little support from their government. Surely this will end soon.