Saturday, March 1, 2014

Imprisoned in Paradise

When you are free to move around, anywhere in the world could be the paradise. When you are not allowed to move, then you can be in paradise and still feel imprisoned. The whole idea of living on a boat and cruising is that you get to be free and move just about anywhere.   
Turtle Cay Boat yard

I have spent the last 54 days at Turtle Cay Marina in Panama. Here, it’s like paradise, it’s warm, sunny, palm trees, and sandy beaches. But my boat is not floating! The travel lift at this marina is not working, they are supposed to order a crane to come in and put the five boats in water, but the manager says it’s the owner’s responsibility to repair the lift and no crane is available! The owner is playing it off and comes with different excuses weekly, one week the engine to the lift is ready, another week the parts are here, oh now is Carnival, or somebody was sick and so forth. It's difficult to not be frustrated and angry when people lie into your face and come up with different nonsense. It feels like they want to keep us kidnapped here! The main purpose of this marina is not to serve yachtmen, it’s about gaining more prestige in society. It’s more important to have a big sign by the main road stating false information than having a proper bathroom and shower for their current clients. People come by here almost everyday asking where is the hotel and resort? There is no hotel and resort as the Turtle Cay Marina’s signs state. This is the longest I lived on a boat out of water and I’m getting a "boat on land fever". I try to make the best out of it! Last week, I took the foldup bicycle and biked up and down the hilly road 2.5hrs away to Puerto Lindo, where many cruisers anchor. I got to spend time with friends and stay on their boat, Peregrine.
Gwen and Trevor on S/V Peregrine
The Monkeys on Isla Linton are used to human
In between the bike ride I take a swim break in the river
Some of the challenges with living on the hard on a boat are as following; you can’t use the head (bathroom) on your boat, there are ants, flies, mosquitoes, and cockroaches on land, your boat is never as clean as it would be on water, the cabin gets really hot during the day since no wind comes through, you are constantly in a repair mode, and finally you have to climb up a ladder tons of times a day, I always wanted a tree house, now it feels like living up in a tree!

Paradise and heaven is at one’s heart. It’s totally up to you how to choose to carry on life. How to capture wind and surf the waves! Right now I can't capture the wind in my sails but I have a little bicycle. I'm gonna put air in the tires and bike the curvy hilly dirt road out of Turtle Cay Marina to Portobello.

Port Neighbors Debbie and Wayne at Sunday Picnic
Crocodile caught in a creek close to the Marina
Starboard neighbor "Gert" caught a Barracuda 

Love from the Prisoners in Paradise


  1. As your neighbour and friend we understand your frustration, and trully sympathise!! We have been here since MAY, and get mighty angry at the apathy of the owner and management of the marina, and boat yard. We needed help to sand and prepare our boat as my husband and myself have both been very sick, we were told that it would be "thought about" and no help, even though it is available, was forthcomming. Then we were blessed, as George gave us a day of his time to help us with the difficult parts. It was a life saver!!!

    What do you do, when you feel that you have been imprisoned, in a beautiful boat yard, with no way to get back in the water?

  2. Debbie, you guys have been very kind and giving. Helping you to sand the bottom is the least I could do. It was not much to mention. Thank you for the gratitude.

  3. Still no travel lift??! I feel frustrated for you!!