Mandag den 9 januar

Mandag den 9 januar var den nye besætning forsamlet i Colon. Den bestod af Simon på 24 år, Sune på 25, Lisbet på 59, ægteparret Henning og Gitte, der var midt i 50’erne, og skipperen Niels på 64. Ingen kendte hinanden i forvejen. Alle var forinden blevet advaret om, at Colon var en by, hvor man ikke skulle bevæge sig rundt mere end højst nødvendigt, så vi skulle bare foretage et par sidste indkøb, inden vi skulle gennem Panamakanalen. Sune, Simon og Lisbet gik i byen for at købe elektroder til svejseapparatet. Indkøbsturen fik en uventet drejning, da en dreng på størrelse med en mellemstor hobit, snuppede Lisbets kamera ud af hendes hånd og forsvandt ind i en gyde. Alle stod og måbede uden rigtig at fortage sig noget, før nogle venlige mennesker fik fat i det lokale politi. Vi prøvede på vores helt utilstrækkelige spanske at forklare dem, hvad der lige var sket og så blev vi proppet ind i en ladvogn sammen med to rædselsslangende drenge, som politiet mente kunne passe på beskrivelsen. Vi kørte på stationen, alt imens vi prøvede at overbevise folkene om at de to drenge var uskyldige. Det lykkedes efter et kvarter, og drengene blev igen sat af uden for politigården. Vi blev af politiet kørt rundt i Colon, for at se om vi kunne udpege de skyldige, hvad vi selvfølgelig ikke kunne, dels fordi vi dårligt nåede at se dem og dels fordi alle de indfødte drenge for os så næsten ens ud. Det endte med at vi fik lavet en rapport på 4 tætskrevne sider på spansk. Det var for at Lisbet kunne få udbetalt forsikringspengene for kameraet. Det tog hele formiddagen, så vi måtte udsætte vores indkøb, da vi havde truffet aftale om, at vi skulle gennem kanalen om eftermiddagen. Efter den kedelige oplevelse skyndte vi os hjem på båden, for klokken fem skulle vi ligge ude ved ankerpladsen, hvor adviseren, den person der skulle hjælpe os gennem kanalen, ville komme ombord. Klokken halv seks kom han så vores nye ven.

Så fik båden ”masimum power” til vi nåede Gatun locks, de første sluser, der skulle føre os op i den kæmpe store kunstige sø Gatun, hvor vi skulle overnatte. Vi fumlede godt og grundigt med trosserne til adviserens store fortvivlelse. Vi brugte to dage til at komme gennem kanalen, første dag tre sluser op og sidste dag tre sluser ned. Det var en oplevelse at sejle gennem sluserne. Portene lukkede sig bag os og vandet fossede ind i slusen. Der var enormt meget pres på, og vi var alvorlig bange for, at vores knuder på tovværket ikke skulle holde, men det gik heldigvis. Igennem kom vi og næste morgen kom den nye adviser. En utrolig afslappet mand, som grinede og snakkede, alt imens morgendisen steg til vejrs og brøleaberne skreg i junglen. Det gik dog lidt nemmere da vi skulle ned, hvor der ikke var samme enorme pres på vandet. Da den sidste sluseport gik op og Adviseren råbte maksimum power fløj vi ud i det store Stillehav. Vi fortøjede ved en bøje ud for havnen og mødtes med Carsten i Panama. Carsten er langturssejlernes kontaktmand i Panama og på Galapagos. Vi havde en hel del spørgsmål til Carsten angående diverse ting vi skulle købe, lige fra et nyt kamera til Lisbet, dykkerudstyr og som sædvanlig et par vigtige reservedele til båden. Carsten var på alle punkter utrolig hjælpsom med alt.

Vi fik også lige et par timer til lidt sightseeing i Panama. Byen var i modsætning til Colon meget hyggelig med en gammel bydel og der var ikke nær så meget slum. Beboerne virkede lidt gladere og lidt mere hjælpsomme, men vi havde som sædvanlig problemer med at gøre os forståelige, da ingen af os stadig ikke kunne spansk. D 14/01 sejlede vi fra Panama til Taboga, hvor vi overnattede den første nat, og derfra gik turen videre til Perleøerne.

Vi besøgte to af øerne: Isla Gonzales og Isla Bayoneta, den sidstnævnte var ubeboet, og her overnattede vi den første nat. Vi nød alle at være helt væk fra civilisationen, efter de travle dage i Panama. På Isla Gonzales kom de indfødte ud i kano med en klase bananer og 4 papajafrugter, som de solgte til os for tilsammen 6 dollars. Bananerne blev bundet til rælingen på båden, hvor de hang for at blive modne. Dem havde vi glæde af i lang tid. Vi var en tur i land, hvor vi gik på sightseeing i den indfødte landsby. Det vrimlede overalt med hunde og høns, og små sorte børn. Pigerne havde alle papillotter i håret, der var meget sødt. Et par af de indfødte var i færd med at partere et par leguaner på ca. ½ meter, som de havde fanget tidligere på dagen. Vi havde faktisk om formiddagen hørt skuddene, da de blev nedlagt. Vi gik forbi et lokalt bådebyggerværft, og især Sune, der er uddannet som bådebygger, var meget imponeret af en næsten færdig båd der stod på stranden. Det var godt håndværk. Vi stoppede ved en lille lokal bar og fik en øl, sammen med de indfødte. Endnu engang måtte vi erkende, at det havde været praktisk om vi kunne spansk. Der var mange spørgsmål vi gerne ville have haft svar på af de indfødte. Vejret er fint, temperaturen var på ca. 30 grader og luftfugtigheden på ca.80 %, så det var til at holde ud.

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