Gary had agreed to give us a ride back to Colon this morning, so we had to get ourselves over to his house. Kelly didn’t seem to want to drag himself out of bed to row us ashore, so once we’d fixed ourselves a bite of breakfast, he told us to take the dinghy + leave it up on the shore. So goodbye + away.
At Gary’s in good time (after all my practice over the last day or 2, my rowing was now pretty good) where we sat around for a while, waiting for him to be ready. However, a far more pleasant ride back to Colon than we’d had coming out, in Gary’s very new-looking Beetle. I also took him in for a drink at the yacht club (while Val disappeared to grab a shower – we were both pretty grubby), + then, after we too had wished each other Godspeed + good luck, he left. I moved round to say hello to Doug McAlpine, a New Zealand guy we’d met a couple of days ago, + he bought me a couple of beers, + invited us to call round + see his boat sometime. From then on, it was virtually the great boat hunt all day – quite a few new ones had come in while we were away, so there was a bit of scope. Fortunately, D + M were busy with a couple of their friends, allowing us a little freedom. No. 1 was a Quebecois boat – it took quite a while to get thro’ to them, + then they told us they were full. No. 2 was a big racing boat, + they invited us on to have a look around – really beautiful inside… but no vacancies. On to Pier 7, the main visitors’ pier, where we encountered some friendly responses, but no offers. Dave gave us some work to do now, listing some charts he’d just bought, but fortunately we could do that in the bar. Where once again we got talking with various people, Val with the English crew of a big 3-master, + me with a Canadian family. Nobody exactly dragged us on to their boat, but a couple of people said they’d ask for us over their ham radios. So not a wasted day. We visited Doug in the evening – he seems a very nice friendly man – + then returned to the Crusader for dinner. Dave in a strange mood – after the meal, he mysteriously dragged M away for a walk, the only conjecture he wanted to discuss us. Sod ‘im.
A mixture of serious boat-hunting and taking advantage of the hospitality on offer. Good to spend some time with Doug from New Zealand – I don’t usually offer plot-spoilers of what ius to come, but there is a name to look out for.