Cruising with Soggy Paws
Soggy Paws is a 44' CSY Sailboat. In 2007, we set sail on a 10 year around the world cruise.
Tuesday, September 09, 2008
Dirty Nasty Colon, Panama
Well, now I know why Dave really avoided Colon before.

The Panama Canal 'Yacht Club' is living on borrowed time. Everyone expects that eventually the port operations will force them out. So the yacht club facilities have been allowed to decline. The docks are OK but the building is old and dirty.

The facility has been totally surrounded by the industrial shipping operations.

The Front of PCYC, Container Terminal in the Background

We currently have a ship just across the canal that is unloading powdered cement. They drop a big scoop into the hold and bring it up and across into the back of an open semi truck. The wind has been blowing from the ship directly toward the yacht club. So EVERYTHING is coated with a layer of cement dust. I have never seen Soggy Paws so dirty. It is driving Dave crazy.

Dave Working on a Project in the Yard

Also, with the wind blowing from the docks, yesterday we got a large slug of diesel fuel down in our corner of the marina. It was a large spill... or someone flushing their bilges. No one seems to care here.

And did I mention the dump? The Colon dump is nearby. It's not too bad except when it catches fire. Then a stinky smoke hangs over all of downtown Colon and the marina. It was on fire last night.

And the crime? The Colon bus station is only about 2 blocks away, but its not safe to walk there. In the area along where you'd walk is lined with apartment building that in the States would be called slums. Everyone has anecdotes about cruisers getting mugged, robbed, and at least one guy was knifed 17 times. We take a taxi. At $1 it's reasonable (or $10/hour to take you around town).

All that said, the facility is convenient for transiting the Canal and for provisioning. It is only a $1 taxi ride to get to several huge grocery stores. And of course being able to order stuff from Panama City and the States via Marine Warehouse is very useful.

But I can't wait to get out of here!!

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