As already written, Panama has some serious drawbacks. We are now dealing with the consequences of one of them. The matter is that Panama is a region of high thunderstorm activity which is second only to Central Africa.
There is atmospheric electricity everywhere. Those who are aware of it keep valuable electronics in a microwave, an oven or simply iron boxes. We saw the lightning hit the mast of a yacht nearby. Thank God, nobody was hurt, but the electronics burned out completely. Everything that can corrode entirely does it. That which cannot corrodes more slowly. It’s very annoying to solve the problem of protection against lightning on an aluminum boat. There is a specific question: where is it more safe during a thunderstorm, inside a pan or outside on it? Considering that above it there is a 15-meter iron pillar and everything is wet and salty around, the question is more than relevant. Dear colleagues from the department of physics, let’s think together.
A backup GPS antenna burnt out, so the navigation system can use GLONASS data only. Now, we’re trying to solve the problem with antenna delivery, as backup of satellite data is required ’cause we don’t know yet how the GLONASS system will behave in the Pacific.
The solar panels got covered with strange green pimples. We’re trying to contact the manufacturer, no reply so far. Anybody knows what the problem is?
Pleasant news is there is Lithuanian yacht Number One nearby. Very nice guys and a very serious racing boat.
There’s a new crew member on the yacht, a lizard called Get Out. It’s not clear where it came from.
And another good news is that we got visas to French Polynesia, or, to be correct, Territoire d’outre-mer – Overseas territory.
By popular request, Lena starts the “Our Life” column. A woman’s view on everyday life in Panama.
While Andrey was busy with the boat, I went to the city (as you understand, it’s my duty to support the living conditions, that is, everything that is not related to electronics).
Therefore, my story is about life in Panama. A strange country it is. First of all, I’ve never heard of a country that has two official currencies, American dollar and Panamanian balboa.
Then, everything is twisted in the same strain: gallons instead of liters, libra instead of kilo (we hardly found a kilo weigher); feet, yards, and miles instead of meters and kilometers. The brain is like a calculator, it always converts something.
Prices in Panama… They are also something else. For example, I buy a bag of oranges for $4, as we need vitamins before a long-time passage, a bag of mango costs $7.
Meat, chicken, and rum are very cheap (the most expensive is Bacardi rum that costs $5-6, the rest are $2-3). As for seafood at the market, it could have been cheaper. King prawns cost $13 a kilo (the price in the picture is per libra), lobsters cost $6-7 a piece.
Sunflower oil, dairy products (except milk), and cheese (I mean regular hard cheese and not that melted square sandwich cheese) are expensive. All around, there are shops with Chinese clothes and footwear for a ridiculous price. I’ve bought slippers (any yachtsman has them here, it’s thing #1) for $2.
Interesting facts: While in the city, I saw special balconies for air conditioners.
At the crossroads, schoolgirls give out maps indicating city roads under repair and bypass routes to drivers.
At the French Embassy, I’ve found a magazine with an article called “Moscow – the capital of extreme.” So it seems that extreme is not here but there, in Russia.