We?ve been hanging around Panama City, getting things fixed, attending to doctor appointments, shopping, and gathering information about our canal crossing that hould happen early May maybe late April. The learning curve for a canal crossing has been steep. A lot has been written, just not sure what to believe and what not. One (of many) lessons we?ve learned is to distrust or at least question what has been written, in books and on the internet. Things change. Rules change. Meetings with officials are not objective although they are written as if they were. Attitude, dress , personalities all affect how we effectively interact with people of different cultures and occupations. Our experiences with officials of different countries has been very different, more positive, from many written occounts by others. Until yesterday, we?ve been at Playita anchorage just outside Panama City. The anchorage is within sight of the canal entrance on the Pacific side, and comes with all the accoutrements of a working canal zone; noise, tugs , work boats with large wakes and activity at all hours. There are two marinas nearby, none have room for us, or any visiting yacht for that matter. But they will let us use their piers to tie our dinghy for $30/week. We are done with Panama City, for now, and we are on the way to the Darien Provence. The Darien does not attract a lot of people. A province of Panama, it is a large strip of land from the Pacific to the Caribbean about 100 miless wide, bordering Colombia on one side. It is road-less and criss-crossed with rivers. A road has never successfully been built across the Darien. It is the home of at least two indigenous peoples that haven?t change much in the last 500 years. We should be able to travel by boat to one or two of the villages. We?ve connected with another boat that also wants to explore Darien. It will be nice to travel with another couple through this unknown area even though we know next to nothing of Fiona and Clayton on Argos except they are on a 55ft power boat, have been cruising the Caribbean for many years and used to live near Santa Cruz, Ca. It should be interesting. ===== This message was sent using Winlink, a free radio email system provided by the Amateur Radio Safety Foundation and volunteers worldwide. Replies to this message should be brief using plain text format and any attachments kept small. Commercial use or use of this email system for monetary gain is strictly forbidden. See www.winlink.org/help for additional information.