Every Thursday morning I get on the VHF radio (located in my pantry) and broadcast the weather as part of a neighbourly service on the Bocas Emergency Network (BEN). I’m known as BEN 63, which the designation for Jinja Island. It’s a good way to meet new people, as many of the yachties and cruisers like to join in.
This week I got chatting with a guy called Andre, the skipper of the yacht Sea Plus Plus. He invited me over to Red Frog Marina at the weekend for a couple of beers and to take his boat out around the archipelago with his friend Amy from Yorkshire. I’m very rarely going to turn down an offer like that.
Interesting guy, Andre. Originally from Venezuela, he grew up in the US, got into programming (hence the name of his sailboat) and now travels around the world using his satlink to work from wherever with his adorable seadog, Katie. Although I’m not a huge fan of sailing, I couldn’t help but see the appeal.
The drinking went on into the night, long after we had brought the yacht back to the marina. and I met with Jess from Canada and Pua from Hawaii, as well as catching up with Aaron and Sebastian for the Palmar Tent Lodge. It all got a bit messy.
Always happy to return a favour, I invited Amy and Andre over to Jinja, and a few days later, the Sea Plus Plus was moored in the anchorage (which up to that moment I didn’t know I had) off the east side of the island.
After Amy and Andre headed off into the sunset together, I became acutely aware that I was now very much alone. Not wanting to stay that way for the rest of my adult life, I decided the time was nigh for me to wave goodbye to my gorgeous ginger locks (for now).
Hair today, gone tomorrow.
I spent Valentine’s Day by myself on the island, but it’s okay, my good friends back in the UK were very understanding of my plight. Only joking, one of them posted this on my FB wall:
The next Sunday, Bill and Janis picked me up and we headed over to Rana Azul for pizza. Crazy Stuart from Birmingham was there with a bunch of his mates. They gave me a lift back to Jinja in their panga. I repaid their generosity by showing them how to pay “Wanker”, a game for up to four players.
Once back on Jinja we all chilled out on the hammocks for a bit, and did some fishing.
The look on Campesino’s face 😂
The big event of February was the wedding of my archipelago chums Cathy and Laurie. The ceremony was held at Rana Azul and presided over by my island neighbour Wayne, who, up to this point I had no idea was ordained. The wedding was pirate themed BECAUSE OF COURSE IT WAS.
Finally, at the end of the month, around rolled Global Scouse Day on the 28th. Or, as it’s also known, my birthday YAY!! So I whipped up two massive pots of of Liverpool’s finest culinary export (one veggie (“blind”) scouse and the other made with beef (Panama is not big on lamb).
It was a great way to end another great month on Jinja Island.
Damn, this is fun.