Wadda's Log Blog

July 25, 2010

Keeping Up With Bilbao in Balboa

Filed under: Tales of Go — Tags: , , — The Crew @ 4:25 am

Current Position:  Las Brisas Anchorage, Panama

Date:  Saturday 24 July, 2010

Greetings One and All,

These days, for a city with international aspirations, a Frank Gehry designed building is a must have addition to the skyline.      Whether it be Prague,  Hannover, Seattle, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, London, Las Vegas, or Bilbao to name just a few, if you’re wanting a building that looks like it’s been through a major earthquake, then Frank’s your man for the job.   Just down the road from us in Balboa, another such swirly building is taking shape.

Here’s how it presently looks:

Frank Gehry designed Biomuseum, Balboa, Panama

From a little further along the road, it’s a toss up: was it an earthquake or a category 5 hurricane that is responsible for this?  (Interestingly, one Gehry project was walloped by Hurricane Katrina during its construction, delaying its completion, in Biloxi Mississippi)

Biomuseum, a bit further down the road

If, like me, you’re having trouble visualizing the finished work, this may help:

How it will look after the final wash

Here’s an aerial view:

Proposed overhead view

I can appreciate the architectural, engineering, and artistic challenges of creating a building such as this, I’m just not sure I fully understand why.   I was mouthing off in similar fashion to another Australian boater coming back from town the other day as we passed by the construction site, and he commented dryly, ‘Oh, you mean like the Sydney Opera House?’     I conceded the point to him.    According to the signs, all the steel beams were pre-cut in Thailand, shipped over to here, and have a 3mm (~1/8″) margin of error/wiggle room…no tape measures on this construction site.

Still further down the road, anchored on the other side of the causeway to us, is an older tourist boat.     We were told by a friend, who was told by a taxi driver, that it used to be the boat of Al Capone back in the day.   Along with their hats and coats, guests were asked to check their violin cases upon boarding the boat.

Once upon a time, rumour has it, this jaunty vessel belonged to Al Capone

Meanwhile, we continue here at Las Brisas, where the wind and rain have kept away all week.    Nothing stolen and the only items to end up in the water have been the veggie peelings, immediately devoured by the fish.    ‘It’s all good,’ as the saying goes.

Margaret and Moe


July 18, 2010

Man Overboard Drill

Filed under: Tales of Go — Tags: , — The Crew @ 2:10 am
Current Location: Las Brisas Anchorage, Panama
Date: 17th July 2010
Greetings again.   We continue with boat projects, both the anticipated (sail plans) and unanticipated (addressing the stolen dinghy issue).
Moe spent several days tracking down a replacement outboard engine, one which we hope will be less attractive to varmints.    We brought out of storage the inflatable dinghy that came with Wadda and have been using it this past week, paddling to shore during the day and thumbing a tow on the return journey.   We also had several days of bucketing rain and wild winds.   With the new moon the tides were also the highest we have experienced here, peaking at around 18′ (~5.5m).
The new engine was duly purchased (Yamaha 4hp, so no more hooning around up on plane for us) and another boater lent us some fuel to get back to the boat.   The engine would not start so we ended up getting towed back to the boat again.
Next day, Moe worked on the new engine, and subsequently discovered that the fuel was corrupted with water.   The fuel was emptied, fresh fuel and 2stroke oil added but it was still a bit finicky, particularly in idle…or rather, it was not an idle engine, it would quit altogether.  It seems that the water had got up into the carburetor which would need cleaning as a result.   A job for the morrow.    We managed to get back to Wadda, although the engine quit a couple of times just as we approached and it was interesting to be so close to Wadda but suddenly find ourselves being swept away by the wind and current.   Third approach was successful.   The parcels were unloaded.
The dinghy was cleated on whilst Moe prepared to pull the engine on board (with my assistance from the deck).   One second he was in the dinghy holding the engine and the next he and the engine were in the water with the dinghy flipped over, seas choppy, windy.   ‘Crikey!’  does not begin to describe the feeling.
Fortunately he was able to hold onto the engine whilst treading water, there was just the small matter that the current and wind were moving (errh, sweeping) Moe away from the boat…not a good thing at all.   A long piece of wood was at hand that he was able to grab hold of (I had the other end of it) so he pulled himself back to the dinghy, still holding onto the engine.
He moved around to the boarding ladder (located mid ship) and a sail tie was used to secure the engine which we then hoiked up onto deck.   The two oars were still in place under the dinghy, these were retrieved, also the bailing bucket before it drifted too far away.   The sandals now part of Pacific flotsam, having floated free during the initial splash (we’ll keep an eye out for them).   We flipped the dinghy right side up, and secured it off the stern.
The cell phone did not enjoy its salt water bath and is kaputt.   The jump drive seems to be OK.   The old roughed up bill fold can finally be retired.   The contents of same were rinsed in fresh water and dried….so, the only photo we have of this whole sorry incident is our money laundering operation completed today.

Money laundering on board s/v Wadda

Interestingly, as we were relating this story to another boater here this evening, a sheepish look came over his face – he ‘fessed up and told us that he had also ended up in the drink last night, when his dinghy got away from him as he was attaching it to his davits.
Today was dry and quite calm.   The carburetor has been cleaned, the old fuel removed and new in place.  The engine continues to improve in performance.   The clothes rinsed and dried.   The dinghy is on probation.
The only other thing we have to say about our misadventure: don’t try this at home.

Margaret and Moe

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