061218; 1458 UTC,

Balboa, Republic of Panama

N 08 degrees 56’ / W 079 degrees 33’

 

 

Dear Friends and Loved Ones,

 

An email Christmas greeting may not be the most ideal way to send everyone warm holiday wishes but, alas, it is all we have at the moment.

 

We are still on a mooring buoy at the Balboa Yacht Club just off the nun buoy #16 of the Panama Canal. Just to the north of Carina is the magnificent, graceful, arching "Bridge of the Americas" which spans the canal and divides the continents: west of the bridge lies Central America; east, South America. Each night our anchorage is bathed in the soft glow of red, white and blue lights, the national colors of the Republic of Panama, that are used to highlight the beauty of the bridge. To our west, the buoys lining the Panama canal that guide ships into the locks, as well as the ships that constantly transit, are seemingly dressed for Christmas; red lights to starboard and green to port.

 

In the malls and on the crowded streets of this bustling city, the stores sport Christmas decorations and multi-language Christmas music fills the air. The public parks display elaborate bigger-than-life religious scenes alongside palm trees and tropical flowers. Despite these accoutrements of Christmas, we find it difficult to get into the spirit of the Christmas season when the daytime temperatures may reach 100 degrees. Having given up the tradition of buying gifts for each other, we focus our energies on giving small gifts to those around us who have little but are generous with their time and friendship and enrich our traveling experiences.

 

From afar, we must content ourselves by wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a New Year of happiness and especially, good health.

 

Philip and Leslie

s/v Carina

moored at the Balboa Yacht Club, Balboa, Republic of Panamá